Smoking is one of the lifestyle habits that is a major health hazard, linked to fatal disease, increased morbidity and decreased life expectancy. The effects of passive smoking are just as dangerous to those that live with a smoker.
Some of the diseases and conditions linked to smoking are: cancer of the lung; mouth; larynx; oesophagus; cervix; throat; bladder; pancreas and kidney; stroke; hypertension; coronary heart disease; heart attack; high cholesterol; emphysema; chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive lung disease; infertility; early menopause; miscarriage; low birth weight; premature delivery; stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome.
Stopping smoking is the most important thing that you can do to significantly improve your health. Within 10 to 15 years of stopping, the risk of developing lung cancer drops to that of someone who has never smoked.
Unfortunately, while the incentives to quit are obvious, smoking is very difficult to stop and in many cases attempts to try are short-lived. But, congratulations, if you are reading this you are on your way to becoming smoke free and healthier. With the the help of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine you have a greater chance of success in kicking the habit.
How can Acupuncture help?
Importantly, you must want to stop. No treatment will be effective if you enter into it without this resolve. If, however, you have reached this decision then acupuncture has a high success rate.
Nicotine effects 2 neurotransmitters in the brain, dopamine and noradrenaline, chemicals that reduce stress and produce feelings of pleasure. Each cigarette temporarily rewards the brain by inducing levels of these chemicals far above normal levels. However, repeated use decrease the number of dopamine receptors, affecting both the need for further nicotine ‘hits’ and decreasing the brains’ ability to exercise judgmental behaviour. However, once nicotine leaves the body after you have stopped smoking, this quickly re-regulates.
Acupuncture helps people to stop smoking. It is able to address the physical and psychological dependancy on nicotine. It works by strengthening your willpower, reduces cravings and relieves the withdrawal symptoms caused by nicotine addiction (anxiety, insomnia, stress, depression and restlessness), making you feel calmer and energised. Acupuncture also addresses the cravings for food and increased appetite that often replaces the loss of cigarettes and the cough and phlegm that giving up smoking can release. The treatment also bolsters your overall health and can help restore your body to a healthy state of balance. Western science confirms that acupuncture is able to regulate the nervous system and release of endorphins: neurotransmitters that reduce stress; increase relaxation; boost the immune system and modulate the appetite.
Smoking is a complex addiction with psychological feel good associations in the brain. It becomes linked over the years to specific activities (such as drinking, talking on the telephone, food) and emotions (boredom, anger, sadness, concentration, relaxation). It usually takes longer for these associations to lose their power than the physical addiction to nicotine. Acupuncture helps to combat this by bolstering willpower, a strong and focused mind and positive attitude. You will also be asked to identify your triggers and the reasons why you smoke. The desire to smoke will be effectively diminished and the biggest stumbling blocks to becoming a non-smoker are relieved.
What does the treatment involve?
Fine acupuncture needles are placed in the ear and body, using points to reduce cravings, balance the emotions, release endorphins and nourish the whole system. Ear seeds will be placed in the ear for continual stimulation of the points between treatments. Electroacupuncture may be used and herbal therapy may be recommended.
The treatment includes supportive advice on diet and lifestyle.
How many treatments are necessary?
4 to 5 treatments are often enough to reduce the habit significantly or stop completely, although this is dependent upon client commitment and lifestyle.
How often do I need the treatment?
Once a week at first, the you may decide to maintain the effects with a treatment once a fortnight for a short while.