Bloomington, Minn. – Millions of dollars are spent each year on smoking cessation treatments, including the nicotine patch and hypnosis.
But on smoking cessation treatment being used more often may be the ticket to a smoke-free future.
Studies suggest that acupuncture may aid in the fight against smoking addiction by relaxing the body and reducing cravings.
By using an acupuncture needle to stimulate certain points on the body, pain-modulation endorphins are released,” says Sher Demeter, LAc, associate dean for the Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Bloomington, Minn.
“This is often compared to experiencing a runner’s high which can also cause a mood-lifting effect. Not only can acupuncture be used to treat problems associated with chronic pain, headaches, digestion, insomnia, irritability and nervousness, but it also has been used as a smoking cessation tool.”
Demeter adds that acupuncture may help a smoker relax and feel less anxious, reduce the cravings for nicotine, decrease the frequency of withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, and help eliminate toxins in the body.
“A person should commit between six and eight weeks of treatment while visiting two or three times a week. It can take a month for the body to clear its system of toxins so it is important to reevaluate after a few weeks,” say Demeter.
Because smoking is an addiction, quitting is not as simple as getting a few acupuncture treatments and then never craving another cigarette. “The success rate is similar to other smoking cessation treatments and programs, in order for the treatment to be effective, you have to make positive lifestyle changes and maintain those changes by using your own free will,” says Demeter.
“You can not quit smoking with just acupuncture but it can help reduce the nicotine cravings by reducing the physiological and emotional stress associated with quitting smoking.
For additional resources on smoking cessation, visit http://www.nwhealth.edu/nns, a Web site focusing on natural approaches to health and wellness hosted by Northwestern Health Sciences University.
Source: Spooner Advocate