At present, 70% of adult smokers in the U.S. report that they want to quit smoking. Millions of these people try to quit every year. They suffer from an addiction to an organic compound called nicotine. In fact, research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as many other drugs, including alcohol, cocaine, and heroine.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China over 5,000 years ago as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force, known as qi or chi (chee), believed to flow through channels in your body. Qi should be in harmonious balance for one to be in good health. When qi is not in balance, one gets sick. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture states, “These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.”
Are the needles scary?
The needles used in acupuncture are hair-thin. Typically, between 5 and 20 of them are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to influence the restore balance to the flow of qi. You may feel a slight prick or sting upon insertion, but should feel no pain thereafter. When a needle reaches the correct depth, you may feel a deep, aching sensation. Your practitioner may gently manipulate, move or twirl, the needles once they are in place. Another option is electrical stimulation of the needles.
So, how does acupuncture help me quit smoking?
A typical patient is treated one to two times a week for the first 4-6 treatments, then once a month for 4-6 months. These treatments last from seconds to an hour, but typically 20 to 30 minutes, and are surrounded by many theories about how acupuncture actually works. Several theories are that acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing powers or the release of pain-relieving endorphins and that it influences the autonomic nerve system.
Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body in order to optimize health. Acupuncturists will focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness. After a treatment, some people feel deeply relaxed, while others feel invigorated and energized.
In general, acupuncture can help you relax, diverting stress that causes you to smoke. Furthermore, it can significantly reduce nicotine cravings and balance your body, which can give you a leg up during detoxification.
If you would like more information on acupuncture or how we can help you quit smoking below are phone numbers for our CNY Healing Arts Centers in Syracuse, Rochester and Latham, NY as well as the email addresses for acupuncturists at each location. We are here to help you on your goal to quit smoking!