Could Acupuncture Help You Kick Your Smoking Habit?

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Could Acupuncture Help You Kick Your Smoking Habit?

20 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Quitting smoking is a great goal to have since ceasing the habit could reduce the risk of lung and heart diseases, cancer, and so on. However, breaking the cycle of addiction can be very challenging for some people since they may experience nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Some people may quit cold turkey, while others may use gum or nicotine patches to curb cravings. If you are looking for alternative therapies to help you quit besides pharmacological interventions, you may want to look into acupuncture.

How Does Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation Work?

Acupuncture originated in China and is a practice where thin needles are inserted into specific areas of the body to improve energy flow and overall health. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner that uses sterile needles. There may be mild side effects, such as nausea or bruising around the needle insertion site, but you can reduce these risks by going over your health history with your therapist and following aftercare instructions.

While acupuncture needles can be placed in many areas of the body, the Cleveland Clinic says that acupuncture needles are often placed around the ears to help people with smoking habits. When the cranial nerves are accessed through the ears and stimulated with acupuncture needles, this can help relax the nervous system and suppress the urge to smoke.

Acupuncture for smoking may be performed in-office by a therapist, or you may be able to have an at-home protocol. For an at-home protocol, your acupuncturist will prescribe ear seeds. Ear seeds are small beads that you can tape to specific pressure points around the ear.

Lastly, acupuncture may be performed as a stand-alone treatment for smoking, or your therapist might recommend that you combine it with other alternative therapies. For example, some people may use acupuncture along with moxibustion. Moxibustion is a therapy where mugwort leaves are burned near the surface of the skin. This therapy is meant to provide an analgesic effect and could be beneficial to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

What Do Studies Say About Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation?

A Chinese review compared a number of randomized controlled trials to see if acupuncture could be beneficial for smoking cessation. Compared with other alternative treatments, acupuncture was beneficial in the short term to help people abstain from smoking. This review did point out that there wasn't enough information to confirm long-term abstinence rates. However, keep in mind that short-term rates are still incredibly beneficial, as your withdrawal symptoms may peak within the first couple of weeks of quitting and then subside as you get used to not smoking. Another study found that while research needs to be done to see if acupuncture is as efficacious as pharmacological intervention, current research suggests that acupuncture can help smokers quit the habit. As you can see, while acupuncture isn't a cure-all, it can be an incredibly helpful therapy that could help people manage cravings and manage the early stages of quitting.  

Reach out to a massage or acupuncture professional in your area for more details.

About Me
Enjoying The Benefits of Massage

When I started working out to lose weight, I realized that I was going to bed every night exceptionally sore and tired. I was really frustrated with how I was feeling, so I decided to start getting weekly massages. It was amazing to see the difference that a few simple trips to the massage therapist made. After a few visits, I was able to move freely and enjoy a larger range of motion. This blog is all about enjoying the benefits of massage and taking steps to improve your own life. With the right massage therapist, you might be able to enjoy a happier, healthier life.