Stop Smoking with Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a highly effective method to help you quit smoking by adjusting the body’s brain chemistry to decrease cravings.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, placing acupuncture needles in the ear (auricular acupuncture) affect specific organs such as the liver, kidneys and lungs. Scientific studies confirm that acupuncture treatments change the levels of certain chemicals in the body and act on the nervous system to decrease the symptoms of withdrawal. In California, it is often a court mandated treatment for its effectiveness to address a wide range of addictions and addictive behavior.
Acupuncture can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Improves sleep
- Relieves headaches
- Relaxes muscles
How does it work?
- Increases the level of endorphins
- Acts on the central nervous system, particularly the vagus nerve
- Improves circulation to detoxify the body of nicotine, toxins, and heavy metals accumulated from tobacco use.
The insertion of single use, sterile, disposable needles will be used on specific points in the ear and body to address smoking cessation. Commonly used acupuncture points are:
- Shen Men/ Spirit Gate: reduces stress, anxiety, calms, and relaxes
- Sympathetic: balances sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, relieves tension, and improves blood flow.
- Kidney: strengthens the functions of kidneys and the entire body
- Liver: Detoxifies, relaxes muscles and tendons, relieves anger, promotes smooth flow of Qi and blood.
- Lung: improves respiration, detoxifies, strengthens lung function.
- Timmee: Located on the wrist, this point is specifically used for smoking cessation.
- Liv 3 and LI 4: This acupuncture combination, called the Four Gates, is often used to promote a free flow of Qi and blood, regulate the nervous system, and calm the mind.
The acupuncture needles will be retained for approximately 30 minutes. Electro-stimulation may also be used. Once the needles are removed, ear seeds made of the Chinese herb Wang Bu Liu Xing (Semen Vaccariae) will be taped in the ear and will remain in place a few days. The seeds serve to provide stimulation to the points in between acupuncture treatments. The patient will be instructed to press or pinch them periodically throughout the day to ward off cravings.
Chinese Herbal Medicine:
To complement and enhance the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatments, Chinese herbal medicine is often used to aid in the detoxification process as well as to help curb cravings, ease anxiety, reduce irritability, help with sleep, and calm the mind.
Minimum of 3 treatments per week for the first two weeks are required to initiate the detoxification process and to reduce cravings for cigarettes. After two weeks, treatments can be less frequent (2-3x/week) depending on the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms. On average, 8-12 treatments can help most smokers kick the habit or greatly reduce the amount they smoke. Monthly follow up treatments for 3-6 months are recommended to support the effects.