Although many people are aware that smoking is very bad for their health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides the following statistics: 17.8% of the entire US population still smokes cigarettes; which corresponds to more than 42.1 million adults over the age of 18 years. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States. In other words, more than 480,000 deaths can be prevented each year by early smoking cessation.
Fortunately, a lot of smokers are now actively trying to quit smoking with the help of a variety of smoking cessation aids. Consequently, the prevalence of smoking has decreased from 21 per 100 adults in 2005 to 18 per 100 adults according to latest estimates from the CDC. There are a variety of ways to quit smoking, through medication, therapy and acupuncture. In this article, we will explain if acupuncture to quit smoking works.
Do Smoking Cessation Aids Work?
Nicotine, the key component of cigarettes, is highly addictive, which makes it very challenging to quit smoking. There are a number of commercial preparations and smoking cessations aids to slowly cut down nicotine addiction (such as inhalers, gums, nasal sprays, lozenges and dermal patches); but the process is slow and requires a lot of will power and individual effort. This is the reason why most over-the-counter smoking cessation aids are ineffective in the long term. Likewise, use of prescription smoking cessation aids like Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix) can increase the risk of adverse effects (like heart failure, cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular diseases) by 72%, according to a new study reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Does Acupuncture to Quit Smoking Work?
According to latest medical research, natural solutions like acupuncture can be used for smoking cessation with minimal risk of any short term or long term adverse effects.The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association has also devised a protocol to address smoking cessation and substance abuse management issues in consenting adults. Acupuncture for smoking cessation involves manipulation of acupuncture points to alter the taste/ flavor of cigarette; which ultimately alters the ‘high’ or ‘satisfaction’ associated with smoking. In addition, acupuncture also modulates the brain biochemistry to adjust nicotine cravings.
A special acupuncture point (known as Tim Mee), located just above the wrist crease (in the close vicinity of anatomical snuff box), plays a vital role in the substance abuse issues. Other key acupuncture points (in the auricular region) that may aid in quitting smoking are:
- Shen Men
- Lung 2
Does acupuncture to quit smoking work? It looks like the answer is yes. Based on the results of a study conducted on 2051 smokers, investigators suggested that acupuncture to quit smoking is a reliable and safe strategy in the short term.
Here are some other benefits of using acupuncture for smoking cessation:
- Minimal risk of adverse effects and negative symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as jitters and mood swings
- Lower craving for nicotine
- Less chances of developing restlessness, irritability and agitation during early nicotine withdrawal
- Promotes detoxification and natural healing in the body
Ideal Candidates for Acupuncture for smoking cessation:
Individuals with the following indications should consider acupuncture for smoking cessation:
- Individuals who are allergic/ sensitive to other smoking cessation aids or prescription medications
- If previous attempts to quit smoking failed, due to poor compliance
- Individuals who are looking for safe and natural solution to quit smoking
- Any individual who is determined and committed to living a healthy lifestyle
Other alternative modalities of care such as massaging, herbal remedies, hypnotherapy and acupressure, in addition to acupuncture, may be helpful for smoking cessation. Needless to say that a combination therapy is more effective and yields fruitful results in a shorter time-frame. But it is very important to make such decisions after consulting an expert acupuncturist.
Furthermore, a new smoking cessation treatment in Los Angeles has been gaining traction because of its success rates. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS), first FDA-approved to treat depression, is a non-invasive and painless way to send messages to the brain to stop smoking. After several short sessions where a helmet sends messages to the brain, many people have found relief from the cravings for nicotine.
In short, acupuncture to quit smoking is a fairly safe, reliable and hassle-free modality of care that may serve a number of other health boosting benefits as well. As well, dTMS is a new, non-invasive treatment for smoking cessation. For those interested in deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as a smoking cessation tool in Los Angeles, Westside Neurotherapeutics, provides these treatments to stop smoking . For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.