Once nicotine gets its claws into your system, you may be in for the fight of your life trying to get it out. There’s no doubt about it: nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. It’s 1-2 punch of physical addiction and mental compulsion is a deadly reason why successfully quitting smoking can be the most difficult thing some will ever do in their lives. In this article, we’ll talk briefly about what smoking does to your body physically and discuss unique methods for smoking cessation.
The Bodily Damage Done by Smoking
We all know that smoking does irreparable harm to our lungs – including destroying tiny air sacs meant for oxygen exchange – but the damage goes far beyond that. Smoking cigarettes can also:
- Reprogram your brain so that you constantly yearn for nicotine
- Threaten the quality of your vision
- Cause gum disease and ulcers in the throat
- Initiate hearing loss by depriving the cochlea in the inner ear of oxygen
- Severely weaken your immune system, and
- Surround your heart with fatty deposits
Four Drug-Free Ways to Stop Smoking
From patches and lozenges to medicines and cold turkeys, there are a variety of methods to use in your effort to kick the habit. Let’s talk about a few you’ve not read too much about in the news.
Diet – A common saying is what we consume will end up consuming us. Researchers
recommend you add more water, dairy, vegetables and fruits to your diet. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that those specific food groups actually made the taste of cigarettes seem awful. On the flip side, meat, coffee and alcohol did the reverse by enhancing cigarette taste. Another benefit of eating hand fruit and vegetables is that it satisfies the craving of holding a cigarette in your hand. The research reinforces the belief that addiction to cigarette smoking goes well beyond merely nicotine; it involves a host of senses.
Acupuncture – Utilizing fine needles strategically inserted into various parts of your skin, acupuncture has been shown to ease some symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal, such as restlessness and crankiness. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that smokers who underwent acupuncture were three times likely to not smoke for six months.
Deep Transcraniel Magnetic Stimulation – Originally designed to treat depression – which it has successfully been proven to do – deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is an exciting form of smoking cessation treatment that harnesses the power in your brain, enabling communication between your brain’s neurons and receptors to flow more clearly. One study in particular [Dinur-Klein et al., In Press] tested 115 participants who smoked at least 20 cigarettes daily and had failed previous forms of cessation approaches. After receiving dTMS treatment, the abstinence rate was 44%, and the complete abstinence rate in a follow-up six months later was 33%.
Physical Exercise – There’s no shame in trying different methods in your noble quest to stop smoking. Whichever form of smoking cessation you opt for, try to combine it with physical exercise. Even a 15-20 minute walk can help reduce your urge to smoke, diminish your stress levels , improve your overall attitude and demeanor, boost your stamina, significantly increase the release of endorphins ( leading to feelings of happiness and joy), and intensifies your sense of relaxation.
All of us are different, and our bodies react to diverse stimuli in varied ways. If you’re having difficulty finding the right course of action for success in your fight to kick the habit, contact your personal doctor so that an individualized plan can be established just for you.