Many people have linked acupuncture as a means to stop smoking.
Although acupuncture can be helpful with a variety of issues (musculoskeletal, pains, digestive, hormonal, emotional problems), it is mostly known as a treatment that helps people to quit smoking. And it is true, it can help a great deal!
However, the person needs to have the willingness to stop and to be committed. Acupuncture can help the cravings but will not give willpower.
But how exactly can it help?
Do you really want to quit smoking?
Before one attempts to quit, should ponder:
Why do they smoke?
What is the deeper need it covers, if any? To some, it works as a stress relief, to others it provides a warmth in the throat and the chest. Others keep their mouth and fingers busy.
Why they want to quit?
Is it for their long-term health? Is it they want to be fitter in a day to day basis? They want to smell better, as well as their clothes and hair?
Is it a good period in their life?
It would be easier to try and stop smoking in a period that is relaxed, without particular stressful situations, such as a divorce, a home move etc. To begin with, the process will add up stress to the system and also, if smoking works as a stress relief, one will need a greater need to smoke during difficult times.
They need to be prepared to completely stop, not reduce.
There are greater chances to quit and keep it this way if one goes “cold turkey”, rather than reducing or replacing it with other means, like electronic cigarettes, nicotine gums or patches.
When do they smoke? What are the habits they’ve linked it to?
After food? With coffee or drinks? When they wake up? Before going to bed? It would be wise that they change their habits slightly, even if it is just for the first period, so that they create new patterns.
How many treatments will I need?
There are many acupuncture protocols to quit smoking. One that is very efficient, empirically, uses points on the ears and consists of 3 treatments during a week, with a 4th one after six weeks.
The same protocol can be used alongside other treatment, to assist you in the battle with various forms of addiction (food, drugs, alcohol, gambling etc).
If you have the answers to the questions mentioned above, you are determined to quit smoking, you have tried everything without results or if it's your first attempt and you wouldn't want to suffer from the cravings, give acupuncture a try.