Stop Smoking using Acupuncture and Naturopathic MedicineIf there was ever a reason to stop smoking cigarettes besides staying around for your loved ones, consider this: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more deaths are caused by tobacco each year compared to those from HIV, alcohol, illegal drugs, motor vehicle accidents, suicides and murders…combined. That said, nicotine abstinence is still considered more difficult than withdrawing from heroine.

These are astronomical odds that take a strong soul to tackle. Many people have decided to enjoy the façade that smoking offers, namely, filling the void of boredom or stress relief. Few take notice that they are injecting into their bodies yet another dose of not only nicotine but additional fillers such as fiberglass, carbon monoxide, chemicals found in batteries and paint, lead and arsenic a/k/a rat poison.

Quitting cigarettes can be one of the most challenging paths of you or your loved one’s life. However, it is the tools that are used along this path that will not only determine a future of high quality health but may offer a low percentage of relapse. The best candidate for such an outcome would surely include acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. This holistic approach delves deep into strengthening and cleansing the system both physically and mentally during this challenging path.

Acupuncture: Points for Power – Open the Addiction

The Shen Men point, HT7, is one of the go-to points for addiction. Located in the inner crease of the wrist (and also in the upper inner ear) this spot tonifys the heart qi and the blood. It works as a kind of reset for the physical and energetic flow that has long been polluted. In addition, HT7 addresses a cloudy emotional mind while alleviating such symptoms as nausea, fear, heart palpitations, weight gain and sweating which all relate to the challenging symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Other successful points are:

  • LU1 and LU2 – Near the top front shoulder/clavicle relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • The Four Gate points – LI4 and Liver 3 open the energy channels for elimination and calms the nervous system. LI4 is readily accessible on the ‘web’ between the index finger and thumb for self massage, often relieving headaches associated with toxic withdrawal.
  • LU7 (Lieque) and LI5 (Yangxi) collectively known as the extra meridian point Tim Mee located on the wrist work in conjunction for quitting tobacco.
  • Hunger Point (near SI9 top of the jaw near the ear) – diminishes hunger cravings due to nicotine withdrawal.

Refraining from smoking for twenty-four hours prior to treatment can greatly enhance the acupuncture results. Treatment can consist of two sessions in one week to one per week for several weeks thereafter.

Botanical Remedies: Herbs to Compliment Acupuncture Treatment for Nicotine Withdrawal

A naturopathic doctor will be versed in the specific herbal remedy program for your individual treatment. Contraindications with traditionally prescribed medication will also be taken into account during an herbal protocol. The three main areas to concentrate on when using herbs for nicotine withdrawal are:

  1. Craving support.
  2. Lung yin tonic (prevent dryness which causes cravings).
  3. Liver qi stagnatation

The herbs that work best to prepare and strengthen the body so such things as detoxification, relapse, weight gain and irritability can be wholly addressed and alleviated are:

  • Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) – This herb should only be used under the strict supervision of a naturopathic doctor as it can have potentially harmful effects if taken irresponsibly. Known as Indian tobacco its history is derived from being used as an herbal or homeopathic remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and chronic cough. The active ingredient lobelia is said to have similar effects on the body as nicotine.
  • Hyssop – Derived from Greek culture as the herb for cleaning sacred places, hyssop is cultivated from the hyssop evergreen bush which produces blue, red and white flowers. The flowers are infused and ingested as an expectorant, diaphoretic and asthma remedy all related to symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Korean Ginseng – Known for its ability to return balance to the systems of the body, Korean Ginseng is beneficial in enabling the body to adjust to the shock of nicotine cessation. This herb also alleviates anxiety and fatigue which often accompanies an addiction cleanse.
  • Valerian Root – Insomnia, nervousness and anxiety quickly emerge as the brain is deprived a substitute (albeit nicotine) for dealing with deeper emotional issues. Physically, the chemical withdrawal of nicotine throws the nervous system into an electrical storm which valerian root can often soothe.
  • Skullcap – The name of this herb is highly appropriate when in withdrawal mode. Skullcap encourages the brain to release endorphins which are responsible for pain relief and overall feelings of well being.

Leaning on Your Will Power and Hypnosis

There are many additional lifestyle changes that will increase your withdrawal success. Will power is something that you can have boosted if hypnosis is considered. A naturopathic doctor trained in hypnosis technique uses it to deal with the three-pronged problem of habit, addiction and willpower that can be next to impossible to treat simultaneously with other approaches. A study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California – San Francisco reported that hypnosis was particularly successful for people struggling with depression. In addition, hypnosis also enhances the success rate of withdrawal when used in conjunction with a nicotine patch.

Water

Clean filtered water is the lifeblood of a successful tobacco withdrawal program. As your body struggles to get back to homeostasis it will release toxins daily. Drinking room temperature triple filtered or distilled water throughout your day will make your detoxification journey much more successful.

Facts That Make It Worth It

Sometimes knowing what’s going on before you can see or feel it makes the path to health much more bearable. Consider this:

  • 20 minutes after you stop smoking your heart rate and blood pressure decline.
  • After 12 hours carbon monoxide in the blood falls to normal.
  • After 24 hours your risk of heart attack decreases.
  • After 48 hours nerve endings re-grow and the ability to taste and smell return.
  • Within two to three weeks, lung function significantly improves.

These facts are a small example of the many health attributes to quitting nicotine. Using acupuncture and naturopathic medicine will make this crossing over into optimal health a path of self reliance and empowerment. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980  914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email info@intmedsolutions.com to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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