Using Acupuncture to Quit Smoking: What You Need to Know in 2023
Looking to quit smoking?
If so, you’re not alone.
Nicotine addiction affects millions of Americans, and quitting can be an uphill battle. There are plenty of methods available—from going cold turkey to switching to vaping—but if you’ve tried them all, there’s still one thing you can try: acupuncture.
Can Acupuncture Help You Quit Smoking?
Have you been trying to quit smoking for years to no avail? Maybe you’ve tried nicotine patches or gum, or even tried hypnosis, but nothing’s working.
There’s a reason for that.
If you’re smoking because of stress or anxiety, those methods aren’t fixating on the root problem — they’re just treating the symptoms of your addiction. If your body is stressed out and anxious, it will always want to turn back to cigarettes as a way to self-soothe.
But what if you could combat stress and anxiety in a healthy, holistic way? And what if that method didn’t cause a whole slew of new problems, like weight gain?
Acupuncture is a proven method of eliminating stress, anxiety, and even depression without any side effects. It has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine and is based on the premise that the body’s energy flows along specific pathways called meridians.
According to Chinese medicine principles, when the flow of this energy or “qi” is disrupted, illness and disease can occur. The goal of acupuncture then is to restore the balance of qi by inserting tiny needles into specific points on the body to release energy flow and heal itself.
The system behind acupuncture is based on the idea that your well-being relies on the smooth flow of energy throughout your body. If any blockages occur, they can inhibit this flow and cause a variety of illnesses and diseases. By improving the flow of energy in your body, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
It’s been used in China for thousands of years to treat everything from addiction to chronic diseases. In fact, acupuncture is so effective at helping people relax and soothe their minds that it could even aid you in combating nicotine dependence!
What Are The Benefits Of Quitting?
It’s impossible to overdo the dangers of smoking. Everyone knows that it’s bad for your health. Still, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world. Regardless of your reasons for continuing to smoke, you likely have a lot to gain from quitting.
Yes, quitting smoking can feel like a daunting feat. After all, you may have been smoking for years and it has become an ingrained part of your daily life. So when you consider how much time and energy it will take to break the habit, it’s easy to put off quitting until tomorrow or the next day, or the next week. But what if quitting had benefits that you could start experiencing right away?
Let’s take a look at some benefits of quitting now:
- Your risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and other cancers drops dramatically
- Your sense of smell and taste improve, which means food will taste better than it has in years!
- You’ll no longer smell like an ashtray—your skin will be healthier, your hair will shine more brightly, and your clothes won’t smell like smoke.
- You’ll have more energy. When you quit smoking, you’ll finally be able to breathe and move without coughing, and your energy levels will go up!
- You can save money in so many ways, including not buying expensive cigarettes, and not having to pay extra for life and health insurance.
- Quitting smoking can also significantly improve your sex life. It can improve fertility in both men and women, meaning that couples have a better chance of getting pregnant. Smoking also contributes to erectile dysfunction in men.
- You’ll be healthier overall. Quitting smoking is good for both your mental and physical health. What’s more important than that?
- Your friends and family will thank you for it. Have you ever heard someone say how much they love being around smoke? Yeah… us either. Quitting is a win-win!
How Does Acupuncture Help You Quit Smoking?
Acupuncture can be a great way to help you quit smoking! Not only does acupuncture help with nicotine cravings and get your body, mind, and spirit on the same page, but acupuncture works to enhance your health and wellbeing and release feel-good hormones that will aid you to stay strong so you can kick the habit.
In fact, there is a specific type of acupuncture that’s used to help with smoking cessation. Auricular acupuncture, or acudetox, is a type of acupuncture that uses acupoints that are located on the outer part of your ears. Acudetox seems to lessen the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, making it more comfortable for you to quit smoking naturally.
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Here are some of the common withdrawal symptoms that acupuncture can aid you with:
- Intense cigarette cravings that last 5-10 minutes
- Anxiety and stress
- Food cravings, weight gain, and a rise in blood sugar levels
- Insomnia, sleep disorders
- Smoker’s cough
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, exhaustion, body ache, and headache
- High blood pressure and a rapid heart rate
- Memory issues, inability to concentrate
- Stomach bloating
There is also an acupuncture point one finger-width above your wrist crease, on the inside of your arm called “Tim Mee,” and it can assist you to quit smoking. That’s because not only does Tim Mee alter the taste of cigarettes, but it also makes them less satisfying and helps deter cravings. This is an amazing way to break the habit and get tobacco out of your life for good!
Want to quit smoking but not sure where to start?
We get it—quitting is hard, and the road ahead can seem long. But you don’t have to do it alone! We’re here for you every step of the way with advice on how to quit, information about the best quitting tips, and a proven loss aversion therapy to aid you in kicking that nasty habit for good.
Whenever you feel like cigarettes are taking over your life, don’t give up hope – we at Quittercheck are here to help you.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways acupuncture can support your efforts to quit smoking:
If you’ve ever tried to stop smoking, you probably know what we’re talking about.
That moment when you’re sitting in front of the TV in the evening or during your morning commute when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the urge to smoke creeps up on you like a ninja. The craving for cigarettes can also be triggered by various situations: being around people who smoke, drinking alcohol, or during stressful situations.
Whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 hours since your last cigarette, these physical urges are part of what makes quitting smoking so difficult.
Acupuncture helps to quit smoking by curbing cravings by rebalancing the body and helping it heal from the effects of nicotine. It works by stimulating certain points in the body that work with specific organs and systems. When these points are activated during an acupuncture session, they let you rest, relax and breathe deeply, releasing chemicals in the body that stimulate healing, and also detoxify your system.
Balancing the central nervous system
When you use acupuncture to quit smoking, it works by releasing endorphins—feel-good hormones—into your system. When the acupuncture needle is inserted into one of the 361 acupuncture points, it stimulates the release of these natural chemicals.
Endorphins are a class of peptide hormones found in the human body that work to inhibit pain signals from reaching your brain, and they also enhance your sense of well-being. When you feel better, you’re more likely to make healthy choices for yourself. It can also allow you to take your mind off smoking so that you can focus on getting healthy!
Helping with withdrawal symptoms
You might experience a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms during withdrawal—including headaches, irritability, insomnia, and weight gain—and acupuncture can restore balance in the brain chemistry and hormones associated with these symptoms to make it easier to deal with them.
Reducing stress levels
Acupuncture helps lower cortisol levels in your body by facilitating relaxation and reducing stress, which makes it easier to resist reaching for a cigarette when things get hard or stressful (as they often do).
Many people turn to smoking cigarettes as a way to deal with the stress of daily life. Quitting smoking can be stressful in and of itself, not to mention all the other stressors that might be in your life right now. By reducing some of that stress, acupuncture can make it easier for you to focus on quitting smoking and seeing yourself through to success.
Combine With Other Methods For Best Results
Acupuncture is becoming a more and more popular form of holistic healing, and for good reason. It can play an important role in helping you quit smoking and stay smoke-free.…but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re looking for a miracle solution to your smoking habit, you might be disappointed.
The good news is that acupuncture is a powerful tool for quitting smoking. The bad news is that it’s not a magic wand. And it really can make a difference—but that doesn’t mean it will cure you completely on its own. In fact, it’s best used in conjunction with other methods: counseling and nicotine patches or gum, for instance.
Quittecheck is another option you could try with acupuncture. It uses aversion therapy and positive reinforcements to assist you to cope with the toughest times. Users who sign up for the program take a nicotine test each week and pledge a specific amount of money that they will lose if they smoke. Passing tests results in monetary rewards for users while failing tests results in a loss of money for them.
Smoking sucks—and quitting sucks, too. You can’t expect the process to be easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself (and your body). Here’s how:
1. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad. Quitting smoking is hard and it will probably suck for a little bit. But you CAN get through it.
2. Drink lots of water. And eat more fruit and vegetables—vitamin C helps combat cravings and can aid in detoxing your lungs.
3. Try acupuncture to quit smoking! People who get acupuncture while they try to quit have success rates higher than those who didn’t get acupuncture treatment. You will also have to face fewer withdrawal symptoms than those who didn’t receive acupuncture treatment.
4. Tell everyone you know about your plan to quit smoking and that you want their support in doing so. Your friends and family will be more likely to hold you accountable if you ask them to, and that accountability can make all the difference in helping you stick with your goal!
5. Consider trying aversion therapy combined with positive reinforcement—like Quittecheck, which rewards users for successfully abstaining from cigarettes but penalizes them for failing
So don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking acupuncture alone will solve your cigarette problem. It won’t. But if you combine acupuncture to quit smoking with other methods, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to kick the habit for good!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Does acupuncture work for quitting smoking?
Yes! Acupuncture helps to quit smoking through the stimulation of certain points in the body, which can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The best way to find out if it’s right for you is to get in touch with a professional acupuncturist and schedule an initial assessment.
- What is the success rate of acupuncture for quitting smoking?
The success rate of acupuncture for quitting smoking can vary from person to person, but estimates generally put it in the range of 40-50%. The best way to find out if it will work for you is to contact a professional acupuncturist today and start asking questions.
- How many acupuncture sessions are needed to quit smoking?
There are no set rules about how many sessions you will need to quit smoking—it varies from person to person. If you want to give it a try, it’s best to commit to at least 5 sessions over the course of several weeks. If you’re really serious about quitting, we recommend 10-15 sessions over several months
- I’m trying to quit smoking, but I don’t think acupuncture is for me. What can I do?
If you’re not sure if acupuncture is for you, it’s okay—we know it may not be your thing. You can instead try other proven methods to quit smoking, like Quittercheck!
- What are the risks of acupuncture?
Acupuncture has few risks if performed by a competent, certified acupuncturist using sterile needles. Post-treatment soreness and slight bleeding or bruising where the needles were introduced are common side effects. But since single-use, disposable needles have become widely used, the risk of infection is low.