Tips on Stopping Smoking in a Healthy Way: Dr. Leia Discusses
Acupuncture to Stop Smoking and Other Helpful Resources
Question for Dr. Leia: I was recently working with a program to quit cigarettes, and kept
a stop smoking workbook where I journaled each day.
I was really anxious to try and stop on my own but found that
my smoking habit was more than just psychological. I feel I am one of those people who has a real physical addiction
and it is just to hard to quit on my own.
Can you tell me if there are any stop smoking drugs that do not have
harmful side effects, or if acupuncture to stop smoking really works? I appreciate any tips or health supplements
too that you can share that might help me stop this nasty habit. Thanks Patricia
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Dear Patricia, cigarette smoking indeed can be a strong addiction for
many people, not only psychologically as both an emotional and mental dependency, but also physically because the
potent chemicals present in tobacco have strong measurable biological effects upon the physical body.
quit on your own is admirable and while many people do indeed, succeed, others need the help and support of an
stop smoking addiction specialist, a health professional, a counselor, and/or drugs or natural substances. Because
each person is a unique individual, with a unique body chemistry and unique psychological issues, not all methods
will work effectively or as efficiently for everyone.
It is great that you started working with a journal and have a stop-smoking workbook. This is a wonderful beginning,
to learn more about yourself and how and why you need to smoke and what role smoking is playing in your life. It
might be nice to continue this journaling, this time, not so much with the intent to stop smoking, but to get to
know yourself better and to have fun with the process of discovering different aspects of your inner self. Knowledge
is power and journaling can give you more knowledge about yourself and your motivations, and just maybe allow you
to accept yourself totally just the way you are, complete with your smoking habit or not! Because, when you begin
to criticize, belittle, or chastise yourself for having this habit, it just makes matters worse with you feeling
bad about yourself.
There are many wonderful tools available to assist you to stop smoking. Acupuncture is one proven modality which
has helped many people to stop smoking. Because acupuncture works to balance the meridians or energy channels of
the body, it contributes to the overall general increase in the strength and health of the body. It not only helps
to lessen the desire for smoking, but also increases the immune system, balances and strengthens the organs and organ
systems of the body, improves mental and brain functions, gives an added or increase sense of well being, improves
moods, alleviates depression, and helps with aches and pains in different parts of the body. Sometimes, with regular
acupuncture sessions, other, minor health problems also begin to disappear, almost as if by magic.
The acupuncturist may request that you have one full body acupuncture treatment each week, and also two short ear
acupuncture sessions in addition to this full body acupuncture treatment each week for 5-10 weeks. The two ear acupuncture
sessions usually last only one-half hour in length and consist of only five acupuncture needles inserted in your
ears. These ear acupuncture points are important in that they release powerful brain chemicals which affect the desire
for smoking. In fact, these ear points are so powerful, that in China, patients are wheeled into the operating room
without anesthesia, and doctors perform major operations sedating the patient by stimulating only a few ear acupuncture
Each acupuncture session works synergistically with the prior sessions and will become powerful allies in assisting
you to feel good emotionally, mentally, and physically. The acupuncture pins are usually painless and induce a deep
relaxation as you lie on the treatment table. Some people feel the energy movements throughout the whole body or
part of the body, and some patients may even fall asleep or drift gradually off into Acu-land. (Smile.)
If acupuncture doesn’t sound like your cup of tea or your treatment of choice, then maybe you will want to try hypnosis
or thought field therapies such as Emotional Freedom Technique(EFT), Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), PEAT, Be Set Free
Fast (BSFF), etc. These techniques have also helped many people and have no harmful side effects.
Also available through prescription only, are nicotine patches and chewing gum, which, if used according to your
medical doctor’s directions strictly adhered to, will help you to slowly decrease the amount of nicotine which gets
into your body. However, a word of caution on using these stop smoking drugs: they are not to be used in addition
to smoking, but in place of smoking. They are designed to decrease the amount of nicotine in the body gradually,
instead of suddenly. To use these substances and to continue smoking simultaneously will only increase your habit
and may cause a harmful toxic overdose in your body which could lead to serious consequences. As far as using any
other chemical drugs to stop smoking does not make any sense due to the fact that chemical drugs need to be deconjugated
or broken down by the liver when they are ingested into the body. To further add insult to injury to the overburdened
liver, does not make any sense.
It may be helpful to make sure that you are eating a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, low in salt,
animal fat and sugars, and rich in whole grain unprocessed healthy foods and oils. By adding a good multi vitamin
which contains the full spectrum of B vitamins and an added calcium/magnesium mineral supplement, it will ensure
that you will replenish the vitamins and minerals which are depleted from your smoking habit. Your natural health
doctor or acupuncturist may give you specific herbal supplements which will be geared toward your individual body
chemistry and constitutional type. B vitamins are particularly important for smokers and may even decrease the cravings
for cigarettes. An individualized homeopathic remedy, such as Nux vomica, may also be helpful. Also, detoxification
liquid homeopathics are available at your local health food store or at your health practitioner’s office. Liver
cleansing herbs such as milk thistle seeds, dandelion, and burdock root are a few good herbs to take in either capsule
or tea form.
I hope that you found these suggestions helpful and may they to guide you on your journey to health. Good luck in
your quest to stop smoking.
Dr. Leia Melead