According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20 percent of all adults in the United States were considered smokers in the year 2010—that’s over 45 million people, many of whom long to quit. In fact, this same year, approximately 69 percent of all smokers reported wanting to quit completely and just over half actually attempted to quit. The good news is, nearly half of all adults who smoke are eventually able to quit for good, according to the CDC.
With the numbers soaring in the United States, experts in smoking cessation have begun implementing Eastern strategies, such as acupuncture and herbs, which offer promising results. Research shows that the human body must detoxify traces of nicotine left in the system in order for cravings to be eliminated. Natural approaches to smoking cessation adapted from an Eastern perspective can help to curb the cravings and assist in overcoming addiction. Many smokers prefer to use Eastern approaches to smoking cessation rather than traditional Western techniques like prescription drugs and over-the-counter cessation products.
Acupuncture to Quit Smoking
In acupuncture, extremely thin needles are inserted into particular points on the body to stimulate and improve energy flow to certain areas. The technique is painless.
Acupuncture’s origin is embedded among traditional Chinese medicinal concepts, with some of the earliest examples of metal needles found dating back to 113 B.C. This Eastern approach once lost credibility among the medical world, but is now more commonly accepted throughout the Western world due to improvements that have been made to the techniques, along with extensive research findings.
Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of health and medical conditions and has become an effective method for those wanting to quit smoking. Acupressure, which is based on the same format as acupuncture but with the use of manual pressure as opposed to needles, has been shown to achieve similar results. Studies show ?that some people find relief from the withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine addiction when pressure is applied to specific points on the body.
Eastern approaches to smoking cessation also include herbal supplements to help control cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Herbal support is designed to aid in tissue repair caused by dryness and degradation, as well as withdrawals that lead to emotional unrest, irritability, and nicotine cravings.
The improper use of herbal supplements can be harmful to your health, so it’s recommended that anyone pursuing this line of treatment consult with a licensed herbologist or other professional before taking the supplements.
One of the most common herbal remedies used to control cravings is green tea. The tea can be sipped throughout the day during the detoxification period to help discourage cravings. The tea keeps the system flooded with elements that are thought to prevent the urge to smoke. Lobelia tea is often used in combination with green tea to assist during the detoxification period. Lobelia was traditionally used to eliminate toxins from the body when exposed to snake bite.
Lifestyle modifications can greatly affect your ability to quit smoking. Some useful tips include:
- Getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Avoiding sugar and caffeine that can increase blood acidity and elevate withdrawal symptoms.
- Practicing deep breathing or meditation techniques.
- Exercising to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Identifying environmental triggers that induce cravings, for example, drinking alcohol, arguing with a spouse, or going to a party.
Other mild modifications that can be made at home to reduce the impact of nicotine withdrawals and increase your likelihood of cessation success include drinking more water on a daily basis and getting plenty of rest. Dehydration has been linked to increased cravings, so drinking more water can help prevent slip-ups. Getting ample rest enables you to better combat those stressful and oftentimes unavoidable situations that arise throughout the day. Whether you’re on the search for traditional or alternative methods to halt your smoking habit, strategies are available to help you get through this challenging time.