According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 17 of every 100 adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. In 2010, seven out of 10 smokers told the CDC that they wanted to quit. Fortunately, quitting smoking is possible. Since 2002, former smokers have outnumbered current smokers.
Experts in smoking cessation have begun implementing Eastern strategies, such as acupuncture and herbs. These natural approaches to smoking cessation adapted from Eastern medicine offer promising results. They have been shown to curb your cravings and assist in overcoming this addiction.
Even after nicotine has left your system, cravings can persist. The human body must detoxify all traces of nicotine in your system before your cravings will go away. Many smokers prefer to use Eastern approaches to smoking cessation, rather than traditional Western techniques such as 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. Some of the earliest examples of metal needles have been found dating back to 113 B.C. This Eastern approach once lost credibility in the medical world. It is now more commonly accepted throughout the Western world due to improvements in acupuncture techniques, along with extensive research findings.
Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of health and medical conditions, and some studies show that it can help people quit smoking. Acupressure is based on the same principles as acupuncture but uses manual pressure instead of needles. It has been shown to achieve similar results as acupuncture in helping people quit smoking.
Eastern approaches to smoking cessation also include herbal supplements. These are taken to reduce cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as emotional unrest and irritability. Herbal treatment is also reported to help repair tissues that have been damaged by smoking.
One of the most common herbal remedies used to control cravings is green tea, which can be sipped throughout the day during the detoxification period. Green tea keeps the system flooded with elements that are thought to diminish the urge to smoke. Lobelia tea is often used in combination with green tea during the detoxification period.
Since the improper use of herbal supplements can be harmful to your health, it is recommended that you consult with a medical professional before taking supplements.
Lifestyle modifications can greatly affect your ability to quit smoking. Some useful tips include:
- Get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Avoid sugar and caffeine since both can increase blood acidity and elevate withdrawal symptoms.
- Practice deep breathing or meditation techniques.
- Exercise to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Identify environmental triggers that induce cravings, for example, drinking alcohol, arguing with your spouse, or going to a party.
- Make sure that you drink plenty of water every day.
- Get a good night’s sleep every night.
Dehydration has been linked to increased cravings, so drinking more water can help prevent backsliding. Getting enough sleep enables you to better combat the stressful and often unavoidable situations that trigger cravings.
Whether you’re on the search for traditional or alternative methods to quit smoking, many options are available to help you get through this challenging time. Work with your doctor to create a plan to help you quit smoking.