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Quit Smoking With the Support of Acupuncture

When people want to quit smoking, they often turn to natural therapies such as acupuncture. This is because acupuncture tends to be a gentle and effective way to reduce cravings, detoxify the lungs, and stabilize emotions as one goes through the smoking cessation process. With that being said, the patient must be fully ready to quit if they want to truly overcome their addiction. This involves understanding how to shift to a new identity and lifestyle of being a non-smoker. Often, this means seriously adapting, or leaving behind old activities, rituals, and even relationships that promoted the smoking habit.

The practice of acupuncture has a long history of helping people with a variety of addictive behaviors. People around the world have turned to acupuncture for alcoholism, drug abuse, food cravings, and other addictions such as gambling and sex. According to acupuncture theory, addiction can be caused by a number of things. Many times, a fulfillment or emotional issue lies at the root of the problem and causes imbalanced or stagnated flow of qi (vital energy). The technique of acupuncture works by specifically unblocking and balancing the flow of qi in both the body and mind.

From a biomedical perspective, addiction to substances such as nicotine creates an imbalance in the way the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are regulated in the brain. An addict requires a regular "fix" of their particular substance in order to maintain a relative balance with their neurotransmitter levels. When the addictive substance is removed, neurotransmitter levels drop dramatically causing irritability, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Acupuncture's role in overcoming addiction is its clinically proven ability to regulate these important brain chemicals without causing unwanted side effects.

Most patients that use acupuncture for smoking cessation come two or three times a week for the first couple weeks while quitting. Chinese herbs are often recommended to assist with the detoxification process as well as to help calm the body and mind. Additionally, practices such as meditation, yoga, and exercise are discussed. These practices support the quitting process, and more importantly, they will serve as an inner foundation to stay off the cigarettes and work towards a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Articles and Research


Auricular Acupuncture, Education, and Smoking Cessation: American Journal of Public Health

When you're ready to quit, call Calgary Acupuncture Centre at 403.455.0880 and get on the road to recovery! You'll be glad you did.

Mitch Wegmann is a registered acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He owns and operates Calgary Acupuncture Centre in the city's southwest quadrant, near the Marda Loop district.

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