If you’re trying to quit smoking, you know that it may be one of the hardest things that you may have to do in life. Nicotine cravings, as well as the withdrawal symptoms that include fatigue, irritability, and the gnawing desire to have just one cigarette. Although it is not as well known to help with cravings as nicotine patches and gum, acupuncture can help to offer relief as you undergo this huge milestone in your life and aide in kicking the habit for good.
Some people turn to acupuncture due to the fact that they cannot tolerate the drugs that are commonly used for tobacco cessation, and unlike any prescribed medication, acupuncture has essentially no side effects. It is actually quite common to notice other side benefits from acupuncture ranging from improvements in your sleep or your mood.
How Acupuncture Helps With Your Cravings
It is found that there are pressure points in the ears that are very effective in suppressing cravings. Your cranial nerves, which are accessed through the ears stimulate your nervous system to help suppress your urge for cigarettes while also engaging a relaxation response.
Studies have shown time and time again that acupuncture promotes the brain to release endorphins, or “feel-good hormones”, which can help people better tolerate their withdrawal symptoms. Generally, patients that come in for acupuncture treatment to help with quitting cigarettes report having fewer cravings, decreased irritability, an improved mood, improved bowel movements, and improvement in their sleep.
A study conducted in 2001 published by the American Health Foundation and Academic Press shows that adequate acupuncture treatment can help motivated smokers reduce or even quit smoking entirely, with its effects lasting for at least five years.
Can Acupuncture Help Me Quit Smoking?
As the goal of acupuncture treatment is to help in curbing your cravings for nicotine itself, you should be nicotine-free for at least 24 hours before your first treatment session. This shows that you are ready to take the steps necessary to quit smoking altogether. If, for instance, a patient’s spouse schedules the appointment for you or you’re not ready to throw out the pack of cigarettes in your pocket on your own, you may not be mentally ready to quit.
However, if you truly want to quit and are looking for ways to make the process of quitting easier as you withdrawal and go through cravings, acupuncture has shown to be quite effective. So all in all, if you’re ready to take the first step, acupuncture can help to make the next steps you’ll be taking much easier to handle!