smoking acupuncture

Escaping Smoking With Acupuncture

Quitting is your best decision ever!

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Introduction to Smoking Acupuncture Net

| Introduction | By: admin

In recent years, acupuncture has had both media coverage and some scientific interest for its effects for those trying to quite the evil weed – smoking cessation to end cigarette smoking, rolling tobacco smoking and tobacco  pipe smoking. Ear acupuncture can be performed by practitioners trained specifically to use it as an adjunctive therapy for people trying to stop smoking. Another method is Traditional Chinese Medicine, where smokers are also encouraged to try ear acupuncture to help quitting tobacco, but may also be given some body acupuncture points to try assist their detoxification and recovery of better health.

A mound of cigarette butts

A mound of cigarette butts

History and studies
A great deal of evidence exists to suggest that acupuncture may be used to successfully treat a variety of addictions. It was first reported in the 1970s by Dr H.L. Wen, a physician in Hong Kong, who studied patients with active opium addictions (1). The patients were receiving electro acupuncture for post surgical pain relief but also had unexpected relief from withdrawal symptoms. Dr Wen further studied acupuncture and naloxone (used to treat opiate addiction) an found 51% of patients drug free a year later (1). The studies were repeated elsewhere and from this early work, Dr Mike Smith and clinical team at the Lincoln Hospital, New York began developing ear acupuncture protocols for treating single and multiple drug addiction (2). In 1985, this work was expanded with the formation of the National Association for Detoxification (NADA) to promote the protocols with professionals coming into working contact with drug addicted clients. Studies indicated acupuncture was effective (3), and interestingly, did not appear to be specific to opiate drug detoxification. This lead to its use with a wide variety of addictive substances, including tobacco addiction.

Click on the Categories on the right to find out more about Ear Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine body acupuncture, studies and quitting smoking.

Acupuncture model

Acupuncture model

References

1. Wen, H.L. 1975. Role of acupuncture in narcotic withdrawal. Medical Progress. 2, pp15-16.

2 Smith, M.O. 1988. An acupucnture programme for the treatment of drug addicted persons. Bulletin on Narcotics. XL (1), pp.35-41.

3 The British Acupuncture Council. 2000. Substance abuse & acupuncture: the evidence for effectiveness. London: Acupuncture Research & resource Centre. Available at:
http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/content/Library/doc/addiction_bp7.pdf

DISCLAIMER: NO information here is intended to be taken as medical advice – or used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Any person with any health concerns is advised instead to consult their doctor. In the case of persons seeking therapy using Traditional Chinese Medicine, this information cannot be taken as medical advice and persons are advised instead to consult a suitably qualified professional practitioner.

Posted by: Daniel Clarke

Photo Credits:

A mound of cigarette butts – ‘The World of Cigarrettes’ by http://www.sxc.hu/profile/giacom ‘Acupuncture Head’ by  http://www.sxc.hu/profile/beer

Ear Acupuncture Is Often Used In Smoking Cessation

| Ear Acupuncture | By: admin

Ear acupuncture uses acupuncture points on the skin of the ears rather than other parts of the body (as for example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine body acupuncture). In most styles of ear acupucnture in Europe & North America , very fine needles are inserted to a very shallow depth, often using an insertion method known as the ‘Flying Needle technique’. This involves the trained practitioner to perform a movement to make the needle spin on its insertion, thus minimising pain to the sensitive areas of the ear. Once in place, the needles simply stay put, usually for 20 to 30 minutes, and the patient is encouraged to relax. With a good practitioner, the needling sensation can be described as painless at best and like a small pinch at worst. Some ear acupuncture schools emphasize the angle at which the needles stand to the skin, to ensure the best treatments.

ear acupuncture by perfecto insecto

Ear acupuncture in action

Relaxation To Help With Cravings

Many practitioners have the person receiving ear acupuncture sitting on a chair, not lying on a couch. One idea is this may help the person become used to a feeling of being relaxed, but not necessarily with  sleepy, less than aware sensations that many of us in the West associate with relaxation. For example, if you ask many people of their idea of a relaxing time of it, you may get an answer such as unwinding with a glass of wine or having a beer after a long day. The alcohol depresses the central nervous system and produces a little disinhibtion, creating what the person describes as the ‘relaxation’.  The acupuncture produces a different effect, in that people can safely experience being fully alert, yet feeling very calm and comfortable. For smokers, this calm centering may be a helpful antidote to the anxious feelings that a cigarette craving can produce for them.

Between Sessions

Ear acupuncturists may also offer ear seeds or ear magnets. These are Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal seeds (wang xing bu ling) or special tiny magnetised metal balls, which come on a prepared piece of skin compatible adhesive tape. These are then taped onto the ear like a minute version of a band aid. The seeds are gently massaged by the patient a number of times a day, whereas the magnets require no massage. This helps to prolong the rebalancing effect, or can be useful by itself.

Health & Saftey

Needles used are generally disposable and good practitioners follow strict Health and Safety codes formluated by their professional bodies which will adhere to local laws. Good practitioners also won’t mind you asking them questions about health and saftey issues at all.

How Does It Work?

According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the body’s vital energy, the Qi flows through twelve regular channels, translated from the Chinese commonly as Kidney, Heart, Lung, Large Intestine, Liver, Pericardium, Spleen, Small Intestine, and eight extraordinary channels which connect to each other and the twelve rgeular channels. The aim of regular ongoing ear acupuncture sessions is to help rebalance the flow in the channels and therefore restore the body towards health. As an additional factor, TCM views body and mind as an integrated whole, rebalancing the body’s Qi therefore has an effect in calming the mind – which should be welcome for dealing with some anxious, unpleasant emotions some people have temporarily whilst stopping.

Featured practitioners in London, UK:

http://www.tcm-acu-herbs.com

DISCLAIMER: NO information here is intended to be taken as medical advice – or used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Any person with any health concerns is advised instead to consult their doctor. In the case of persons seeking therapy using Traditional Chinese Medicine, this information cannot be taken as medical advice and persons are advised instead to consult a suitably qualified professional practitioner.

Posted by: CK Rivera

TCM Acupuncture In Smoking Cessation

| TCM Body Acupuncture | By: admin

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) maintains that the body’s Qi (vital energy) flows around the body through 12 regular channels, which link the different organs, and each other. The channels form a network, or matrix of channels all over the body. There are also eight extraordinary meridians, which interconnect and again connect back to the twelve regular channels. They can be seen as a reservoir for energy from the twelve regular channels.

Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture treatment

In ill health, including addictions, the body’s Qi is unbalanced, the flow may be ‘irregular’, ‘unsmooth’  and therefore the person experiences various symptoms of body and/or mind.

A very simple description of acupuncture points can be seen as places where the Qi can be influenced; therefore this is why they are needled. The needling helps to influence and correct the disordered Qi along the channel, and regulate the disordered Qi of the organs.

In any long term addiction, the body’s Qi is said to be profoundly  affected. Since TCM understands that imbalance in one channel or organs will over time have an effect on other organs and channels, points on other channels are usually also chosen to reflect the patient’s symptoms and general emotional patterns.

TCM acupuncture clinic sessions may involve body and ear acupuncture needling simultaneously, as neither is contraindicated. Within TCM, the ear would be as theoretically valid as only other place to needle, although it has to be said that lower legs and arms and the back are perhaps most commonly used along with points at or near the affected body part. Interestingly, in modern times, many ear acupuncturist colleagues specialize only in working on the ear, feeling its effects are adequately powerful for their purposes.

Acupuncture generally  involves a health consultation before points are chosen according to the TCM diagnosis. The acupuncturist leaves the room to allow the patient to roll up trouser legs or remove a shirt. Towels are usually left on the couch to avoid them feeling cold or embarrassed by feeling ‘over-exposed’. The practitioner then makes sure the patient is comfortable and inserts the needles. In the West, generally speaking practitioners use sterile disposable fine needles, manufactured specifically for acupuncture. (In Europe these must carry a CE mark on the packaging to show quality control.) The needles are inserted carefully, and then they stay in place for usually around 20 to 30 minutes. Most practitioners leave the patient to relax alone, checking on them periodically. At the end of the treatment, the practitioner removes the needles for disposal into a sharps bin.

A usual course of acupuncture is 6 to 10 sessions, although this will vary from patient to patient and practitioner to practitioner.

DISCLAIMER: NO information here is intended to be taken as medical advice – or used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Any person with any health concerns is advised instead to consult their doctor. In the case of persons seeking therapy using Traditional Chinese Medicine, this information cannot be taken as medical advice and persons are advised instead to consult a suitably qualified professional practitioner. Also please note acupuncturists’ working styles do vary between practitioners, so this general overview can’t be used any kind of ‘benchmark’ for judging their standards! Many thanks for your understanding.

Posted by: Daniel Clarke & CK Rivera