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smoking acupuncture

Escaping Smoking With Acupuncture

Quitting is your best decision ever!

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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:

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

Finding An Acupuncturist or Ear Acupuncturist

| Finding a trained practitioner | By: admin

tcm books

Traditional Chinese Medicine textbooks

The most obvious thing to point out is that anyone considering acupuncture needs to find a trained, competent and qualified ear acupuncturist or ear acupuncturist. Particularly for body acupuncture, the training needs to be lengthy and in all cases include hygienic practice.

Ear Acupuncture is taught often as a separate discipline to body acupuncture, as it may combine many different systems of acupuncture, including Chinese points and empirical points discovered elsewhere. Empirical points are those considered to have been found useful in practice – for those people who worry that somehow this makes the practice less authentic or effective, its worth remembering that Chinese Medicine also incorporates empirical points which may not necessarily belong to a particular channel but are simply classed as extra points which are useful in practice. Although this therapy is often used on its own, if you decide to opt for Traditional Chinese Medicine, you need to know some basics about how they train to find a good practitioner.

Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture practitioners in the West these days train for an average minimum of three years, and many professional bodies include continual professional development (more training after graduation) as a condition of membership. Many universities now teach Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture at undergraduate, masters and doctorate level. Those who go onto offer herbs typicaly train for a minimum total of 5 years – as you can see from the Materia Medica book above, there is a lot to learn. It hasn’t always been the case that you could learn at a university though, so longer established practitioners may have trained at non-university facilities, but again they will have had lengthy training. With the practice now accepted at mainstream academic level in the West, it’s also worth mentioning the rising number of practitioners who have travelled from China to practice in many clinics worldwide.

Chinese hospital of Traditional Chinese and modern Medicine combined

Chinese hospital of Traditional Chinese and modern Medicine combined

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners from China itself are able to also train at university level, as the practice has been accepted since the 1950s within the state healthcare system. Large TCM universities were established form the late 1950s. If you unsure about the training of any practitioner, simply ask them – this is seen as a perfectly natural question within the trained ‘TCM community’, or within qualified ear acupuncturists for that matter – no good practitioner would mind you asking.

If you’ve decided to try acupuncture to help you quit smoking, or someone else you know has, its worth remembering that its commonly seen as something that can be best used as part of a smoking cessation programme than hoping it stops you overnight on its own. There is a page of resources to help you get free advice on building a programme for yourself or joining one, on the right hand side. The links here can help you find an acupuncturist or ear acupuncturist.

Posted by: CK Rivera & Daniel Clarke

Ear Acupuncture practitioner Links

Ireland and UK

The Ear Acupuncture Register

Featured member for London, UK:


The Auriculotherapy Certification Institute

Traditional Chinese Medicine (body and possibly ear) acupuncture practitioner Links


The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK)

The British Acupuncture Council


National Certification Comission for Acupucnture And Oriental Medicine


Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute

DISCLAIMER: Please only consult you primary healthcare physician for medical advice, the information here is not medical advice. Also please be aware cannot be responsible for the content of external links, nor do the authors automatically endorse their activities and we certainly don’t receive any sponsorship from them! Every quitter is different, and these links are posted here in good faith and cannot be definitive nor exhaustive.  Many thanks and go for it,  good luck quitting smoking 🙂

Incorporating Acupuncture Into A Smoking Cessation Programme

| How Acupuncture Can Fit In | By: admin

You can succeed - quit smoking

You can succeed - quit smoking

Incorporating Acupuncture Into A Smoking Cessation Programme

Whilst acupuncture and ear acupuncture may help smokers stop, the general consensus seems to be that it’s good to include it as part of a stop smoking programme, not rely on it alone to magically make you stop!

The links at the bottom give some resources for organisations that help smokers find help to quit. In the meantime, here are some tips that people have used:

  • Joining a quitters programme – there are many programmes specialising in stopping smoking, using varying methodologies but you may find it easier to do it if you have encouragement from a coach, mentor, and/or stop smoking group. There are online groups too; however this may mean you don’t get the benefit of face to face interaction with a trained mentor or coach.
  • Encourage those around you to be supportive of your quitting time
  • Speak to your primary healthcare physician – you may be able to get free help, depending on which schemes are available where you live
  • Eat a healthy diet. AS diet consisting of high sugar, high fat junk food is going to make you feel lousy in any case and it’s not a great idea while your body is trying to detoxify itself. Try instead to eat a balanced diet including fruit, vegetables, and drink water and herbal teas to help you as you detoxify.
  • Beware of expensive, so-called ‘miracle products’ – laws on over-the-counter products vary by countries and states, but a little bit like diet miracle pills, if there was a product that did all the work for you, wouldn’t everyone be using it? The question of what is in the product and is it safe is also an alarming factor to consider.
  • There are of course, nicotine replacement therapy (the ones that contain nicotine) products available over the counter in many countries – although some programmes don’t advocate their use, claiming they switch the dependency to another addiction to an unnecessary product.
  • Hypnotherapy, when practiced ONLY by a qualified, ethical practitioner is one popular way to go. The key to it is the above statement – qualified and ethical practitioner. Good hypnotherapists point out the ‘therapist’ ion their titles – it requires proper training to be both safe and effective. There are some products on the market which are for home use, again, at the very least, check the credentials of the hypnotherapist involved carefully.
  • Exercise is great for helping you feel better, even simple inexpensive things like dancing to your favourite songs at home. One often repeated piece of advice is to always check with your physician before embarking on an exercise regime.

Posted by: Kaz Strom

Photo Credits

Jumping girl

Here’s a few links to FREE resources for USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and online free websites you can join.


The NHS’s smoking cessation online presence:

QUIT, a charity devoted to people escaping smoking:

ASH (Action On Smoking And Health), another charity, with a whole page of help lines:

ASH’s Essential Information page:


The CDC has a number you can call to get free help )perhaps even free coaching):


Free resources including phone line from Health Canada:


ASH (Action on Smoking And Health) – may be able to pinpoint resources in your area

For moms to be and new parents

New Zealand:

ASH (Action on Smoking And Health) – may be able to pinpoint resources in your area

Free To Join Online Quit Smoking Websites (although there is also a level of membership you are required to pay for, there is a free level too)

DISCLAIMER: Please only consult you primary healthcare physician for medical advice, the information here is not medical advice. Also please be aware cannot be responsible for the content of external links, nor do we automatically endorse and we don’t receive any sponsorship from them! Every quitter is different, and these links are posted here in good faith. Many thanks.