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smoking acupuncture

Escaping Smoking With Acupuncture

Quitting is your best decision ever!

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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. Also eight extraordinary meridians, which interconnect and again connect back to twelve regular channels. They can seen as reservoir for energy 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 long term addiction, the body’s Qi is said to 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

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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 🙂

Studies On Acupuncture For Quitting Smoking

| Studies | By: admin

Many studies have been conducted in the West into the effect of acupuncture on the people who regularly smoked tobacco products trying to quit smoking. Many of the studies have found that acupuncture positively influenced the number of smokers who quit smoking during the trials. Some have also not found such an effect. Unfortunately, the design of the studies means meta-analysis (comparison of different trial results) is not always reliable. The British Acupuncture Council provides a summary of many research papers on the effects of acupuncture during smoking cessation, many of which demonstrated positive effects (1).

There has been some research into acupuncture and quitting smoking

There has been some research into acupuncture and quitting smoking

The gold standard of scientific medical research is the randomised controlled trial. Acupuncture does not always lend itself well to the trial requirements. This is because it is not a standardised therapy. In real life, ina an acupuncture clinic patients do not get treated using one point, or one set of points every time, always! A wide variety of acupuncture points are chosen each individual appointment, wheteher by acupuncturist using body points, or by ear acupuncturist. Some standardisation has occurred within ear acupuncture but not to extent probably that randomised controlled trials generate within their methodological approach.

Studies which did find positive effects for acupuncture and smoking cessation maybe good reason for smokers quitting to try acupuncture. One interesting study found motivated smokers did better with acupuncture than without. 46 healthy male and female smokers were recruited and it found the desire to smoke was significantly reduced compared to group who had not received acupuncture (2).

1. The British Acupuncture Council. 2000. Substance abuse & acupuncture: the evidence for effectiveness. London: Acupuncture Research & resource Centre. Available at:

2. He, D., Burge J.E. & Hostmark, A.T. 1997. Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers. Preventative Medicine/ 26 (2)pp. 208-14.

Posted by: Daniel Clarke & CK Rivera

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