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Auricular Acupuncture for Nicotine Addiction

In honor of “World No Tobacco Day day,” celebrated annually at the end of May, I offer some points (for thought and acupoints) on the phenomenon of smoking and its cessation.

History of No Smoking Day

In the late 1980s, the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution to hold “No Smoking Day” worldwide. The goal was to raise awareness about the health effects of tobacco smoking. One reason for this event might have stemmed from regret over misleading advertisements from the 1960s and 1970s that encouraged people to use tobacco products.

Harmful Effects of Smoking

Every year, nearly 20,000 people in the Netherlands die from smoking-related diseases. Due to the high mortality rate and the significant economic burden of treating these patients, the Dutch government warns against the use of tobacco products and strives to protect non-smokers from passive smoking.

Smoking is a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and significantly contributes to cancers in other areas of the body such as the mouth, throat, esophagus, and organs like the bladder, kidneys, liver, stomach, and pancreas.

How to Quit Smoking

This is the million-dollar question. First, there are many different methods, and probably each person needs a different approach. But even before trying various methods, a decision must be made along with the motivation to execute it. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. The path may be bumpy, but if the decision is made, Chinese acupuncture is a natural treatment method that can help curb nicotine cravings.

Role of Acupuncture assist in cessation

Chinese acupuncture is known for its ability to affect the central nervous system. It triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, which help calm and reduce the desire to smoke. Acupuncture can influence brain areas related to addiction and control. It not only suppresses the craving to smoke but also helps in the detoxification process itself. Additionally, it aids in reducing the side effects of quitting smoking. The aim of the treatment is to support the body through the withdrawal process and address issues that may arise, such as bowel movements, sleep, and mood.

History of Auricular Acupuncture

The use of ear acupuncture began to develop in Europe in the 1950s. A French neurologist used the ear as a reflex mechanism to stimulate the brain and encourage the body’s healing and repair. Since then, the method has continued to develop and has become very popular among doctors in Western Europe, in countries such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Since the 1980s, the American organization NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) has adopted the ear acupuncture protocol. This protocol is used in treatments for addictions to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. To date, more than 10,000 practitioners, including doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers, have been trained by the organization.

Tips for Quitting Smoking

  1. Save Money: Save the money you used to spend on packs of cigarettes and allocate it for a specific purpose. It will feel good to know that the money is going towards something positive.
  2. Exercise Regularly: Engaging in physical activity is an excellent way to remind yourself why you need to stay away from cigarettes and smoking. Exercise is a great stress reliever and can help you function better, keeping your mind off the immediate need for a cigarette.
  3. Drink Green Tea Daily: Green tea contains antioxidants that help detoxify and reduce nicotine cravings.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink large amounts of water throughout the day.
  5. Read Allen Carr’s Book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking”: Many patients have reported that reading the book helped them quit.
  6. Use Chinese Acupuncture: Combining ear acupuncture, which affects brain areas related to addiction, with body acupuncture points to balance bodily systems, creates a comprehensive treatment. Additionally, special needles can be left on the ear for several days between treatments to enhance the effect over a prolonged period.

Good luck!

Sources:

  1. Translated originally (including image use) from Dutch Town Magazine in The Netherlands

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