Curb Your Cravings
Acupuncture has been successful in treating addictions to smoking, food and alcohol by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, patients often find the relaxing effect of treatments to help reduce the stress brought on by battling an addiction.
Treatments help eliminate the craving for addictive substances and facilitate detoxification; however, symptoms of prolonged withdrawal my last up to 12 months.
Smokers have found acupuncture particularly beneficial in managing symptoms related to withdrawal, including agitation, lethargy, insomnia, bone pain and sluggish digestion. The use of both full body acupuncture and ear acupuncture can lessen the unpleasant symptoms during the withdrawal period, making it easier to stop smoking. After the needles are removed, ear "seeds" or "balls" may be inserted on the points stimulated by the needles. These are small metal balls that are placed on the points with surgical tape. These "balls" may stay in for three to five days and can be stimulated by the patient as needed giving them some relief between treatments if necessary.
Checklist for Smokers
Ready to kick the habit for good? Here are some steps you’ll want to take prior to your first acupuncture appointment:
- Set a date to stop smoking.
- Begin changing habits 1 to 2 weeks before the appointment. For example, if you smoke first thing in the morning, wait an hour.
- The day before the appointment, clean out and put away ashtrays and get rid of cigarettes, lighters and matches.
- Try to schedule a morning appointment, and do not smoke before the appointment.
- Eat at least one hour before the appointment.
Three follow-up appointments are recommended, one within a week and two at two-week intervals. Treatments may continue on an as-needed basis if cravings become unmanageable.