Advantages Of Using Acupuncture To Quit Smoking

Advantages Of Using Acupuncture To Quit Smoking

Acupuncture – An Alternative to Assist in Breaking Your Smoking Addiction

One of the most difficult things you can ever do is try and quit smoking. Fortunately, there are quite a few tools you can use in trying to accomplish this goal. Acupuncture is actually one of the more helpful tools you can try, and it’s quite effective in helping you break your cycle of addiction.

Foundations of Acupuncture

Acupuncture centers around very fine needles being inserted in particular points on the human body. These needles are supposed to stimulate the flow of chi or Qi throughout the person’s body, helping them and their natural systems be better regulated. A lot of folks are rather fearful of needles; however, the needles used in acupuncture are very thin, as the thickness is usually no more than a strand of hair, meaning the insertion is often unnoticed.

These needles get inserted quite superficially into the skin, and they stay inside the body while the patient is in a state of rest. Acupuncture works because it helps regulate the natural energy flow of the body, which can help calm down the mind, ease anxieties, reduce nicotine withdrawal and cravings, and even make the lungs stronger so they can have an easier time clearing tar, phlegm, and nicotine residue out.

acupuncture needle insertion in the forehead

A lot of smokers light up so they can deal with energy that is stuck in their body which might reveal itself as feelings of grief, anger, tension, or anxiety. Smoking cigarettes draws in warm air deep into a person’s lungs before the nicotine involved hits the blood stream, where it can work its way into the brain, providing a temporary release from negative emotions, leaving a person relaxed. Acupuncture can help regulate all this stuck energy by moving things along in many of the same ways that deep breathing or a few minutes of silent meditation might do.

Smoking lets someone feel relaxed, and quickly, although it’s a rather false benefit considering how the impact of smoking is far more harmful then the anxiety someone might undergo otherwise. In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s believed that grief is the emotion related to the lungs. Grief is a heavy energy, and a sad one that can easily get stuck, although puffing on a cigarette can alleviate it because the lungs are moving. It’s crucial to find different ways of getting this stuck qi moving. If you still smoke, take notice of how you’re feeling when you have a craving for something to smoke. Observe your feelings for stress of sadness. Spend a bit of time doing analysis to get to the root of your feelings.

Acupuncture, in particular auricular acupuncture of the ear, helps minimize nicotine cravings because it stimulates brain receptors where nicotine typically binds, meaning the patient gets a break from their cravings. Ear acupuncture might be done by a trained acupuncturist, but you can also buy ‘ear seeds’ that are small morning glory seeds placed on medical tape that get stuck on certain spots of the ear. You can also look into auricular acupuncture charts on the Internet and even look into the addiction clinics your community offers. Such clinics are typically free and might offer you a short acupuncture session or ear seed application in order to manage may various addictions.

One of the best benefits that any acupuncture session might offer you is how it calms down your mind while easing your anxiety. People frequently smoke in order to mask any feelings they don’t want to feel or deal with. Acupuncture can help move such feelings safely from the body. People often comment that after acupuncture, they have an easier time falling asleep, get more rest in their sleep, and even sleep longer.

Cleansing

As a final benefit, acupuncture can help the body physically remove nicotine and tar residue from within itself. That lets the lungs start feeling lighter, coughing happens less, digestion improves, and the voice gets less gravely. Your acupuncturist might prescribe helpful herbal formulas that can also help the lungs heal as you refrain from your smoking. One formula that any smoker, quitting smoker, or ex-smoker might want to take is known as Yang Yin Qing Fei. This particular formula is balanced perfectly with herbs that can help the lungs clear out and coughing to stop while lungs and sore throats experience less dryness thanks to the moistening effect.

person-smoking

In the end, the one thing that most accurately predicts someone quitting successfully is their genuine desire to give the habit up. Like many other addictions, the very first step is admitting that you actually have a problem, followed by the desire to change it, and then taking things one day at a time. I frequently ask my patients why they want to quit smoking. That might sound like a rather silly question. However, when a patient responds that they really want to make this life change, then their results are a lot better than anyone who answers that they’d like to give it up just because a spouse wants them to. The same goes for when they say it’s gotten too expensive or they just say that their doctor said they should. All of these are great reasons why someone should quit smoking, but it eventually comes down to an individual’s personal desire to change their life for the better.

This particular personal desire to have better health and quit this addiction is a very powerful force which can move a patient in a really good direction.

You need to ask yourself just why you would like to quit. There might even be multiple reasons that you should post where you can see them.

Remind yourself every day why you’re making this particular choice. All the hypnosis treatment, nicotine gum, and acupuncture in the world isn’t going to make you tobacco-free unless you have genuinely reconciled that this is going to happen. Even when you truly dedicate yourself to quitting smoking, you might still have an occasional relapse and smoke again.

Go easy on yourself, because this is definitely a process that is going to take a while. Consider yourself a practicing non-smoker instead of thinking that you are going to quit cold turkey and won’t ever smoke again. It’s good to avoid having any unreasonable expectations of yourself.

Some studies indicate that people can crave cigarettes as long as 25 years after they smoke. Instead of feeling like quitting just isn’t possible, think about cutting down on how many you smoke and changing your life slowly. Eventually, smoking won’t fit into your self-image or your life. Addictions happen thanks to an evolutionary feedback loop necessary for survival. If a person has a pleasant experience, then their brain will record that positive feedback, sending them looking for even more of that pleasant experience.

People who get addicted to smoking usually don’t have less self-control than others; in truth, they might even have a memory feedback loop that’s stronger than others.

Acupuncture is something that can help break this cycle so that you can come up with with a new sensory feedback cycle that is positive.

Ointments, Patches And Creams For Arthritis Relief

Ointments, Patches And Creams For Arthritis Relief
close up of pain tablets

OTC (over the counter) NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Ant-inflammatory Drugs) such as naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen might be your first choice for relief from pain caused by arthritis. For most people, these medications are highly effective. Their potential side effects however, are worth your consideration.

To your collection of pain relievers, you might consider including other effective products such as lotions, rubs, creams, patches and ointments. With these OTC products you can avoid the potential side effects of pills, while still getting the pain relief you seek.

According to Jason Genin, DO, an orthopedic specialist, in some cases topical medications might be as effective as their oral counterparts, especially where knee and hand arthritis is involved. He continues to say that topical alternatives might be better tolerated in addition to being more effective.

According to Dr. Jason Genin, when it comes to arthritis in the elbows, knees or hands, the effect of these pain relief products is more pronounced. However, when the source of the discomfort is covered by a thick layer of fat and muscle, deep within the body, these products become less effective.

How To Choose The Right Topical Medication

topical cream in container

Available in prescription form or over the counter, topical arthritis pain relief products come in a variety of forms. Dr. Jason Genin says that these products can still cause side effects, mostly irritating the skin, even though they are generally safer than pills.

Allergic reactions to these medications manifest through various symptoms including low blood pressure and shortness of breath. It is important that you discontinue use of the medications and contact your physician if this happens, as it represents a serious medical condition.

Your lifestyle and the severity and location of your discomfort, determines which topical treatment is right for you. Here’s a list of the three different categories they fall into:

  1. Counter-irritant Products e.g. Icy Hot: These are great for any pain that comes about as a result of engaging in physical activity. These products produce a cooling skin sensation by inducing local inflammation. This helps keep the brain from picking up on any discomfort in nearby tissue in addition to reliving inflammation.
  2. Salicylates: Pain relief products which are anti-inflammatory in nature. If your arthritis flares up at night these products, which are related to aspirin, are a great choice.
  3. Custom-made Drugs: These are designed to cater to the special medical needs of the user; they contain a mixture of medications such as anti-seizure medicine and an anesthetic. In cases where the needs of a patient cannot be catered to by commercially available products/medications, physicians prescribe custom drugs which are then made in compounding pharmacies. Since these compounds are generally stronger than most OTC drugs, your physician will closely follow your reactions to their use.

Dr. Jason Genin says that he usually opts for topical compounds when oral medications, which affect the entire body, are not tolerated well by his patient(s). He says that when the patients have given topical OTC drugs a try but they did not work, using a topical compound can help limit the extent of the adverse reaction to a small area, instead of spreading all over the body.

One Part Of The Solution

Your entire arthritis pain relief treatment won’t be made up of a pain relief patch, gel or cream only. To succeed, you will need to combine its use with oral pain medications, proper dieting and exercise. To cater to your specific needs, your doctor can help you create the right mix.

You may also like: Living with Arthritis Pain

How Denial Affects Addiction

How Denial Affects Addiction

The key to understanding addiction is acceptance and to make a plan for the future to change.

When we’re content, acceptance comes naturally.

However, when we’re hurting, it is much more challenging and difficult and we often enter the phase of denial.

What’s Denial?

Denial is the state wherein you have a distorted view of reality. You may ignore the issues, minimize other people’s concerns or even blame others for the issues that are at hand. When considering addiction regardless of whether it’s alcohol or gambling, denial is a coping mechanism that delays facing the truth.

Denial is a very common issue in addiction. No one wants to be an alcoholic or drug addict or even a gambling addict.

Denial allows them to pretend things are better than they really are and it can include a variety of the following behaviors:

Minimizing

When the term addiction is discussed, the person may respond that others are blowing their condition out of proportion or even exaggerating the condition. They may state that “it’s not that bad” or “others do this way more than I do” and so on.

Rationalizing

Addicts will often rationalize stating that “I’m so stressed that I need some help to cope” or “I earned it, I worked hard to earn this”.

Self-Deception

This is a very powerful denial mechanism wherein the person can literally convince themselves that things are nearly as serious as they are.

Addicts often use denial to engage in their addiction without feeling guilty. As they continue this denial, they often face self-destruction from health concerns to damaged relationships with friends, family, and employers.

Sadly, it’s not easy to overcome denial. Anyone who is struggling with addiction has found that they must first “hit rock bottom” before they realize the reality and the magnitude of their addiction. This is the time that they have to accept the reality and seek out help in order to move forward with their condition.

There are other ways that they can work through this reality.

These include:

Therapy

Therapists that specialize in addiction can help them to face their addiction and focus on healing.
Journaling: A journal is a great way to write and focus on their addictive behavior. They can write down how many drinks they’ve had, how much money they have won/lost at the casino, and how much of any given drug they have used in the last day, week, or month. This can give them a true view of what is going on.

Consequences

There are positive and negative consequences of addiction. These include depleted bank accounts, ending of friendships or relationships, loss of jobs, and more all due to addiction. This can be a huge wake-up call to the addict.

Education

A lot of people don’t even realize that they are addicts. However, the more that they learn about addiction, the more they learn and may then recognize themselves and their particular behaviors.

man breaking free of his bonds

Denial is a huge coping tool that addicts use to rationalize their addiction. In this state, which can vary greatly in duration, many will see themselves. It may only last a short time, a few days to a few weeks, however, in others, it may last for many months or years. As long as the person can see this, they will be able to focus. If they fail to see the truth they will relapse and have to start over.

Through therapy and support, they can accept the truth and move toward recovery.