What Does the Treatment Involve?
I gather information about your smoking history and health background. This assists in identifying the behaviors, habits, and triggers that lead to smoking. Some are social smokers, some smoke for pleasure, some smoke alone or for emotional reasons or when stressed. Nicotine is a powerful mood-altering chemical that can be sedating or stimulating, depending on the individual. A few examples of triggers for smoking are:
• Smoking when on the phone
• Smoking when angry, upset, sad or lonely
• Smoking when drinking coffee or alcohol
At the first appointment, your questionnaire is reviewed and discussed, and a physical exam including blood pressure and methods from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as taking the pulse and observing the tongue are employed. The purpose of this interview is to determine the Chinese medical diagnosis for you and the individualized treatment you will receive. Taking into account each person’s unique smoking habits and physical and emotional make-up, every patient’s acupuncture treatment is tailor-made and designed for him or her. No two people are treated exactly the same. At this session, we learn to identify your particular triggers for smoking and how to avoid them. Acupuncture can reduce the cravings and lessen the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. Since the first month of quitting is probably the most difficult, the acupuncture program can ease you through this time. The first appointment is geared toward preparing you and your body to become a nonsmoker. The subsequent sessions are designed help you stop smoking and support your body to deal with the detoxification process. Up to the night before the first acupuncture treatment, you may smoke your last cigarette ever. From that point on, you will be a nonsmoker. The acupuncture treatments for your quit smoking program are spaced out over three to four weeks, usually two treatments the first week, and then based on your individual needs. The treatments focus on any physical and or emotional withdrawal symptoms that may arise, and aid in relaxation. Of course, the program may be modified to fit your needs.
Does It Involve the Ear or are Other Points Involved?
There are no set acupuncture points for smoking cessation. Each patient is custom-treated according to his or her own specific and unique diagnosis. Usually, a combination of body acupuncture points and points on the ear are used. After the needles are inserted, you will relax for about 30 minutes.