New Year’s Resolutions: Quit Smoking

New_Years_2013If you smoke cigarettes, perhaps this year’s nagging New Year’s resolution is to finally kick the habit.   There are more reasons than ever to consider it.  Just think what you could do with an additional $3,000 per year?  If cash is not inspiration, why not let vanity motivate you.  Whiter teeth, fewer wrinkles and a fresher smell are all awaiting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • 19 percent of U.S. adults (43.8 million people) are smokers
  • 69% of them say that they want to quit.
  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.
  • In the United States, smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure).
  • On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Want to Quit?

Nicotine is the most addictive substance consumed by humans and although products like the patch and the gum have made it easier

Here are some holistic health tips that may help you reach your New Year’s goal:for some to quit, those products alone won’t do the trick. We all know it takes willpower and a strong commitment to stop, but what is less known is that a holistic approach addressing both the physical addiction to nicotine and the habitual nature of smoking can dramatically increase your chances of success in quitting smoking.

Detox: Attack the nicotine addiction head on by eliminating it from your system, not by finding new ways to deliver it like through a patch or gum.  Acupuncture detox treatments as part of a comprehensive holistic approach to smoking cessation can decrease your physical cravings for tobacco and also lessen withdrawal symptoms. These treatments, which consist of gently inserting hair-thin, sterile, disposable needles at specific points in the ear, are most effective when you receive several treatments a week for a few weeks.

Acupuncture will also help relieve the stress many people undergo when trying to quit smoking. By stimulating the production of endorphins (your body’s stress-reduction hormones), acupuncture can help you feel better physically as well as psychologically.

Move:  Help your body flush out toxins faster by getting physical.  Sweat.  Work out.  Take a yoga class.  Enjoy a sauna.  Get a massage.  Shift your anxiety and stress by moving it out of your body, not by inhaling it.

Get support:  Tell everyone you know.  Attend a support group either online or in person.  Talk to former smokers.  Be open to new ideas- what works for one person may not work for you but try new approaches to see for yourself.

Reinvest: in yourself.  Get to know yourself. Map out all the habitual ways you smoked:  in the car or on the phone; after a meal or with your morning coffee; while having a cocktail or when you need a break from the office.  Replace each of these routines with something new that adds a positive aspect to your day. Keep in mind that an acute cigarette craving typically lasts less than 5 minutes.

The Payoff: when you stop smoking, health benefits begin right away. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse return to normal and eight hours later, oxygen levels in your blood become normal, too. In five years heart attack risk and within ten years lung cancer risk both fall to half that of a smoker.

Quitting smoking is hard, but millions of people have done it. In fact, in the U.S. there are now more former smokers than current smokers. So if you are serious about quitting, try acupuncture. It may provide the extra help you need to overcome your cigarette habit for good.

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308