Acupuncture Can Help You Give Up Cigars
Quitting smoking just may be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. Cravings, irritability, and other withdrawal symptoms may make you decide to light up after just a few smoke-free days or weeks.
Unfortunately, your health may suffer if you begin smoking again. Many people assume that cigars aren't as unhealthy as cigarettes, but some cigars contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Although prescription patches, inhalers, and nasal sprays can be helpful if you're ready to give up your cigar habit, the products can cause unpleasant side effects. Acupuncture treatment offers a better alternative.
The Facts About Cigar Smoking
Cigar smoking may not be as common as cigarette smoking, but it's just as bad for you. The National Cancer Institute reports that cigars contain more tar, toxins, and cancer-causing substances than cigarettes. If you smoke cigars regularly, your risk of developing heart or lung disease and cancer of the pancreas, oral cavity, lung, esophagus, and larynx, increases.
Your habit may also affect your social life or career. After all, it's hard to catch up with friends when you and your cigar have been banished to the backyard.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Acupuncture offers a natural, completely drug-free smoking cessation approach. During treatments, your acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at key locations on your body and ears. Insertion isn't painful, although you may feel a mild tingling or aching sensation when a needle is first inserted.
Your acupuncturist may also tape small pellets to your ears before you leave the office. Pressing on the pellets stimulates the acupuncture points and reduces cravings.
Acupuncture treatment helps control several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Cravings. It can be extremely difficult to resist cravings if you've just given up smoking. Although you may still think about smoking from time to time, you probably won't have an uncontrollable urge to light up a cigar after a few acupuncture treatments.
- Irritability. Irritability and jitters just may be the worst effects of smoking cessation. When you're constantly tense and irritable, you may do anything to stop those unpleasant feelings, including lighting up. Acupuncture won't just relieve the jitters but will help you feel more relaxed and calm.
- Insomnia. Falling asleep and staying asleep can become more difficult in the days and weeks after you quit smoking. Acupuncture induces relaxation and offers proven sleep benefits. In fact, you may want to schedule your appointment for the later afternoon hours to take advantage of this effect.
- Physical Symptoms. It's not unusual to feel awful after you quit smoking. As your body adjusts to your new normal, you may experience headaches, stomach aches, abdominal cramps, sweating, tremors, and other unpleasant symptoms. Your treatments will reduce those symptoms and help you feel much healthier.
Acupuncture not only assists you in overcoming initial withdrawal symptoms but also offers long-term benefits. Researchers who published a smoking cessation study in Preventive Medicine reported that the effects of acupuncture treatments may last as long as five years. Study participants reported that the treatments changed the way tobacco tasted and reduced their desire to smoke.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
You'll probably visit your acupuncturist's office several times a week during the first weeks after you quit smoking. He or she may then recommend monthly treatments for three to six months or longer. Your treatment may also involve herbal medications and healthy lifestyle recommendations.
Are you ready to stop smoking for good but need a little help? We can help you manage your cravings and cigar withdrawal symptoms with acupuncture treatment. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Acufinder: Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
Mayo Clinic: Is Cigar Smoking Safer Than Cigarette Smoking?
National Cancer Institute: Cigar Smoking and Cancer
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
Pub Med: Preventive Medicine: Effects of Acupuncture on Smoking Cessation or Reduction, 11/01