There's a reason why it's called an addiction; to quit smoking is no easy feat. For individuals who are trying to put down the cigarette, or who have tried in the past and failed, acupuncture may offer a breath of fresh air.
As Scottsdale, Ariz.-based licensed acupuncturist Annie Porter explains, while acupuncture can be of great assistance in eliminating this habit, "It is not a magic bullet." Annie points to a protocol set forth by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association that utilizes five points in the ear to treat all sorts of addictions. While some points are known to calm the spirit and reduce the anxiety of addicting habits, others target the fight or flight response, sedate pain, or detoxify the organs that are sullied by years of smoking.
Andrew Park, an alternative wellness provider in Manhattan, confirms Annie's explanation. "Much like any other addictions like drugs and alcohol, research supports acupuncture to be effective for addiction control," he says. "Acupuncture points for smoking cessation are generally done on the ear and wrist area. Later, other points are used to help restore or tonify the lungs."
Daniel Cook, a licensed acupuncturist in Woodinville, Wash., adds that, although acupuncture primarily focuses on reducing the symptoms of withdrawal, it may not actually break the habit of smoking itself. "Therefore," he says, "while acupuncture can help you stop, it will not make you stop-you still have to do that yourself."
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