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What can acupuncture do to assist in quitting smoking? Acupuncturists are trained to address addictions, especially nicotine addiction, following the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We assess the addiction from several perspectives, inclusive of the physical, mental and emotional addiction. There are many acupuncturists who utilize a technique where fine needles are inserted into a set of five acupuncture points on the ear (auricular acupuncture see photo below), as promoted by The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), a not-for-profit organization who teaches and endorses this acupuncture detoxification protocol. You may even be sent home with small bead placed on the ear using adhesive tape, that when stimulated, can continue to help curb withdrawal symptoms (an application of auricular acupressure).
In general, expect frequency of visits to be several times per week for the first week or two (recommendations vary per acupuncturist and patient’s condition). My goal in the treatment plan is to support patients through the acute phase of withdrawal, improving your success at kicking the nicotine habit.
Commonly, patients experience a decrease in cravings, changes in sensory perception as the taste and smell of cigarettes becomes intolerable, and an increased state of calm and relaxation.