Smoking Cessation using Specific Acupuncture Protocols

by Dr. Dongfeng Zhou, AP, DAOM

Smoking Cessation using Specific Acupuncture Protocols

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related illnesses. These ailments include cancer, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. The Center also expressed worry over increasing cases of secondhand exposure, adding that it contributes to 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 children every year. Indeed, it is fair to say that most heavy smokers understand that the practice has numerous adverse health implications – thanks to ads that always caution people about tobacco-smoking.

However, many of them enjoy the activity because tobacco contains nicotine, a chemical that makes it addictive (hard to quit). When people smoke, nicotine makes them feel good and they keep longing for more cigarettes. This is because nicotine acts on the neurotransmitters in the brain that further act on the feel good hormone (dopamine). Hence, many find it pretty hard to quit. Do you wish to quit smoking? If so, applying willpower (cold turkey) is the least effective way of kicking the addictive habit. Here’s the game-changer: You should try acupuncture, an age-long Chinese remedy. Not to worry as this article will show you how it works.

Does Acupuncture Help with Smoking Cessation?

If you have read up to this point, you are about to take one of the greatest steps that will improve your health for years. However, like they say, nothing good comes easy. But then, quitting smoking by applying the Chinese traditional remedy is a natural approach. With respect to the principle behind it, what the Chinese treatment does is to significantly reduce your nicotine craving. You have to combine it with Chinese herbs and hypnotherapy to get the most out of treatment.

To shed light on it, hypnotherapy is a type of healing approach whereby specialists apply hypnosis to the mind and body as a way of treating certain medical or psychological disorders. With respect to the herbs used, practitioners say that green tea is effective as it repairs tissues that smoking has damaged over time. Other herbs used are lobelia and St. John’s wort. However, you need to apply caution while using these herbal supplements because they can potentially harm the body system.

Furthermore, it is more advisable to use the Chinese therapeutic remedy in this regard because it has no side effects, is drug-free and is clinically effective. By conditioning certain parts of your body, the remedy helps suppress your craving for tobacco-smoking. In most cases, specialists use the auricular type to suppress the urge. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) has released the guidelines for helping heavy smokers who wish to drop the obnoxious habit. The do-it-yourself protocol does not require in-depth knowledge of the traditional therapy.

Acupuncture Protocols for Smoking Cessation

Just before getting into the nitty-gritty, you need to understand that the essence of this exercise is to stimulate certain acupoints in order to reduce your craving. Once the traditional therapy has helped you reduce the craving, you will notice that your craving for tobacco has significantly reduced.

These are key acupuncture points you need to know to stop smoking:

  • Tim Mee: With the help of a specialist, Tim Mee can alter the way you perceive cigarette smell, thereby lowering the craving. It is located at the finger breadth above the wrist of the arm.
  • Lung 7: To maximize this traditional therapy, you may want to combine Tim Mee with Lung 7. Lung 7 is a little above Tim Mee. Practitioners also focus on Lung 7 to treat conditions like head and neck pains, and circulation in the brain and memory stimulation.
  • Other common acupoints include Yinxiang, Feishu, Weishu, Zhusanli, Hegu, and Lieque.

The NADA Protocols

  1. Gently place up to five disposable, sterilized needles on your ear
  2. Once you have placed them, allow the needles to stay for 30-45 minutes so it can take effect
  • In between the session, you can also use ear seeds as it brings about the acupressure you need to get the most desirable result
  1. Combine this therapeutic technique with counseling, education, medical support, and self-help groups.

Is this Method Effective?

To better understand the efficacy of TCM-based smoking cessation, one has to review some relevant studies. In 2005, a team of researchers carried out a study involving 238 students in two high schools in South Korea. About 159 students were successfully treated of smoking addiction with the auricular method. In the end, the researchers reported that the success rate of the acupuncture for smoking cessation was 88%.

Similarly, in one 2012 meta-analysis, researchers reviewed six studies of 823 habitual smokers. Afterward, they analyzed the results of their findings and concluded that specialists can combine acupuncture and hypnotherapy to help smokers quit the habit.

Seven years later, Jian-Hua Wang led a team to conduct a meta-analysis of 24 randomized controlled trials. What makes this review particularly interesting was the number of participants, 3984! After a thorough analysis, the team concluded that the traditional remedy, educational smoking, moxibustion, and counseling help smokers kick the harmful habit than applying only acupuncture. The team concluded that the traditional Chinese medicine is effective for ending the addictive habit.

Final Thoughts

They say old habits die hard, but you have learned all you need to kick your smoking habit using acupuncture in combination with other methods. While the protocols appear relatively easy, the good thing is that it is effective. Many specialists use the auricular method because the cranial nerves are easy to access through the ear. To be clear, the cranial nerves help stimulate the nervous system in order to suppress the desire to smoke. As shown above, experts have conducted several studies to prove that this treatment is potent. Once you follow the treatment steps outlined above, it reduces your craving for alcohol, considerably lowers withdrawal syndrome, revives your energy, increases your calmness, and improves your sleep. That’s not all. This treatment approach also improves your mood and bowel movement. One study reported that the effect can last for at least 5 years after successful treatment. It added that different acupoints have different effects. Despite that, many specialists continue to use the auricular method for its efficacy. For more information and expert assistance, contact our certified acupuncturist now.


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What is the NADA protocol? National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. A