Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Can acupuncture help me quit smoking?

I recently read that acupuncture can be used to help people stop smoking. I'm wondering if acupuncture can help me quit. What happens during an acupuncture session and how will it get me to quit for good?

21 Answers

There is lots of research and Youtube videos that will tell you it does. I will say there is no magic. So, if you want to quit, yes, it helps.
This treatment is always difficult. As in you need to be ready and determined to quit. Any treatment that I would do or give helps with detox, calming the cravings and rebalancing the body. But if you are not mentally ready, nothing will work. I recommend 3 sessions a week to start and then back down as you feel better and more comfortable. Hope that helps. Good luck!
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The treatment eliminates your need to smoke. If you smoke right after your treatment, you throw up.

As an experienced Respiratory Therapist turned doctor of acupuncture, I am very familiar with smoking cessation. To stop smoking is one of the hardest addictions to stop and most smokers will try to stop upwards of 40 times before they are successful. First success step is you must be committed. You must be ready. You must be willing to do anything and everything it takes to stop. If you are looking for acupuncture to be miracle treatment and you are doing nothing on your part to stop, then you will be disappointed. Acupuncture is very effective in calming the mind and emotions often associated with smoking cessation, including anxiety. Successful outcomes require compliancy in treatments which usually includes treatments 2 times a week for upwards of 8 weeks. Emotional and social modifications such as affirmations as to your purpose for quitting, the health benefits, and analyzing the social situations that you might put yourself in that could cause you to be tempted to start smoking again. Usually, a life modification of some kind is in order. Quitting for good is up to you. Never forget your "why" for quitting.
Yes, acupuncture, especially ear acupuncture, can help for quitting smoking. There is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) that specializes in quitting smoking. The following are the benefits of NADA:

-Reduced cravings for alcohol and drugs, including nicotine
-Minimized withdrawal symptoms
-Increased calmness, better sleep, and less agitation
-Relief from stress and emotional trauma
-A discovery of inner quiet and strength
No. Your decision and desire to quite cigaret is the best treatment. Make a decision and set your mind to get rid of this bad habit. People have used acupuncture treatments to quite, but results are not that great because they were not ready to quite. You need a strong will to stop. Good luck!
In my experience it is about 60/40. 40 percent do very well.... and stop completely. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed to work 100% of the time, but I have found this medicine to work very well. Don't give up if you try someone in my field and they don't help... we aren't all created equally. Make sure you start with a fully trained acupuncturist (not an MD or Chiropractor that did minimal hours of training to get a license).
People smoke with few reasons, one is addict to it, some are for de-stress and relaxation. some are just habits.
As long as you want to quite smoking, acupuncture treatment supports you with deep relaxation and detoxification. So you are not depending on smoking.
After treatment you may find out the cigarette smoke different which is not as present.

That is why people use acupuncture to quite smoking.

Hope you can quite it successfully soon

Jonathan Fang Lic. Ac.
Acupuncture is very helpful in the quitting process but you must really want to quit. I have found that if my patient isn't dedicated to quitting, it will not be effective. There are 2 ways to work with addictions: one is the NADA protocol which utilizes auricular acupuncture, and the other is with pure acupuncture treatments that address the reasons for your addiction. I work with the later (and some meditation) and have found that that approach is far more effective in helping someone quit for good.
Yes, there is actually a specific protocol called NADA that has been developed and is widely utilized and well researched, specifically for smoking cessation.
Thank you for your question. The answer is yes, I have helped many of my patients give up the smoking habit through acupuncture treatment. Additionally, for the month of November only we are offering our STOP SMOKING treatment for half price in observance of the Great American Smoke Out! What happens in an acupuncture session is that very thin needles are inserted in specific areas and left there for a period of 20 minutes. Although acupuncture can assist you with smoking cessation, you have to be willing to try to do your part and want to quit. And yes, you can do it!
There are a few layers to your question, so I will try to elaborate without being too wordsy. Yes, acupuncture can help with quitting smoking and yes acupuncture may be able to help you but there are perimeters.

First, you need to want to be a non-smoker. You have to embrace the idea that you never want to smoke again. Smoking is a habit, but also a lifestyle and for some people a social event or a coping mechanism. To quit forever, you have to decide and choose this to happen. In other words, acupuncture can help you quit, but if you don't want to acupuncture can't "make you" quit. The choice is always in your hands to buy a pack, bum a cig, etc. We have no control over your free will.

Because it is an addictive substance, nicotine can easily pull people back into the habit if they slip back into usage. To quit because someone else wants you to or you think it's a good idea might have you quit for a while, but if you really like smoking and take a few now and again, you will most likely become a smoker again. This is a repeat of paragraph one, which is the most important concept and trickles to this paragraph.

So, for the very end of your question "how will it get me to quit for good" isn't up to the treatment only, but up to you. It's like eating healthy, we can start you on the right track, but you have to stay on it.

What happens during a session varies with each practitioner and with each patient. The treatment will usually involve some needles on your ears (for the addiction) and some body points (to regulate body functions, emotional components, etc) and may or may not include an herbal formula. Some patients can quit right away, most after 3 days (I generally require a 5-day in a row strategy, but not all practitioners do) some need a repeat but most can be done in 3-5 days. Of course, this is dependent on paragraph one above - if you keep sneaking cigs or just don't care, we cannot force you to quit. We can only help your body regulate itself to clear out and help the organs function more adequately. There is an ear point that can help you be repulsed by the smell, so that can help too, but I had a patient rip it out b/c they hated the taste of the cigs (obviously they cared more about smoking than quitting if they rip out the needle to smoke).

The treatments will help you feel calmer, help you feel more settled, help your body process the toxins and function more smoothly without the habit, etc. Always be honest with your practitioner of your progress and be sure to get a licensed practitioner and someone who has done this in the past with success. Not all practitioners are well versed in an appropriate process.

Good luck.
This is a good question, the answer is complicated. Acupuncture can help you quit smoking if you're ready to quit smoking. Typically, for addictive type issues, we use a set of 5 points in the ear. These points were developed initially to help people get off hard drugs like heroin. Over time, we've found that these same points also assist folks in quitting other addictive behaviors like smoking. As near as we can tell, what's happening is the acupuncture affects a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA. This neurotransmitter is responsible for chilling out your central nervous system and through this action it makes cravings less severe as you're weaning off addictive substances.

Acupuncture sessions can be somewhat divided between initial intake and follow-up. During an initial intake you're going to spend anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes with a practitioner asking you a lot of questions - many of which will seem like they don't have anything to do with your core issue. After the questioning, they'll probably look at your tongue and check the pulses at both wrists. After that, they should explain their findings and provide your initial treatment (which can be a variety of things depending on the practitioner). In a follow-up they're going to ask a few questions, check your tongue and pulse and then provide a treatment (which, again, can be a variety of things depending on the practitioner). Ear points in addiction are often not stimulated with needles, sometimes we use a seed on a sticky backing. These are put at various points on the ear and can remain in place for several days providing longer treatment.
Yes, acupuncture can help quit smoking. Thank you for the question.
Yes, it will help, because acupuncture takes care withdrawal symptoms.
There are many ways to treat people who want to quit smoking with acupuncture. I use a 3-week protocol where I have people come in every day for ear acupuncture, and I give them herbal forumulas, as well. I had someone say that it changed the desire for a cigarette from filet mignon to hamburger. It helps you get through the detox/withdrawal period, but after that, it's still up to you.
Yes, it reduces craving for tobacco, as a result, to stop smoking.
Acupuncture is great for supporting smoking cessation. It helps a lot with the cravings, mood swings, and fatigue that can come along with quitting smoking.
Besides acupoints on the body, there is a specific set of acupoints on the ears that help a person stop smoking or quit other addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs. During a session, small, stainless-steel, disposable acupuncture needles are inserted into 5 points on the outer surface of each ear.

Multiple studies have confirmed the effectiveness of the NADA ear protocol, named after the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association where it was developed. Clients report reductions in cravings, stress, anxiety, minimized withdrawal symptoms, better sleep, and less desire to continue the addictive behavior. Check out the website to learn more about this successful treatment.

Acupuncture is great for reducing cravings, helping the lungs and other organs heal, reducing the stress associated with quitting (the snappy-snarlies) and making the process of quitting easier. I've patients quit in as little as one session and others take as many as 10. However, the thing we cannot fix is the habit.

If you have smoked for a long time the trick isn't dealing with the cravings. With acupuncture that's the easy part; it's figuring out what to do with your hands that's the biggest obstacle and reason may fail to quit. Finding new habits while driving, when stressed, after meals, while on the phone, etc. is the challenge. So, when trying acupuncture keep in mind that it will likely be very helpful with cravings, but you'll need to have some sort of plan to tackle the habits that have taken years to establish.

So, with this understanding, let's revisit your questions:
A: Yes
A. Thin, hair-like needles will be inserted most likely into your ear and sometimes into points on the hands, arms or legs. However, for smoking cessation the needles usually go on the ears.
A: As I mentioned above, acupuncture can help reduce and even stop the cravings, help the lungs recover, ease stress and irritability (and more.) However, the desire to quit is important, as is the need to make new and healthier habits and acupuncture cannot help with those things.

In my experience, those quitting because loved ones are pressuring them to to quit has a high rate of failure. So please keep in mind that if you feel forced into giving up smoking, quitting will be difficult without changing the mindset.

I've helped many quit smoking for good, but I've only ever had one success case where a patient was able to quit with only a few sessions when pressured into and that was because his doctor told him his life depended on it.

I hop this helps.

Yes, acupuncture can be very beneficial and effective in helping you quit smoking. However, it may take more than one session and your willingness of quitting.

Best regards,

Danny Khounh, LOM.