If ‘quit smoking’ is topping your list of New Year’s resolutions, then you might be interested to know that there are natural ways to help you kick the habit once and for all. We catch up with Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor Grace Yu from natural health clinics Oriental Health and Balance Health to find out more.
Quitting smoking is one of the best lifestyle changes a person can make to improve their health. There are so many reasons to quit – not only does it harm you, but also your loved ones and other people around you. It’s never too late to quit. Here are six easy tips to become smoke free naturally with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
6 Tips to Stop Smoking using Chinese Medicine
1. Try acupuncture
For a long time, acupuncture has been regarded as an effective way to fight addictions, and it is now a favoured method for quitting smoking in many countries due to the fact it is a simple yet effective therapy and a natural stress reliever. According to the TCM perspective, you smoke to deal with blockages inside your body that cause feelings of anxiety, tension, anger or grief. Nicotine temporarily relieves these negative feelings and provides short-term relaxation. However, cigarettes have numerous side-effects and also leave a pile of toxins in your body, including tar and phlegm. Acupuncture is a natural way to regulate your body flow and provides you with similar feelings of relaxation and relief. Moreover, it helps your body to naturally remove residual tar and nicotine.
2. Use Chinese medicinal herbs
Chinese herbs are commonly used in TCM to lessen your reaction to stresses which often trigger the desire to smoke. Astragalus has strong antioxidant effects that will help you reduce the oxidative damage from nicotine. A study by H.J. Lee and J.H. Lee in the 2005 issue of The American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that a medicinal herbal tea with astragalus decreased the nicotine cravings of smokers during the four-week treatment. Secondly, John’s wort or Hypericum Perforatum is traditionally used to relief pain and anxiety. According to a study by C. Mannucci in 2007, St. John’s Wort can act as an anti-depressant and regulate moods. However, St. John’s Wort should not be used in combination with other anti-depressants.
3. Exercise frequently
Research shows that smokers who take up a regular exercise programme have a much higher success rate. In addition to acupuncture, exercise is an excellent stress reliever and can replace your dependence on cigarettes for stress relief. Qi Gong will teach you specific breathing exercises and movements to help you become more energetic and improve your ability to stay calm in stressful situations.
4. Avoid falling back into bad habits
Stay away from social situations where you are surrounded by smokers and cigarettes until you are clean of the desire. This does not mean you are forced to avoid your friends or family. Regardless of their own habits, clearly communicate to your social circle that YOU are determined to quit smoking and ask for their full support.
5. Use acupressure points at home
There are particular acupuncture pressure points that are linked to combating a nicotine addiction. For instance, one point called Tim Mee is located near the wrist crease on the inside of your arm. Another point is called Zu San Li and is located below the knee on the anterior tibialis muscle. Massage these acupuncture points at least 50 times a day (for about 1 to 2 minutes) whenever you have time or feel like you need to.
6. Train your brain muscle
The major problem during the process of quitting is willpower. We all know that our brain will try to find excuses to smoke again. You can teach yourself to keep a strong will by training your subconscious mind to become immune against stressors that could pull you back to your addiction. In order to align your subconscious mind with your goals to quit smoking, I advocate a holistic and integrative approach to battle your addictions. Your course should be complemented by treatments that enhance the power of the mind. For instance, a very popular and effective treatment is to combine acupuncture with hypnotherapy, which can help you by directly dealing with your subconscious thoughts, feelings, and belief. The most important thing during your fight against your nicotine addiction is your mindset to quit smoking. Think of thecore reasons why you want to quit. What motivated you in the first place? I strongly recommend you to meditate from time to time to gain clarity and to reduce stress. Stay positive, stay focused.
Originally published 20 January 2016 on Localiiz.