A Natural Path: Acupuncture and homeopathy can help smokers quit | VailDaily.com

A Natural Path: Acupuncture and homeopathy can help smokers quit

Eliza Klearman
Eagle County CO, Colorado
Kristin Anderson/kanderson@vaildaily.com

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The American Lung Association states that 400,000 people die every year from health complications or diseases caused by smoking. We all know that smoking and chewing tobacco are harmful. We all know they cause cancer and eventually lead to death. All who use tobacco products also know they should quit, but it is one of the most addictive substances and it is difficult to quit using. What to do? Well, put simply, quit!

Nov. 20, 2008 is the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smoke Out.” This event is to help people find resources and support that they need in order to help them quit using tobacco products. I encourage all of you smokers and chewers to make this your time to quit. There is no time better than now. All you need is the will and you will succeed!

There are a myriad of ways in which to quit. Medications, hypnotherapy, nicotine patches and gums, behavior modification, herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies and acupuncture all help people quit. It is difficult to determine which method will work best for you, but I guarantee that if you want to quit, and I mean really want to quit, you can and will succeed, regardless of the method you chose.

The people I have helped quit use a combination of acupuncture, homeopathy and behavior modification to kick the habit.

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a primary system of medicine. The use of acupuncture for addiction, however, is fairly new. It was discovered as an effective treatment for addictive behaviors on accident in the early ’70s and since then hundreds of addiction specific acupuncture protocols have been developed.

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) is one of the most popular and successful of these protocols. NADA applies the principles of Oriental Medicine for the treatment of addictions by using a combination of acupuncture points in the ears. The ears are a homunculus of the body. That is, there are points on the ear that affect every part of the body, similar to the foot in reflexology. Stimulating the points on the ear with acupuncture can help people control their moods and the behavior that leads them to smoke.

My personal experience with this protocol is profound. While in school, I performed one of my clinical rotations at a court mandated program for felony drug and alcohol users. These convicts were required to take part in group and individual therapy and weekly acupuncture and were regularly screened for drug use. If they made it through the program without using drugs, their felony charges were dropped. It was fascinating working with this population. As you can imagine, there were a wide range of types of people, but they all had the common goal of wanting to get clean. They were highly motivated and largely successful.

To quit smoking, you too must be motivated, and acupuncture and homeopathy are adjunct therapies to help you through the process. The acupuncture points I use and the homeopathic remedies that I prescribe work by balancing the body’s chemistry.

They alleviate cravings, calm the “spirit” by helping to soothe irritability and depression and help to repair some the damage caused by tobacco use.

While acupuncture and homeopathy can help you quit, your behavior determines the outcome. Smoking is not one bad habit, it is 10 to 15 bad habits. Breaking those bad habits takes motivation and discipline. No one, and no one therapy, can do it for you.

In honor of the “Great American Smoke Out,” your friends, your loved ones and your health, gather your resources, choose your method of help, and become a non-smoker. You will be free of many bad habits and free to live a healthier life.

Dr. Eliza Klearman is a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist practicing in Eagle. For more information, call 970-328-5678 or email liza@drklearman.com.

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