The methods used to help a person quit smoking are as varied as smokers themselves. Some people find that they can quit smoking just by will power alone, going cold turkey and butting out forever. Others may find that in order to stop smoking they may have to enlist the help of others in the form of a support group or other network. Others turn to methods such as the patch or some types of chewing gum. As cultures begin to merge, however, there are more and more medical practices that have previously been unknown to Western science that may have many benefits to those who wish to stop smoking. Some of these alternative methods are discussed in this article.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture originated in China. It is the practice of inserting long, thin needles into various acupuncture points on the body, which is said to restore mental health and well being. As with many Far East ideas, acupuncture is concerned with restoring balance as a whole, rather than applying the health theories of the West to any one assigned area. The piercing points are areas which help to shock the body back into a healthy balance. Acupuncture is highly debated in medical circles, and studies have never conclusively proven that it is an effective treatment for anything at all. However, many patients who have undergone this treatment sweat by its results, and thus it may indeed be an effective tool when it comes to the battle to quit smoking. Addiction, after all, is in part a mental affliction, and thus if a patient believes that a treatment is working then it is possible that it is doing so. Additionally, acupuncture has been demonstrated to assist in the release of endorphins, the full effects of which on the body as a whole are still unknown to some degree.
Hypnosis: Another method that many smokers try to use when attempting to quit is hypnosis. It is vital that hypnosis be understood in its rightful context, rather than the societal myth. Hypnosis works along the same lines as subliminal messaging; by applying the power of suggestion to a subject who is concentrating on another matter, it is possible to affect the thinking processes of the brain. In this way, hypnosis can be used to curb the cravings that come with nicotine addiction and often lead the smoker to relapse.
There are also several changes to lifestyle that can be made in order to increase the amounts of dopamine found within the body. Dopamine is the active ingredient in Zyban, and levels of dopamine can be increased through a higher protein intake, stress reduction, and by taking vitamins and herbs such as Indian ginseng and magnesium.
Despite these methods and there levels of success, however, it is important to note that the key ingredient when it comes to smoking cessation is will power. No matter which other method you choose to assist you in ending the cravings and lessening the physical symptoms of withdrawal, sooner or later it is going to come down to your ability to say no to a cigarette that will ensure the end of the habit’s hold on your life.