A few years ago, I was walking with a friend around one of the city lakes that has made Minneapolis famous. My friend was from out of town and during our walk, he lit up a cigarette. We kept walking and talking, but very shortly after lighting up, my friend put out his cigarette because he was getting dirty looks and comments about the smoke from some of the people we were passing.
While I was sorry that my friend was uncomfortable, I was also glad in a way. I was glad that I live in a city where smoking is becoming unacceptable. I was also glad because shortly after my friend went home, he quit smoking. This was no easy task; he had been smoking for over thirty years, but he did it, and is still smoke-free today.
As an acupuncturist, I have helped a number of people successfully quit smoking. I have found that those who have been successful have a few things in common, which I believe contributed to their success.
-Every person that I have helped quit smoking was ready and really committed to quitting.
-They realized that there is no magic bullet. While acupuncture helps with the frequency and intensity of cravings, they realized that quitting was up to them.
-They generally cut down from smoking a pack or even two a day, to a few necessary cigarettes each day. Necessary cigarettes are those that are smoked out of habit, such as with your first cup of coffee, or on the drive home from work. Generally, before they quit, they were down to five or six cigarettes a day.
-They had a definite quit date. This gave them a psychological edge in preparing to quit.
-They used acupuncture most frequently in the first week or two after they quit smoking. After the first few weeks, they used acupuncture infrequently, and only as needed.
-Each person I have worked with has commented that getting tobacco out of their life was actually easier than they thought it would be. Few gained weight, and most felt better during the process than they ever thought possible.
If you are a smoker, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Acupuncture can help—make a committment to quit today!