Acupuncture For Smoking Cessation


If you are trying to quit smoking, acupuncture is a natural way to curb your craving for nicotine. While acupuncture may not be as well-known as other methods for smoking cessation, it can offer relief, especially in the acute phase of withdrawal.

Smoking: What Causes The Addiction?

Smoking is an addiction to nicotine. Addiction is a strong dependence on a drug. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco such as cigars and chewing tobacco contain nicotine.

When tobacco is smoked, chewed, or inhaled, nicotine can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Once nicotine enters the bloodstream, it stimulates the adrenal glands which releases the hormone epinephrine.

Epinephrine increases blood pressure, respiration, and accelerates the heart rate. Nicotine increases dopamine which stimulates the pleasure areas of the brain. Long term changes of the brain result in addiction. When addicted smokers try to quit, they experience symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Increased appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Tobacco cravings

Smoking can cause health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, and it increases the risk of heart disease. Although nicotine is addictive, it does not cause cancer. Tobacco smoke is a mixture of carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, and ammonia, which are known carcinogens. Carbon monoxide increases the chance of cardiovascular disease and tar increases the risk of lung cancer.

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Cigarette smoking is responsible for a majority of lung cancer cases. E-cigarettes are battery operated and produce flavored nicotine vapor the appears like smoke. E-cigarettes do not contain the tar responsible for most lung cancer. They do contain some carcinogens such as formaldehyde.

E-cigarettes are not FDA regulated. There is no current way to approve their safety. The long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes are unknown. Because they deliver nicotine without the use of tobacco, they are thought to be a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes and a possible alternative for smokers who are trying to quit. However, e-cigarettes may serve as an introduction to nicotine that can later lead to regular use of tobacco products.

Prescription medication and products such as Zyban, Chantix, or nicorette gum have helped many people stop smoking. But they haven't worked for everyone. Often these products work better when patients also utilize hypnosis or acupuncture.

Stop Smoking With Acupuncture

Tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often needs several attempts to quit. Some smokers are successful after their first attempt, while others may need help. Both counseling and nicotine replacements (sprays, patches, gum, etc.) can help.

Acupuncture has been proven to work best in conjunction with both of these treatments as it aims to balance the energy within the body to optimize health.

Acupuncture for smoking is mainly focused on points in the ear. The points in the ear are some of the strongest and most effective points in the body. In fact, the cranial nerves stimulate the nervous system to suppress the urge for cigarettes.

The points utilized for treating smoking cessation are points focusing on:

  • Addiction (to calm the mind and body)
  • Relaxation (to help sleep)
  • Appetite control (to help prevent overeating)

Several studies have shown that this natural treatment promotes the brain to pump out endorphins, or our "feel-good" hormones. Through the use of needles and targeted pressure, physicians use acupuncture to help their clients as they work through withdrawal symptoms.

The needles used during an acupuncture treatment are hair-thin and are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to assist with smoking cessation.

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In between treatments, your physician may suggest taping small pellets to the acupuncture points on the ear. When cravings hit, gently press on the pellets to stimulate the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate the craving.

Each client is custom-treated according to their specific and unique diagnosis. Generally, a combination of points on the ear and body acupuncture points are used that are believed to influence the organs and energetic pathways associated with smoking.

A typical acupuncture treatment for smoking lasts anywhere from five to 30 minutes, with clients being treated one or two times per week.

The video below describes how acupuncture is performed and commonly asked questions.

Video: Acupuncture Treatments in Chandler AZ


It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quick two or three times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking have failed, smokers often look outside mainstream approaches and turn to alternative medicine.

Learn more about Acupuncture in our Chandler AZ Clinic. Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture can be used alone or combined to enhance many types of treatments and injuries. Many people with chronic pain find significant relief when combining these treatments.

Alpha Chiropractic and Physical Therapy provides treatment for many patients in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and Maricopa. Most patients have never seen a clinic that combines treatments from different providers into improving your pain. Chiropractic Adjustments are enhanced with physical therapy exercises and stretches. Many patients are amazed how their muscle pain and "knots in muscles" are quickly improved with Graston Technique treatments combined with massage.

Therapy and treatments for many types of conditions can be improved with a combination of acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy. Learn more about our unique Chandler Chiropractic Clinic.