Acupuncture has long been used to support people suffering from substance abuse and addictions, including tobacco. More info here.
Acupuncture may help relieve difficulties associated with giving up by:
Normalising the release of dopamine in the mesolimbic system, modifying behaviours associated with addiction
Modulating postsynaptic neuronal activity in the nucleus accumbens and the striatum to reduce nicotine addiction, and
increasing corticotrophin-releasing factor to attenuate anxiety-like behaviour following nicotine withdrawal
AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE - THE NADA PROTOCOL
Pressure points in the ears are especially effective in helping people with addiction. The ear is innervated by cranial nerves and spinal nerves, stimulation of which is thought to have positive effects on a wide range of conditions.
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association promotes a specific protocol (NADA protocol) of five ear points for addiction support. The protocol is known to have a calming influence on the central nervous system. Although initially developed to help people suffering with substance misuse, it has since been found to be effective in other areas such as anxiety management and panic disorder, and trauma recovery.
The NADA protocol has been shown to help clients with the following:
- Reduction of craving for the substance
- A 'clearer mind'
- Reduction of withdrawal symptoms
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improvement of health problems which often accompany long term addictions
- Marked relaxation, a feeling of well being
ACUPUNCTURE AND STRESS
Many people use cigarettes as a way to cope with stress, making quitting very difficult. Smokefree.gov offers some good tips on how to deal with stress in ways other than smoking.
Acupuncture is a well-known stress reliever. Studies show that acupuncture can regulate levels of hormones such as serotonin, our feel-good hormone, hence altering the brain's mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states.
Although the response to acupuncture is very individual, often a patient will feel immediate stress relief after a treatment session. The goal of additional treatment is to make that response last longer. It is normally recommended to have a minimum of one session per week for four to eight weeks.
OTHER-BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE
You may have come to acupuncture simply to help reduce cravings, yet leave feeling improvements in many other areas, such as improved sleep and well-being.
SPECIAL OFFER until 30th June!
Auricular Acupuncture only £10
Appointments available at 6:30pm or 7:30pm, please contact us here to book in.
Read some more important tips about giving up smoking on the NHS website here.
And look out tomorrow for our blog on herbal remedies for smoking cessation.