Quit smoking naturally

Despite the challenges, you can break your smoking habit, and you can do it naturally.

by Dr. Tara Peyman — 

Did you know that after only eight hours of quitting smoking, your blood pressure drops by five to 10 points? After one month, your immune system will have begun to recover from the effects of cigarette smoke, and your energy is likely to improve. After only one year of quitting smoking, your risk of dying from a heart attack will be half that of someone who still smokes.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. There are three reasons you or someone you know may have trouble kicking the habit. First, nicotine is powerfully addictive. Withdrawal symptoms can be challenging to overcome, and physical nicotine cravings, although typically only one to two minutes in duration, can be quite strong.

Second, smoking cigarettes can become a habitual part of your life; you may smoke every time you have a cup of coffee, when you are driving to work or while on the phone. If you are used to having a cigarette at certain times of the day or during certain situations, it can be a challenge to change these habits.

Third, people smoke for a reason. Whether it is the stress of a hard day at work, a difficult relationship or small worries that add up to a stressful day, there is often an emotional aspect to a person’s smoking addiction. In order to quit smoking for good, these underlying emotional elements must be addressed.

Despite the challenges, you can break your smoking habit, and you can do it naturally. The first step is to become more aware of the reasons you smoke. By identifying your smoking triggers, you can take control of your habits and turn them around. Quitting smoking is more than just giving up cigarettes; it is an opportunity to transform your life and the way that you react to situations. It is a chance for you to start thinking and living in a healthier way, for the benefit of not only yourself, but for everyone in your life.

There are several safe, natural therapies that can help you quit smoking. Acupuncture is one natural option for reducing nicotine cravings, promoting better mood and energy, and improving overall health. Acupuncture has been shown to be more effective than most conventional anti-smoking medications and has twice the success rate of nicotine replacement medications for smoking cessation.

There are botanical formulations that act by the same mechanism as the new anti-smoking medication Chantix, without causing as many side-effects. These herbal supplements can be used in combination with other therapies to increase your success rates of quitting.

If you want to permanently end your dependence on cigarettes, your greatest chance of success is with a program that addresses all three elements of your smoking addiction. You may be able to do this on your own, depending on the extent of your addiction. Howevr, professional assistance ensures a greater likelihood of long-term success.

References:

Circulation. 2006 Oct 3;114(14):1490-6.

Am J Public Health. 2002 Oct;92(10):1642-7.

 

Tara Peyman is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor. She practices at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors in Mesa. DrTaraPeyman.com or 480-985-0000.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 2, April/May 2008.

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