Alternative Therapies to Quit Smoking

Alternative Therapies to Quit Smoking

Steps to stop smoking can be one of the healthiest choices you make. It does take some effort to drop old habits but there are many tools to help. Nicotine patches, gums, medicine, and counseling may help. You may also find that alternative treatments such as hypnosis, acupuncture, and yoga play a role in success.

Quitting With Hypnosis

Hypnosis helps you get into a deeply relaxed state. You will then be open to suggestions. Hypnosis therapy may help to:

  • Decrease interest in cigarettes
  • Weaken your desire to smoke
  • Strengthen your desire to quit

Studies have shown some mixed results. Hypnotherapy may simply be more helpful for some people than others. Talk to a therapist trained in hypnotherapy to learn more about the process. It may be one more tool to ease the quitting process.

Quitting With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is believed to work by helping your body relax. This is done by placing fine needles into special points in the body. Needles are often placed on the ear to help you quit smoking. Therapy sessions can last from 15 to 60 minutes.

Many studies have shown that acupuncture was helpful. However, the benefits may only last for a few weeks. This may be enough support to help you get started. You may also find that the benefits last longer for you.

Talk to an acupuncture therapist about what to expect. Try acupuncture as part of your overall quit plan but include other steps like new coping skills and avoiding smoking triggers.

Quitting With Exercise

Regular exercise may play plenty of roles. First it may help keep your mind off of smoking. Second it may ease stress and anxiety and improve mood. Finally, exercise can help you feel better overall. It may also help you lower the risk of weight gain after you quit. Weight gain can occur because people may start to eat more when they quit. Exercise can lower this effect.

Yoga may have a special set of benefits. It may help to ease tension in the body. Some forms of yoga also have breathing exercises. These may ease stress and anxiety. Improved mood and relaxation can both help you stick to a smoking cessation program.

There are many different types of exercise and yoga choices. Programs may be done at home or with a group. Try different classes or sessions to see what works best for you. A regular habit will not only help you get through smoking changes but can also improve your overall health. This may keep you on track for years to come.

Other Ways to Quit

Other unique ways to quit include:

  • Have a contest. A little competition with rewards may help you get started on smoke-free life.
  • Cut back before quitting. Lower the amount you smoke step by step if cold turkey did not work for you.

The most important thing is to not give up. If you have returned to smoking, make a note of what made you want to go back. Form a new plan to help address reasons you returned to smoking. Try alternative treatments next time to see if they give you the boost you needed.

RESOURCES:

American Lung Association
http://www.lung.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca

References:

Barnes J, Dong CY, McRobbie H, Walker N, Mehta M, Stead LF. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(10):CD001008.
Bier ID, Wilson J, Studt P, Shakleton M. Auricular acupuncture, education, and smoking cessation: A randomized, sham-controlled trial. Am J Public Health. 2002;92(10):1642-1647
Cahill K, Perera R. Competitions and incentives for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(4):CD004307
Cigarette addiction. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2019. Accessed November 13, 2019.
How to quit smoking. Help Guide website. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/how-to-quit-smoking.htm. Updated April 2017. Accessed April 18, 2017.
Treatment for tobacco use. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 11, 2019. Accessed November 13, 2019.
Ussher MH, Taylor AH, Faulkner GE. Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014(8): CD002295.
White AR, Rampes H, Liu JP, Stead LF, Campbell J. Acupuncture and related interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;1:CD000009.
2/1/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Tahiri M, Mottillo S, Joseph L, Pilote L, Eisenberg MJ. Alternative smoking cessation aids: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Med. 2012;125(6):576-584.
Last reviewed April 2018 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 11/13/2019

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