Acupuncture is an ancient holistic therapy, which follows the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Unlike Western physicians, Acupuncturists focus on treating the patient as a whole, taking into consideration the physical, mental, emotional and environmental factors. Acupuncture has shown to be effective in relieving pain, anxiety, migraines, depression and more. Currently, it is becoming a popular smoking cessation therapy in the United States.
In 2006, a study was performed testing the effectiveness of acupuncture, acupressure, electrostimulation and laser therapy in smoking cessation. The results, however, did not clearly indicate whether acupuncture is effective in helping the participants quit smoking cigarettes. This lack of clear results is largely due to the difficulty of setting up a control group with mock acupuncture.
However, a more recent study showed that acupuncture in addition to education about smoking cessation was four times as effective as acupuncture alone. More indicative of the healing qualities of acupuncture, the study showed that education in addition to placebo acupuncture was only twice as effective as acupuncture alone.
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular among smokers. After a treatment the smoker leaves with tiny “seeds” taped to their ear which they can press on if they get the urge to smoke and re-stimulate the acupuncture points. Besides the needling technique, which involves inserting very thin needles into specific points in the body, acupuncturists commonly include other holistic therapies such as yoga. By integrating other holistic therapies into treatment, acupuncturists are able to address the physical, mental, environmental and emotional factors that may be affecting the patient’s behavioral habits such as smoking.