Addictions come in many guises, and may often have built up over time. Sometimes, taking that first initial step is the most difficult action to take – yet once it is made, it can be a relief to start the process of ‘giving up’. It takes a highly motivated person to use acupuncture to break an addiction or dependency cycle – including the decision to quit smoking. With all addictions, during the process of withdrawal, you may experience strong physical or psychological reaction which might include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, insomnia or poor sleep, cravings or appetite increases, metabolic or weight changes, headaches and/or fatigue. These symptoms may also be gently treated with acupuncture, together with other integrated therapy techniques as appropriate.
Before your first appointment, a detailed consultation questionnaire is shared with you, to help gather information about your history and health background. The form is used to highlight or identity patterns, behaviours, routines, habits and triggers that may influence the addiction or dependency, and is used as a basis for discussion. During your consultation and first treatment, radial pulse, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pulse palpation and tongue observation is used to design your individual treatment strategy. In addition to Traditional Acupuncture, a tailor made ‘tool kit’ is constructed to help support you between treatment sessions. You will learn to identify triggers, and how to avoid and replace these with positive reinforcement techniques. Treatments use NADA protocol supported with constitutional acupuncture, and also focus on addressing physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms as they arise.
Cessation smoking programmes focus on Acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation and simple breathing techniques, to reduce the cravings and lessen associated withdrawal symptoms. Eight initial treatments are recommended for quitting smoking. The initial 4 treatments are spaced at two treatments per week over a fortnight, with one subsequent treatment a week. In addition to a personalised exercise and dietary recommendations, treatment benefits are also extended by using small metal/ metallic ballbearings called ‘ear seeds’ taped onto specific points on the ear to reduce cravings, together with gentle Battlefield Acupuncture techniques for more acute or chronic addictions.