By Julie Hartmans
First of all let me say, you can quit, even though it may take several attempts! Look at it as a process and don’t give up on yourself if you backslide.
Awareness was a major factor for me. Because I grew up in a smoking household, it wasn’t until my first attempt at quitting that I even realized how gross smoking makes you smell! Although I started smoking again, I was much more conscious of other people’s reactions to my foul habit. I became more considerate as well.
In my early 30s I got serious about quitting due to health problems. My first long term success lasted two years, and I used a self-hypnosis tape. Again, increasing awareness was important. The tape made me realize the many cues I connected with my habit, such as finishing a meal, writing a letter, talking on the phone, etc. Although the tape did help me quit for a while, the hardest part was the extreme irritibility and anstiness of the first few weeks. If you’ve ever quit smoking, you know what I’m talking about! It’s as if you can’t think of anything else for a while there.
The bad news is that I did start smoking again. I made the choice at that point to not smoke in my home, which helped me smoke less and keep those cues disconnected, at least some of them.
When I decided after a couple of years to quit again I went to an acupuncturist. What a miracle! Of course, I still had to exert my will power not to smoke, but the acupuncture completely erased the irritibility and antsiness of those first weeks, so making that minute-by-minute choice became much easier.
Acupuncture is based on the eastern belief that energy runs through the body in meridians or pathways associated with the various organs and systems. Acupuncturists insert fine needles into points along those meridians that affect the energy and thus the associated organ. The needles are so small that they seldom hurt unless the organ is in pretty bad shape.
My acupuncturist used ear points; the ear has points for every meridian in the body. He needled points for my lungs, liver and one associated with addictions. The great thing about ear acupuncture is that he could tape small metal bb’s to the points as well that continued to stimulate the organs. I kept these in place for about a week. I repeated this sequence a couple of times, and it really worked!
I haven’t smoked in 10+ years now, and I must say that acupuncture really made quitting much easier. If you live in or near a city with an acupuncture school, they often have clinics where you can get low-cost or free treatment. Check it out!
Remember, don’t get discouraged if you start again. It really is a process. The bottom line is to use what works for you. I found acupuncture to be a great adjunct to awareness and just plain old will power and would recommend it for anyone. Give it a shot!
Julie Hartmans has eclectic interests and a beautiful boy who is the joy of her life. Her current straight gig is teaching. She loves to dance, sing, read, swim, go to movies, and learn about all things metaphysical. Shes been known to dabble in astrology and numerology, and finds alternative healing and the paranormal endlessly intriguing. Her writings appear in the Alternative Healing section of Fitness Heaven.