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Smoking tobacco gradually changes our health: it is also addictive. It changes our perception and persuades us we can't stop, and that we'll feel better while doing it - until after about 20 years of tobacco smoke have entered our lungs.
At that point we notice our health is worse. Our skin is worse, our energy is worse and we've got a cough.
Only after you stop do you feel better!
Like any very concentrated food, such as coffee or sugar, there is a primary and a secondary effect. The primary effect makes us feel good. The secondary effect is what happens when our body runs out of the stimulus from the primary effect.
It then often produces symptoms not unlike those you were trying to get rid of. So you have another cigarette!
Tobacco can also become a social imperative: we smoke because we see others smoke, so it must be 'all right'. And we fear giving up in case we fail to give up.
In trying to help anyone who comes to us, whatever their presenting problem, first we take a full case-history.
This may seem irrelevant, when all you want is to stop. But we would say that if you really wanted to stop, you would. To put it crudely, if you put a mask on that prevented you from inhaling or otherwise taking tobacco smoke, and waited about four days, you would have stopped. You might still want to smoke from habit, but the addictive effect of the drug would have worn off.
So although we know you want to stop, many years of the habit will have weakened your health and your resolve.
You may also have a chronic health problem or situation, such as asthma or tension, which gets some temporary relief from tobacco, or which might get much worse if you were to stop suddenly.
You would be surprised at the number of asthmatics whose asthma worsens as they try to stop, although once they have stopped there is usually a steady improvement in many areas, not just in their asthma.
Another issue is that smokers find their appetite, and consequently their weight, increases when they stop.
If we use Chinese medicine we do so only after making a diagnosis. That diagnosis has little to do with your desire to stop because there's no 'stop smoking' treatment as such in traditional Chinese medicine.
Any treatment we give will be based on our diagnosis, which will be made in terms of, for example:
All these syndromes are common among people trying to stop.
Another way of diagnosing you is via what is called the Five Elements, and treatment based on this can also be very powerful.
Once we have taken your case-history and done a physical check-up - this, if necessary, might include, for instance -
... only then can we recommend treatment appropriate for you.
This might well include acupuncture, either on your ears or elsewhere on your body.
Often it includes suggestions for
Working this way, the treatment we give you is not specifically to stop your tobacco habit, and we don't claim it is, just that as the other syndromes like those mentioned above begin to clear up, you will feel naturally less like it.
We may also suggest herbs. We might suggest hypnotherapy too.
Sometimes we think that before you try to stop an underlying health situation must first be treated.
Do not be disheartened if we think you need a number of treatments. Some of the most successful ex-smokers have become much healthier as a result of the treatment they received whilst progressing towards being tobacco-free, and the treatment increased their ability to stop when the time comes.
Please note! As from 1st July 2011 the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) insists that except for a very limited range of conditions, no claims for efficacy may be made for therapies explained on this website, either in describing problems treated or testimonials given by patients about successful treatments, unless what is called "robust" scientific evidence is given in support.
In general this means that a series of double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised tests on humans must be done in sufficient numbers to meet stringent criteria of the kind now required in modern drug-testing by large pharmaceuticals. A majority of these must show positive results.
For therapies that base their treatments on individualised diagnoses in terms of an understanding of health markedly different from Western or orthodox medicine, this is very difficult, and beyond the financial means available. If you ring us we shall gladly tell you more, verbally.
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index.
Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:
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