Alternatives for Giving Up Cigarettes
Have you tried unconventional approaches to stop smoking?
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
If you can
mobilize vivid images in your mind at the drop of a cigarette ash, guided
imagery may be a technique worth trying. Using this method, individuals enter a
state of relaxation and then create mental pictures that help tap into their
unconscious mind and reprogram the nervous system to resist the temptation to
imagery is most helpful in preparing people to quit smoking," says Bresler.
It can help them get ready on the inside, clearing away internal conflicts and
obstacles that can block the path to quitting.
notes that many people are attracted to smoking by Madison Avenue's imagery
that has convinced them that they can feel cool, macho, or seductive if they
smoke. Guided imagery, he says, taps into a person's own imagination and helps
them create other images that can counter the purported appeal of smoking,
showing instead that it is a toxic poison that you're inhaling. "The key is
to break the habit, break the addiction, and recognize that you don't need a
cigarette to feel cool," he says.
guided imagery's power is its ability to instill strength and resolve to toss
those cigarettes aside. "It is a means of learning to relax, talking to
your creative self, and mobilizing and growing your determination and will to
make changes that are important to your well-being," says
Poking Holes in Smoking
the ancient Chinese technique, has been used for thousands of years for a
variety of ills -- and these days, for some people who have recently gotten the
point, it has helped them rise above the cigarette haze for good. In a study at
the University of Oslo in Norway, published in the journal Preventive
Medicine in 2002, participants who had smoked for an average of 23 years
were given acupuncture treatments, with needles inserted at points believed to
influence organs associated with smoking (such as the lungs, airways and
mouth). Over a five-year period, these participants smoked less and had a
decreased desire to smoke, compared with a control group.
clinical setting, you'll meet many people who say they quit smoking by using
acupuncture, and they swear by it," says Kiresuk. But taken together, the
available clinical studies have not provided persuasive evidence of
acupuncture's benefits, with much of research raising doubts about the
alternative technique's ability to help kick the habit, he says.
at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, conducted an analysis that
combined data from all of the existing randomized, controlled trials of
acupuncture. Their conclusion: Acupuncture was no better than sham acupuncture
techniques in helping people become smoke-free.
has been a practitioner of acupuncture for pain relief and other health
problems for more than 30 years, has found that acupuncture can be helpful in
managing the physiological nicotine-withdrawal symptoms, probably by
stimulating the release of brain chemicals called endorphins. "Acupuncture
can help relieve the 'nicotine fits,' the jitters, the cravings, the
irritability, and the restlessness that people commonly complain about when
they quit," he says.