I like supporting patients who want to stop smoking, or indeed any addictive substance. I use points on the ears as well as on the body. Why the ears? In the mid-1970s an auricular (ear) acupuncture protocol was developed in New York to treat many common drug addictions. The protocol is now referred to as the NADA protocol (NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association), which involves the insertion of small, stainless steel and disposable acupuncture needles into five points on the outer surface of the ears.
When the auricular points are combined with acupuncture points on the body, the treatment aims to relax the patient, relieve anxiety, regulate the autonomic nervous system, and strengthen the lungs and immune system, among other things. There is even a point on the wrist that makes cigarettes taste bad.
As with all these things, acupuncture is not the one magic bullet that replaces all the hard work. It is one tool at your disposal, along with having a strategy in place, getting a buddy to help you, or getting behavioural counselling.
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash