Types of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique for unblocking chi (ch'i or qi) by inserting needles at particular points on the body to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang. Chi is an energy that permeates all things. It is believed to flow through the body along 14 main pathways called meridians. When yin and yang are in harmony, chi flows freely within the body, and a person is healthy. When a person is sick, diseased, or injured, there is an obstruction of chi along one of the meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine has identified some 500 points where needles are used for specific effects.
Auricular (or Ear) Acupuncture is a specialized therapy where acupuncture points on the outer ear are treated for a variety of conditions. There are as many as 200 acupuncture points on the outer ear, each point named generally after areas of our anatomy i.e. knees, hips, shoulders, liver, heart etc. The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain. Each acupoint on the ear, when treated, triggers electrical impulses from the ear via the brain, to the specific area of the body that is being treated. Therefore, if someone had a painful knee, by treating the 'knee' acupoint on the ear, it would help alleviate the pain.
When a person smokes, the nicotine that they inhale is used by the central nervous system, replacing the normal stimulation of the adrenal glands. Over a period of regular smoking, the body decides that the normal adrenalin from the adrenal glands is not needed, so it begins to shut down or repress the adrenal glands. The more a person smokes, the more the adrenal glands are repressed. As long as he/she smokes, the central nervous system gets the stimulation. When the smoking stops, the central nervous system does not get its stimulation from the nicotine or the adrenal glands, the central nervous system gets agitated without that stimulation, and the person gets nervous and anxious.
That stimulation of the central nervous system also stimulates the pituitary and hypothalamic glands at the base of the brain which produce the body’s natural relaxers and pain killers which are called endorphins. These endorphins are an opiate and are used by the body every day to handle the strains and stresses of life. Without them, the mind cannot handle the pain signals that are delivered all the time.
When you stop smoking, your endorphin level drops very low and your pain threshold goes way down. Little things and small pains get to you and you feel like you're “climbing the wall." When the endorphins are down, your serotonin level goes up. Serotonins are the irritability chemical in the body which you feel both at the brain level and at the skin level. Thirdly, the dopamine level goes up. When a person has an excessive amount of dopamine they can become mentally ill or even schizophrenic. Fourthly, when endorphins are low, you don’t feel good. Not feeling good, irritability, low threshold of pain, nervous anxious and feeling a little crazy are the withdrawal symptoms felt by many smokers trying to quit. Acupuncture helps you eliminate these symptoms and the physical urge to smoke. We do this by stimulating and teaching you to stimulate the adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamic glands using the tertiary nerves in your wrist, hands and ears.
These acupuncture treatments stimulate the adrenal glands to increase their level of activity, moving them back to normal functioning. The treatments also stimulate the pituitary and hypothalamic glands to produce sufficient endorphins during the period of stopping smoking and to help restore the normal levels of functioning for these glands as well.
Also, when you stop smoking the lungs increase their efforts to throw off the toxins (nicotine and tar). Our acupuncture treatment helps this process increasing the toxins being thrown off by the lungs into the blood stream. This can result in toxic build up in the blood causing added nervousness. Unless you drink plenty of water and fluids which can enable your kidney and bladder to carry off the toxins in the urine.
Most people who smoke one pack or less find that one treatment is all that is needed. If it is between one and two, usually two treatments are needed; very few people need three. If you have emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic low back pain or any other type of chronic pain, you will need more treatments because often we must treat the chronic pain in order to help you stop smoking.
Best wishes and good health as you start this effort to help yourself!