Did you know there are natural ways to quit smoking? Give these a try if you’re trying to kick the habit once and for all!
By Diane Small
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you’ve decided to quit smoking. And making that decision is the first step to regenerating yourself back to improved health and fitness.
They say it’s one of the hardest things for most people to do, but quitting smoking isn’t impossible. And what’s more, quitting smoking is the single most important step smokers can take to improve their health.
By nixing the ciggies, you will almost immediately:
- lower your risk of cancer and heart disease
- reduce inflammation in the body
- improve circulation
- improve the absorption of nutrients
- improve the quality of your skin
- reduce the number of free-radicals attacking your body
…amongst many other benefits. How awesome is that? Plus, you’ll smell and look better, too!
First Steps To Freedom
The first thing you need to quit is determination. You have to really want to quit. But given how smokers have become social pariahs these days, coupled with the cold, hard fact that smoking is THE most important cause of not only lung cancer but heart disease…
Well, you’d be crazy to keep puffing away.
Some people can quit cold turkey, whilst others need to wean themselves off the weed. There are physical withdrawal symptoms you may experience as well as some mental ones, too. Should you find yourself tempted to get back into the habit, try ringing a support line in your local area (just use Google to find ‘stop smoking support’). Or find a friend who’s quit and call them for support when needed.
As your body is about to undergo an important detox process, we’d suggest going as natural as possible to help gently ease yourself into a new, healthier way of living.
For example? Drink lots of pure water, eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, and follow these 7 natural ways to quit smoking. You’ll be very, very glad you did!
1. Get hip to hypnosis
Hypnosis is one of the best natural ways to quit smoking. It can be very helpful, and apparently works best on men. A study by Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Texas followed smokers who underwent eight hypnotherapy visits over a two-month period, at the end of which 40 percent had quit. With a good hypnotherapist, even one session can have an impact — but you need to really want for it to work.
2. Try acupuncture
When you try to quit smoking, your brain isn’t happy. It reduces the feel-good chemicals that smoking induces, and that makes you cranky and irritable. Fortunately, acupuncture produces serotonin in the brain, and it can be used to reduce all sorts of cravings. Acupuncture works best if you get treatment the day you quit or within the first 72 hours. Get it done around your ear and after a total of six treatments, you have a 30 percent chance of kicking the weed for good
3. Give yourself a hand
You can easily use this technique to supplement any other therapy you’re trying: two minutes of self-massage. Just gently rub each ear between your fingers for 1-2 minutes a day while you’re at work, watching TV, or better yet, get someone else to do it to you! Feels good, keeps your hands busy, and should reduce your cravings, too.
4. Don’t sniff at aromatherapy
According to Jane Buckle’s Clinical Aromatherapy – Essential Oils in Healthcare, there have been several studies done on the effects of essential oils on nicotine cravings.
For example, in one study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20 people who were daily users of nicotine products were divided into two separate groups. They were each given an essential oil (either black pepper or angelica). Subjects placed one drop of essential oil on a tissue and inhaled this for two minutes whenever they felt the urge to use tobacco.
Results showed that both essential oils effectively curbed cravings, black pepper oil was far more effective. Why? Apparently, the vapour of black pepper essential partially reproduces the sensations experienced when smoking, thereby reducing the craving for cigarettes.
5. Get herbal help
Did you know using herbs is one of the best natural ways to quit smoking? A good Chinese doctor can concoct the perfect blend for you. But if there are no such medics in your area, try St. John’s Wort supplements. This also thought to be able to reduce cravings as well as the incessant edginess some experience when trying to quit smoking.
But be patient. You’ll need 2-3 weeks for the effects of the herb to start building up in the brain, so take it 2 weeks before you decide to quit. A tincture is probably the most potent form of the herb you can buy. Add it to tea, or just put drops on your tongue as directed.
6. Slap on a (homeopathic) patch
The theory behind homeopathy is based on the premise that certain natural substances can stimulate the body’s own healing systems, allowing the body to heal itself. It’s a unique system of medicine that uses ingredients at levels that are generally understood to be non-toxic, with no negative side effects.
Homeopathic herbal ‘stop smoking’ patches abound, and include natural ingredients like Black Spruce, Lung Wort and Evergreen bark to help build up lung strength and reduce cravings. Why not give these natural, herbal ways to quit smoking a try?
7. If all else fails, should you vape?
Heavy smokers miss the ritual of smoking, and often think vaping is a less harmful alternatives to traditional smoking. But is it, really?
Vapes work by delivering a nicotine hit after heating an e-liquid until it’s vaporised. This avoids the tar and other carcinogens usually associated with breathing smoke. But you’re still feeding a nicotine habit. And you’re likely harming your heart instead of your lungs.
About 2.6 million British adults have used an e-cigarette since they’ve come on the market. Most scientists say they’re safer than smoking tobacco, but the study that proves that is flawed: the medical journal The Lancet pointed out that claims that vaping is ’95 per cent safer’ than traditional smoking comes from a 2014 study. Which was conducted by scientists in the pockets of e-cigarette manufacturers themselves. Oops!
In addition, the Lancet revealed that claims that findings published last year in the European Addiction Research journal last year that gave cigarettes a ‘harm score’ of 99.6 per cent, compared with a ‘harm score’ of just 4 per cent for e-cigarettes was misleading. Why? Well, three of the study’s 11 authors had disclosed in the original paper that they had roles advising the e-cigarette industry. The journal’s editors went further, printing a ‘potential conflict of interest’ warning next to the paper. Again, oops!
So, it’s no surprise the World Health organisation called for an indoor ban on e-cigarettes due to fears that their chemicals might even harm non-users.
It seems e-cigarettes are not wholly risk-free, and they should only be used if all other natural ways to quit smoking fail.
Do you know of any other natural ways to quit smoking? Or have you had success with any of these? Let us know in the comments if so!