Find a local acupuncturist
near you...

To search by other criteria - name, town - click here

Latest posts are at the bottom of this page.
Use the filter buttons above to help find answers - click on the boxes

Ask an expert - general - Smoking

4 questions

Q:  I would like  to find an acupuncturist for stopping smoking.   I have had the procedure done twice . Once in 1983 and 1992, both successful.
 One pin in the ear for two weeks, can touch it when needing a cigarette and the need goes away.   Please can you tell me if there are any practitioners who use that technique?


A:  The technique for stopping smoking by using needles in the ear is obviously not a traditional one in the strict sense. However, the use of auricular acupuncture for helping to deal with addictions of all sorts has become very popular, and as you have found before, it can work well.
 
As far as BAcC members are concerned, we do not keep a record of those who have added this technique to their repertoire. The only thing we can advise is that you might use our practitioner search function on the BAcC home page and ask a BAcC practitioner who works locally to you for their advice, i.e. whether they do this particular treatment or whether they know someone they trust locally who does. Our members are usually a very helpful resource in terms of finding out who is good at what in a locality.
 
Failing that, there is a group of practitioners who practise limited forms of acupuncture, called microsystems acupuncture, who are grouped together in the Microsystems Acupuncture Regulatory Working Group. It is highly likely that one of these may be doing exactly what you need. They can be located at  
http://www.macrwg.org/.
 
Failing that you have the two big detox assocations, SMART-UK and NADA-UK whose websites are easy to find and whose members use very limited techniques such as the five-point protocol to good effect.
 
Whoever you manage to find, it is important to reassure yourself that they are properly regulated and insured.
 
As a coda, you may also do well to investigate what additional support is now available through your local NHS outlets. The materials and secondary support have become a great deal more sophisticated in recent years as the Government has ploughed money into helping people to break the addiction to cigarettes.  
 


 

Q:  I am considering accupuncture treatment for smoking cessation.  i had this before some years ago combined with Chinese herbal medicine herbs and it worked wonderfully well, now i can't afford the herbs, just the accupuncture.  i have been offered 5 appointments of 45 minutes each over 2 weeks for £150 total for accupuncture treatment.  Do you think I will manage to give up smoking again with this treatment without the herbs?  i just relapsed the last 3 months due to severe family upsets. After being a non smoker for 12 years, i would value your opinion.  i have been diagnosed with schzophrenia in the past since 1992 and just recently have a new diagnosis of personality disorder instead. 

A:  This is a difficult question to answer.   It is impossible to say whether it was the acupuncture, the herbs or the combination of the two which made such a successful impact on your cigarette smoking before, so the only way to find out, we suppose, is to see if the acupuncture alone can do it. There's no doubt that the fact that you managed to stay off cigarettes for twelve years would seem to indicate that you are more likely to be able to give up again, especially if the circumstances which brought about your relapse have resolved a little.

 

However, there are never any guarantees with treatment for giving up smoking.

 

We wish you the best of luck! 

 

 

A: As you can imagine this is a question we have been asked before. The answer we gave last year was:

The evidence for acupuncture helping people to stop smoking, either traditional acupuncture or ear acupuncture, is not that great. This was certainly the case when the BMA researched conditions for which acupuncture was effective over a decade ago, and nothing new in the field of acupuncture research has been published since to change that view.

 However, research for areas such as nicotine addiction or stress tends to employ a model of treatment which is rarely similar to the ways in which a traditional acupuncturist normally works. The use of formula points, the same ones applied time and time again, does not square with traditional treatment which is developmental and evolutionary - the results from a session help the practitioner to refine the diagnosis and inform amendments to how they treat the patient on the next visit. This is all premised on a system of Chinese medicine which aims to balance energies in the body in the simple belief that a system in balance tends to see a reduction in the symptoms which arise from underlying disharmony. Various forms of addiction, anxiety states and system failures are seen as the alarm bells of disease, and treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying patterns.

 It is often worthwhile talking directly and in person to a practitioner to get a sense of whether your own individual case is something which they believe they might be able to help. Using our 'find a practitioner' search on the website or your local Yellow Pages should identify a number of BAcC members working in your area.

This advice still holds good. We would like to say that the anecdotal evidence is good, but sadly it isn't. For some people, it appears that paying money to a health professional being told off or worse, being the object of disappointment, for smoking seems to work, but our sense is that the exact nature of the therapy is less important than the ritual involved. For many people, the attendance at a clinic is to meet someone else's need, and they light up as soon as they get outside.

 The last five years has seen a great deal of additional help available within the NHS, however, and if you haven't trawled through the information available and the various support mechanism in place, these are well worth a visit.  

Q. I have three "issues" (!) that I think acupuncture may help to overcome: addiction to micotine, generalised anxiey and also I am trying to become "more fertile", after a bad miscarriage 6 years' ago. Obviously, smoking isn't helping on either the pregnancy or anxiety front. Can you tell me whether acupucture is particulrly successful re. stopping smoking?

 

A. The evidence for acupuncture helping people to stop smoking, either traditional acupuncture or ear acupuncture, is not that great. This was certainly the case when the BMA researched conditions for which acupuncture was effective over a decade ago, and nothing new in the field of acupuncture research has been published since to change that view.

 

 

However, research for areas such as nicotine addiction or stress tends to employ a model of treatment which is rarely similar to the ways in which a traditional acupuncturist normally works. The use of formula points, the same ones applied time and time again, does not square with traditional treatment which is developmental and evolutionary - the results from a session help the practitioner to refine the diagnosis and inform amendments to how they treat the patient on the next visit. This is all premised on a system of Chinese medicine which aims to balance energies in the body in the simple belief that a system in balance tends to see a reduction in the symptoms which arise from underlying disharmony. Various forms of addiction, anxiety states and system failures are seen as the alarm bells of disease, and treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying patterns.

 

It is often worthwhile talking directly and in person to a practitioner to get a sense of whether your own individual case is something which they believe they might be able to help. Using our 'find a practitioner' search on the website or your local Yellow Pages should identify a number of BAcC members working in your area.