For many smokers, planning on how to quit smoking can be a challenging task. Even with supporting treatments such as nicotine patches, gum and inhalers, smokers are often compelled to return to their old habits. With low success rates reported on a study from Daily Mail, it’s no wonder why many smokers are reluctant to try out alternative therapies to cure their addiction.
However, with the advancement of technology and clinical discoveries, there are new alternative therapies that have offered smokers a way to quit smoking. Whether it involves needles, sweet scents, or even lasers, here’s a list of treatments that might aid you in taking your last puff.
Contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapy will not leave you clucking like a chicken for the next ten minutes. In fact, this therapeutic tool is a great way to find out what compels you to smoke in the first place, and nip it at the source.
A hypnotherapy session usually consists of a hypnotist, who brings his or her subjects to a natural state of mind through relaxation and increasing their responsiveness to suggestions. From there, the hypnotist will attempt to either provide positive encouragement on resisting smoking, or associating negative thoughts with cigarettes.
However, hypnotherapy is only as effective as the will of the subjects themselves. There’s no point on attending a hypnotherapy session if you're not keen on quitting smoking in the first place, as the suggestions and dissociations are only there to discourage rather than to cure your habit.
2. Low Light Laser Therapy
Looking to shine out all that nicotine from your body? This low light laser therapy aims to do exactly that, by applying low-level lights on the surface of a person’s body to counteract the side effects of quitting smoking.
These lasers are pointed at specific points on the body, stimulating the nerve endings into releasing hormones which reproduce the same euphoric rush that a person gets when they smoke a cigarette. Similarly, the therapy also targets other areas that help to promote relaxation and curb a smoker’s withdrawal symptoms.
While low light laser therapy may not be the perfect answer for every smoker looking to drop their cigarette addiction, some smokers have already reported success in quitting after attending a few sessions of laser treatments. It’s a therapy that’s worth trying if you’re looking for an alternative solution to the usual pharmaceutical drugs.
3. Guided Imagery
Guided imagery manipulates the connection between your body and mind by focusing on your senses. By creating a “happy place”, you can make use of this focused state of mind to escape from the compulsive urge of lighting a cigarette.
By imagining a scenario that you’re comfortable with, like a sunny beach on an island, your therapist will guide you in bringing out your other senses, such as the feel of the warm sands or the taste of the salty breeze. Once you’ve fully immersed yourself in the vision, you’ll be able to achieve a relaxed state of mind, which can improve your overall health and well-being.
Doubtful that your imagination holds such power? Well, studies published by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses have shown that patients who listened to a 30-minute recording of guided imagery audio had improvements in terms of alleviating pain, anxiety and insomnia. Picturing a sunny vacation in the Bahamas can actually be a good distraction from the constant need to reach out for a cigarette pack.
Instead of sticking unhealthy cigarettes into your mouth, perhaps you’d be keen on sticking needles into your body? For a good purpose, of course, as acupuncture needles are inserted in pressure points to relieve blockages of qi (or your life force energy) in your body and help regulate your general state of health.
Don’t worry, as despite popular belief, acupuncture is relatively, if not completely, painless. The therapy simply tricks the brain into mimicking the effects of nicotine, which will last for about a month. The number of needles will depend on your current ailments and will not always be inserted at the site of your body that’s giving you trouble. Thus, as a smoker, don’t be surprised if you end up with needles in your leg during the session.
Results may vary across different smokers but many who have tried acupuncture have reported a decrease in their cravings for a cigarette. While it still requires willpower to turn away from lighting a stick, acupuncture helps its users curb and handle their withdrawal symptoms much more easily than without.
For those looking to breathe in something other than secondhand smoke, then maybe you’ll find aromatherapy more to your liking. Using various aroma-producing oils harvested from plants, this alternative therapy can promote a sense of relaxation and relief from these natural scents.
Many who practice aromatherapy believe that these essential oils can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of illnesses, from depression, insomnia and high blood pressure. The fragrances cause stimulation along the nerves of your nose as you breathe in, causing them to send impulses to your brain. These impulses, in turn, affect your current emotions and memory, which can be manipulated to a positive effect, such as curbing your smoking urges.
With that being said, it’s also wise to check with your doctor to see if aromatherapy is safe to try with your medical condition. The oils may cause complications with smokers suffering from lung conditions or skin certain allergies.
Has this list given you an idea on the perfect therapy to cut down on the cigarettes? Remember that while these alternatives therapies do play a part in dropping the habit, your determination and will power are the ones that will ultimately drive you towards your goal to quit smoking for good!
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