Cigarette smoking causes one in five, or 480,000, annual deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I know smoking is a tough addiction to break, but you can do it if you embrace different ways to curb both your physical and psychological cravings. Consider trying one of seven holistic quit smoking methods that help you kick this addiction for good.
When you begin to quit smoking, you will most likely feel restless, jittery, and irritable. These withdrawal symptoms are troubling, but you may find relief in acupuncture. Acupuncture soothes these ailments so that you can focus on your smoke-free goals. It works wonders because it pinpoints certain “sweet spots” of the nervous system; this in turn grants balance to digestive health (which helps purify addictive toxins), pulse rhythms, stress levels and emotional wellbeing. Sessions can cost up to $100 each, but many find even just a few sessions very rewarding.
Smoking affects every part of your body, from your lungs to your bones, reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A consistent and varied exercise program assists you by replenishing your body, reducing boredom (and therefore slashing temptation!), sweating out built-up nicotine and relieving depression. After exercise, I find that everything is more bright and attainable and I’m sure you will too. Out with the old and in with the new! With permission from your doctor, adopt one or more holistic therapy exercise activities, including walking, swimming, cardio, strength training, yoga, group sports, and family fun in the backyard. Not only will exercise propel you through the arduous quit-smoking stage, it will refresh every aspect of your life.
There are situations and old habits that may trigger your desire to smoke. Other triggers, however, may be subconscious. Hypnosis can rewire these behaviors and promote healthy alternatives. While under the care of a licensed hypnotherapist, you’ll also receive assistance to ease your emotional reliance on smoking, visualize yourself free of smoking and develop affirmations that break your dependence on nicotine.
Delicious green limes do more than flavor fajitas: They alkalize the acidic tissues in a smoker’s (or ex-smoker’s) body and boost your immunity, which may have been weakened by smoking. Researchers in Thailand found that limes help you stop smoking. To use limes effectively, wash one, cut it into quarters, cut each quarter into four pieces and refrigerate the pieces in a covered container. Suck one piece of lime and chew the skin to curb a craving. Although not quite as effective as nicotine gum, lime is a natural alternative that offers other great perks as they are bursting with antioxidants, vitamin C and folate.
You don’t want to replace a cigarette addiction with a food addiction, but it is crucial to wean off of the oral fixation aspect to smoking. These snacks can do just that by replacing the comfort of “sucking” a cigarette:
- Hard sugar-free candy, including lollipops and mints
- Crunchy snacks like carrot and celery sticks, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, apple slices, and nuts
A professional massage relaxes you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, it is not financially viable to seek a massage every time you feel the urge smoke. Self-massage offers you an affordable solution and is easy to do whenever you feel a craving. It can calm the nerves and centers you so you can sail past that lapse of temptation. Here’s how:
- With one thumb and light pressure, draw circles on the palm of your other hand.
- Start at the bottom of each finger and massage it gently from top to bottom.
- Squeeze the area of your hand between your thumb and index finger. Hold the pressure for 30 seconds.
- Use gentle, circular motions to massage your ear lobes from one end to the other.
When you quit smoking, you will feel stressed, frustrated, and anxious. The Mayo Clinic recommends meditation, since it promotes relaxation and relieves your withdrawal symptoms. You can successfully meditate in several ways. One suggestion is for you to lie down and breathe from your abdomen. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling as your body relaxes. Then, envision yourself active and cigarette-free. Picture the dark cloud of your addiction and breathe it out and away from you. Or picture your addiction as a chain and every exhale as a hammer that destroys the addiction link by link. Meditate for at least 15 minutes to grow healthy thoughts and fortify yourself against cravings.
When you decide you don’t want to smoke anymore, you’re making a decision to be healthy. Fighting the cravings and your addiction is challenging, but you can do it. I encourage you to try one or several of these holistic quit smoking methods as you become cigarette-free. I promise that it is so worth it!
By Angela Lambert
Photo by: Sibel (Flickr)