Is it easy to start smoking, but unfortunately, quitting may not be so easy for everyone. However, if you believe the time has come, acupuncture can be a solution for you. Dr. Berna Atay, the Head of the Acupuncture Application Clinic at Yeditepe University Hospital, states that acupuncture is one of the most successful methods acknowledged by the World Health Organization for quitting smoking.
Feeling good, happy, and peaceful is achieved through the release of serotonin and endorphin hormones from our brains. Normally, laughing, receiving good news, eating chocolate or a delicious dessert, or experiencing pain can elevate the levels of these hormones. However, in smokers, the task of releasing serotonin and endorphins is taken over by smoking, disrupting the body's autonomic functions. Therefore, smokers tend to reach for a cigarette immediately when feeling happy or distressed. Dr. Berna Atay, the Head of the Acupuncture Application Clinic at Yeditepe University Hospital, says that those who quit smoking struggle in the first week because serotonin is not released. Acupuncture comes into play at this point, allowing individuals to break the habit without experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as tension, disrupted sleep quality, fatigue, irritability, lack of focus, headache, and increased appetite.
Withdrawal Symptoms Begin to Decrease in 7-10 Days
Nicotine shuts down the receptors, or nerve endings, that provide endorphins in the brain. When nicotine is eliminated by not smoking, acupuncture needles or laser acupuncture attached to identified reflex points in the ear stimulate these nerve endings, leading to the release of endorphins. This helps the individual to calm down and find pleasure and peace. It also aids in reducing withdrawal symptoms such as tension, irritability, disrupted sleep quality, fatigue, numbness in the tongue and head, a sense of emptiness, lack of concentration, attention deficit, headaches, diarrhea or constipation, and increased appetite. These temporary symptoms actually indicate that the body is healing itself. It's important to note that not everyone who wants to quit smoking experiences these symptoms, which intensify in the first 72 hours and gradually decrease over 7-10 days.
Results Can Be Achieved Quickly
Dr. Berna Atay, stating that they apply ear and body acupuncture in the smoking cessation treatment at Yeditepe University Hospital Acupuncture Application Clinic, shares the following about the treatment:
"In the application, smokers need to come to the Acupuncture Application Clinic without smoking for the last 10-12 hours. Acupuncture is applied for three consecutive days, and often, there may not be a need for the third session. We perform frequency application and oxygen therapy to activate the naturally occurring serotonin secretion in the individual. Through acupuncture, the released serotonin and endorphins eliminate the desire for nicotine. Thus, the initial days without smoking, considered the most critical period when quitting smoking, pass comfortably. After overcoming these critical 3 days, if needed, acupuncture can be applied once or twice in the following week. The number of sessions may vary from person to person, but generally, 4-6 sessions are sufficient."
Especially for those with a fear of needles, Dr. Berna Atay mentions that they can only apply laser acupuncture to avoid increasing the person's stress. This way, she emphasizes that both the effectiveness of acupuncture increases and they provide comfort to those who have a fear of needles or do not like needles. During the treatment period, it is essential for the person to pay attention to certain points. In the first week of the application, it is crucial to avoid excessive consumption of tea, coffee, and alcohol. Drinking tea should be unsweetened and without additives during the treatment. Additionally, maintaining a fluid intake of at least 2 - 2.5 liters throughout the treatment is important.
“Determination is Essential for Success”
First and foremost, Dr. Berna Atay emphasizes the importance of individuals being determined to quit smoking with acupuncture. Patients should choose a specific day and decide to quit on their own free will, genuinely desiring to do so.