What everyone should know about stopping smoking.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances there is.

Research shows that nicotine activates the brains mesolimbic pathway ("reward system"). Specifically, research examining it's addictive nature shows that nicotine acts as a chemical with intense addictive qualities. In many studies it has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine and heroin.

All nicotine must be gone from your system or you may not stop.

When you smoke the normal brain chemistry becomes distorted and once the nicotine is withdraw the brain can have difficulty restoring the natural chemical balance. In order to truly quit smoking you need to ensure that the nicotine is not in the system at all, and that the brain chemistry has normalized. This distortion often leads to long term depression which makes the likelihood of relapse very high.

Nicotine patches and gum frequently fail.


While some studies have shown a benefit from nicotine replacement initially,

long term follow up studies show one third of quitters have resumed smoking within two years and the number is the same for those that use nicotine replacement as those that don't. One of the problems is when you use patches, gum or sprays, is that nicotine is still present in your system and distorting your brain chemistry. You run the risk of being stuck on the replacement or simply giving up and going back to smoking. In addition this approach to stopping does nothing to support or enhance the restoration of your brains chemical balance which leaves you at risk of depression or resuming smoking again.

You don't need to put on weight after stopping.

Many people when they stop smoking end up putting on  a lot of weight. There are a few reasons for this one is that they have an oral addiction and need to put things in their mouth so they often substitute food or sweets for cigarettes. Another is they can become depressed due to the brain chemistry imbalance caused by the nicotine and its withdrawal. Finally smoking has a metabolic stimulant effect and this disappears when you stop leaving your metabolism slowed and you gain weight more easily.

If you take steps to correct the chemical and metabolic imbalance you can prevent both weight gain and depression. On of the best ways to correct this imbalance is the use of Chinese medicine including acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture has effects on mood, sleep and digestion all contribute to it's abiltity to lessen the withdrawal effects of stopping smoking and seems to correct the imbalance caused by smoking. It also leads more quickly to a complete removal of nicotine than patches and gum so helps overcome the addiction quicker.

Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with nicotine patches, gum or sprays to lessen the likelihood of depression, or weight gain. However be aware that until you have been free of any nicotine for several weeks you still have the likelihood of relapse with smoking.



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