Acupuncture Can Assist with Smoking Cessation

Acupuncture-145045349 Feb Blog 1

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to promote balance and the flow of life energy, known as Qi. Acupuncture is provided by a specially trained and licensed practitioner.  Traditional Chinese principles and practices can be integrated into Traditional Western Medicine practice and the use of acupuncture is one way to achieve that goal.  This holistic approach encourages optimal physical, mental, and spiritual health, and in so doing encourages optimal health and wellness. With the help of Dr. April Harris, you can achieve your New Year’s goal of quitting smoking or  weight loss! 

Many addictions are less difficult to overcome than an addiction to nicotine. While there is no magic pill to help someone stop smoking for good, there are several tools that can help. These include one-on-one counseling, support groups, medications and even the traditional Chinese medicine technique acupuncture. One specific type of acupuncture, called auricular acupuncture, involves inserting small needles into the outer part of the ear to help quiet symptoms of withdrawal. Some proposed mechanisms by which acupuncture may help individuals quit smoking include:
  • Stress Reduction: Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for smoking.
  • Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms: Acupuncture may alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking, such as irritability, cravings, and restlessness.
  • Regulating Neurotransmitters: Some studies suggest that acupuncture may affect neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which play a role in the reward system associated with smoking.
  • Balancing Energy: According to traditional Chinese medicine principles, acupuncture aims to balance the flow of energy, Qi, in the body. It is believed that disruptions in this energy flow can contribute to addictive behaviors, and acupuncture may help restore its balance.
Another common New Year’s resolution is weight loss.  Acupuncture can help with this endeavor, too! Obesity is caused by problems in energy metabolism and appetite regulation. Some theories propose the mechanisms through which acupuncture may influence weight loss:
  • Appetite Regulation: Acupuncture may impact the release of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and endorphins, which play a role in appetite regulation. By influencing these neurotransmitters, acupuncture can help reduce cravings and control overeating.
  • Metabolic Enhancement: Some proponents of acupuncture suggest that it can stimulate metabolism by affecting the function of the thyroid gland and other endocrine glands. This, in turn, may lead to increased calorie burning, contributing to weight loss.
  • Stress Reduction: Stress and emotional factors can contribute to weight gain and overeating. Acupuncture can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, which can indirectly influence eating behaviors.
  • Digestive Function: Acupuncture is thought to influence the digestive system by promoting better nutrient absorption and supporting healthy digestion. Improved digestion can contribute to overall well-being and weight management.
Dr. April L. Harris at Galen Acupuncture and Osteopathic Medicine is a graduate of The Helms Medical Institute where she received her training in medical acupuncture.  She is an Osteopathic Physician board-certified in Family Practice and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment with Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine.  She has extensive clinical experience in treating patients of all ages in the primary care, hospital, and critical care settings.  Additionally, she is trained in Neuro-Acupuncture and Constitutional Facial Acupuncture. She is available to help you be your best self in 2024! To schedule a consultation with Dr. Harris, please contact her at (785) 393-1108 or visit her website at

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