Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Harmful ingredients found in cigarette such as nicotine, tobacco and carbon monoxide cause many diseases in the heart, lungs, and reproductive system, and it increases the risk of many different cancers. Smoking can also affect pregnancy and developing foetus causing birth defects.
Research on using acupuncture to curb smoking was first published in the American Journal of Acupuncture in 1975 by L.L. Sacks. He used ear acupuncture to help smokers quit smoking and achieved desirable results. Singapore’s first Quit Smoking with Acupuncture Campaign was pioneered by Physician Lau Kiew Teck. The campaign was part of the opening ceremony of the Toa Payoh Chung Hwa Free Clinic in 1979. In 1985, American Physician J.S. Olms discovered a new acupuncture point on the wrist that is also effective in curbing the urge to smoke, with a success rate of 90%.
Physician Lau recommends using a holistic approach by targeting specialized acupuncture points, complemented with ear acupuncture, body acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to help smokers successfully quit smoking.
The effects of the treatment include reducing the urge to smoke, and lessening the withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, headaches and stomach upsets. Although many studies have proven the effectiveness of such treatment, smokers must have the motivation and perseverance to quit smoking and adhere to the treatment protocol in order to achieve the best results.
Typical treatment will require an acupuncture session once every 2~3 days, with 4 acupuncture sessions constituting a treatment course. The number of treatment courses depends on the smoker’s history.
Article contributed by:
Physician Lau Kiew Teck Stephen 刘巧德