It is not uncommon in the life of an experienced professional in the healing arts to have patients share their incredible stories about life-changing improvements in their health but once in a while some story comes along which really moves your heart. That's exactly what happened the other day.
I was walking in the parking lot going to lunch when I saw a familiar face. The woman came up to me with tears in her eyes, hugged me and said that you probably don't remember me but about 10 months ago you literally saved my life. I vaguely recall that I treated her for quitting smoking which is hardly a dramatic life-saving treatment, she was going along telling me her story she decided to quit smoking after a close relative of her died from lung cancer. She was a smoker for 40 years and despite of all the sacrifice, she could never successfully quit smoking. She proceeded to tell me that for these past 10 months she has not been smoking at all and is just extremely happy. She's ecstatic! At this point she wants to come back into the office for weight loss treatment. When she was in the office she spoke with the staff and the girls were almost crying hearing her story. She was feeling fantastic telling everybody how her life was saved and how it was changed dramatically.
She said "I don't know what you've done I don't care but ever since you treated me I have not touched a cigarette for months".
That gave me a great feeling of accomplishment, however I don't want my patients not to know how it was done and how the mechanism of treatment works because, in my opinion, an educated person has a much greater chance of succeeding understanding the treatment, understanding the mechanism of the treatment and understanding the way the treatment will work.
Our integrative approach to quit smoking includes three main components. First acupuncture therapy, second cognitive behavioral therapy and third herbal therapy. Here is what each of them do: Acupuncture is quite successful in treating anxiety and depression associated with smoking. Additionally it's an extremely effective tool to control appetites and cravings often associated with quitting smoking.
Specific acupuncture points being treated on the wrist, face and ears. For this particular treatment we do not use acupuncture needles but use either laser or electric device which makes treatment much more comfortable and virtually pain free. Herbal therapy allows to maintain effects of acupuncture treatment for longer periods of time without the need to visit our office that allows people who have a harder time sticking with the program to receive additional benefits and feel relaxed and calm while they are going through the adjustment process.
Any therapy no matter how effective will only work if mentally the patient is ready to stick with the smoke-free lifestyle. Here is were cognitive behavioral therapy comes into play. We teach our patients to recognize the mechanisms of smoking addiction how to overcome them effectively and easily and how to stick with the smoke-free lifestyle without pain and feeling of sacrifice. This three-pronged approach is extremely effective resulting in over 90% success rate for our patients and most of the people are able to quit smoking with just a couple of visits.