Have you been thinking about quitting smoking but are hesitant to ingest chemicals and nicotine from stop smoking aids? Now more than ever there are plenty of natural methods to help you quit smoking - without harmful chemicals and the side effects that often come along with them.
Below you'll find information on some of the most common natural methods to quit smoking:
- Herbal supplements
Unfortunately, there are no definitive studies that confirm the effectiveness of herbal supplements in reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Personal feedback also varies; some people say it helps, others say not. But if you're interested in exploring the possibilities, start with these herbs commonly used for smoking cessation: St. John's Wort, lobelia, ginseng, valerian, skullcap.
Some of these herbs are actually smoked in a pipe or hand-rolled cigarette, while others are taken orally as supplements. Note also that herbal supplements can be dangerous for some individuals. They are not regulated by like prescription drugs, so knowing the proper dosage and safe usage guidelines can often be hit and miss. Another concern is that some herbal supplements can interfere with prescription medications or aggravate existing medical conditions. If you are unsure whether herbal supplements are right for you, consult your healthcare practitioner.
- Alternative treatments
Many people report success in quitting smoking with the use of alternative treatments like acupuncture, acupressure, hypnotherapy, EFT (emotional freedom techniques), meditation and visualization, massage and reiki. Some of these treatments focus on clearing the thoughts and beliefs that lead you to be a smoker, while others claim to clear the human energy field (aura) and promote healing on an energetic level.
It's interesting to note that these modalities are most often effective when people believe they will be. If you are not open to these types of treatments, it's doubtful that they would be effective in reducing your urge to smoke. Of course, the same could be said for any type of treatment: if you believe it is helping, you will be successful in abstaining from smoking.
- "Cold turkey"
Probably the best known natural method to quit smoking is simply stopping, commonly referred to as "cold turkey." There's no doubt that it's the most final way to become a non-smoker, but it's definitely not easy for some people to do.
It is possible to combine the cold turkey method with less intense natural methods, like cutting back gradually for a few weeks or having one or more hypnotherapy sessions before making the final leap.
Are natural methods better than traditional methods to quit smoking?
It depends who you ask. Manufacturers of nicotine replacement products not surprisingly claim that using gum, patches, lozenges or nicotine inhalers work the best. Drug manufacturers claim that prescription medications work the best. Individuals who have successfully quit smoking report that different methods worked best for them - some natural, and some traditional.
In the end, you are the best person to decide which method will work for you. There's no shame in using any method, provided it's safe and helps you meet your ultimate objective: to be a non-smoker.
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