Free Acupuncture for Great American Smokeout, AOMA, Austin, TX

Since 2001, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine has offered free acupuncture treatments for people who want to quit smoking, in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout.

Quitting smoking can be a very challenging. Factors such as nicotine cravings, increase in anxiety, weight gain, irritability, and sickness due to detoxification can all be contributing factors for people failing to quit. However, continuing to smoke leads to more complicated health issues such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, various forms of cancer and the decline in reproductive organs making it harder for women to get pregnant. The National institute on Drug Abuse found that tobacco use kills approximately 440,000 Americans each year and one out of every five of those deaths is the result of smoking.

As knowledge becomes more accessible about these health risks more people are choosing to kick the habit. According to the American Lung Association the number of smokers between 1965 and 2008 has decreased by more than 50 percent. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2008 an estimated 51.1 million adults were formal smokers and of the 45 million current adult smokers 57.9 percent of these smokers stopped smoking at least one day in order to try to quit smoking completely.

In honor of National smokeout day AOMA is offering free acupuncture to help smokers kick the habit for good! Acupuncturist will be at the North clinic on W. Anderson lane on Thursday, November 17 and the South clinic on West Gate Blvd. on Friday, November 18. Both days acupuncturists will be treating from 9am to 4pm. No appointments are necessary and special discount booklets will be offered for follow-up care treatments.

The acupuncturists will use a treatment called the NADA protocol. This protocol consists of five acupuncture needles in the ear because the ear is a micro system for the whole body. This protocol was discovered by a neurosurgeon in Hong Kong in 1972 to relieve symptoms of craving associated with drug withdrawal, but became an official protocol in 1985 by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). This protocol is found in detoxification centers in hospitals all across the nation for over thirty years. In 2000 Yale University School of Internal Medicine conducted research and found the NADA protocol demonstrates effectiveness for various kinds of addicts such as heroin, cocaine, and methadone.

Frontier Medical Institute found that the NADA protocol is effective for smokers because it counteracts the drop in dopamine levels, the neurotransmitters of pleasure that smokers miss when they begin to detoxify. Since nicotine addiction operates on the same pathways as cocaine, heroin, and methadone addicts the NADA protocol is able to help smokers get over the “initial hump” of smoking and produce an increase in dopamine to relieve tension, anxiety, and mood.

Acupuncture is an effective way to treat smoking cessation because it helps the patient to get over cravings, anxiety, insomnia, decrease in energy, night sweats, dryness, and weight gain without the negative side effects of antidepressants, nicotine patches and gum. Recognition of Oriental medicine as an important and necessary part of American healthcare is on the rise. Acupuncture is increasingly covered by major insurance plans in the U.S., and AOMA is a preferred provider for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and the Seton Health Plan.