Smoking is a high-risk habit with sometimes fatal consequences. The life of a regular or heavy smoker can be compared to a cigarette stick. As he inhales the harmful nicotine, the stick is consumed just as his life is shortened by ten to fifteen years. Many smokers are fully aware how dangerous smoking can be to their health. However, their desire to quit is quickly smothered by the thought of the difficult process they have to undergo just to be liberated from nicotine addiction. Many smokers do not know, though, that there are ways to quit smoking naturally which are cheaper and safer than the common chemical-based treatments.
Exposing The Bad Effects of Nicotine
A single cigarette appears harmless. But, once smoked it releases 4,000 toxic chemicals into the body. More than 40 of these chemicals are found to have direct connection to cancer. Although highly addictive, nicotine is a legal substance that is used as the main ingredient for cigarette production. When ingested, it triggers the hormonal discharge of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin which stimulate the adrenaline that causes high blood pressure and faster heart rate. Apart from smoking, nicotine can also be ingested by sniffing or chewing. Either of these ways, nicotine makes an individual experience the feeling of being relaxed. Because of this desirable sensation, a smoker continues to smoke a cigarette one after another thus developing both physical and psychological addiction to the substance. It is also drug tolerant which means it takes more nicotine to ingest to achieve the same relaxed feeling. Once the body feels the absence of nicotine, withdrawal symptoms set in.
Ways to Quit Smoking Naturally
Acupuncture – Using this ancient Chinese method involves inserting tiny needles into various points in the ear area for about 20 minutes. Tiny balls are taped to the ear to be gently pressed by the smoker when he craves for a cigarette. Although there are other smoking cessation methods for use, acupuncture coupled with information on how to quit smoking is more effective than acupressure or electrostimulation.
- Lobelia has an active ingredient called lobeline which has been found to emulate the effect of nicotine on the human body. The herb is used in many anti-smoking products to help curb a smoker’s addiction to nicotine. In recent studies, researchers discovered the ability of lobeline to trigger the release of neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine stimulates the feelings of pleasure, the same sensation one feels when smoking.
- St. John’s Wort is the herb used to control depression. Because depression is one of the many withdrawal symptoms, the herb is used during the treatment process for people who want to quit smoking naturally. However, the herb can impede or counter the efficiency of other drugs used for HIV treatment, depression, organ rejection and oral contraceptives. Moreover, it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating mothers, non-adults or people suffering from liver or kidney disease and bipolar disorder.
- Ginseng is another herb with good showing of preventing the discharge of neurotransmitter dopamine as triggered by nicotine intake. Dopamine is an organic chemical responsible for producing the pleasant feeling after smoking cigarettes.
Hypnotherapy – This method involves hypnotic techniques for smoking cessation. The common strategy is to employ the use of imagination to situate the smoker in unpleasant conditions that can be associated with cigarette smoking such as bad breath, pollution and death. Another popular technique explains the poisonous effects of smoking to the body, and that the body deserves respect and protection. A smoking patient is taught self-hypnosis which he can perform upon himself once the craving is back.
There are more ways to quit smoking naturally. These may include aromatherapy, fasting, homeopathy and the list goes on. As a smoker finds the importance of knowing more about these methods, it is likewise important to realize how damaging smoking is. Too much addiction can sometimes make smokers conclude it is impossible to quit. But, smokers or not, everybody knows it can be done. It is never too late to change mind, live healthier and enjoy life smoke-free.