Steps to Stay Smoke-Free
So you’ve quit smoking, or maybe you’re trying and not sure how long you will last. Either way, quitting is not easy, and staying smoke-free in the long term is even harder. You may have periods of time when you’re feeling confident and a cigarette is the last thing on your mind, or you may all of a sudden have intense cravings. Below are some ways to help keep you smoke-free for a better, healthier life.
Having good and bad days are a part of life, and same goes for quitting smoking. Some days are going to be easier than others, but it is important on the bad days to remind yourself why quitting is worth it. Health should be number one in your life and according to the CDC, quitting smoking will lower your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory complications and more. If you have been a smoker, you know the side effects well. Staying positive and motivated to keep the bad habit away will pay off tremendously in the long run. Talk to others who have quit or join a support group. It is always great to hear from others who are going through the same experience as you and to see success stories.
Know your triggers
Smokers usually have triggers that give them the urge to light up. Be aware of what these are and find ways to avoid them. Common triggers include stress, drinking coffee, after a meal, drinking alcohol, if someone else is smoking or feeling restless. Once you know your triggers, you can know how to handle them in a healthy manner that doesn’t include smoking. When you start to feel an urge, try deep breathing or go on a short walk. Keep your mind and body occupied.
Take up a new hobby/activity
Kicking a bad habit is the perfect time to take up a healthy one. Spend more time exercising or doing something you enjoy. Activities like biking, swimming or yoga are not only fun but also beneficial for your mental and physical health. If feeling stressed or down is a trigger for you, becoming more active can help lower these symptoms.
Don’t give up
The decision to quit smoking was probably one of the best lifestyle choices you could make. You already took that first step, and although it may seem like an uphill battle, staying smoke-free will add years on to your life and improve your quality of life tremendously. Don’t give up, and don’t get down on yourself if you cave. It is never too late to quit smoking and begin the journey to better health.
Meridian Yoga is a form of yoga that actively works with the same meridian system as acupuncture. This form of yoga uses poses to activate and balance energy in the 14 meridian paths. These meridian paths are known as the energy pathways in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they allow your body and energy to flow and function properly. Meridian Yoga will improve the function of your organs and allow your body to be in its healthiest state physically and mentally. Below are a few of many yoga poses that can increase your energy flow.
1. Downward dog
In your yoga practice, downward dog can always be the home base pose. It is a staple that can be used in almost every yoga practice.
This pose focuses on the arms and shoulder meridians, which can improve heart and lung function. Increased function of these organs can help fight against allergies, viruses, anxiety and trouble sleeping. Downward dog can also help digestion and allows for increased blood flow.
2. Warrior II
Warrior II focuses on the lymphatic system and the hips and knees. The emphasis on these joints are related to the gall bladder, spleen and stomach meridians. These organs help the lymphatic system by increasing digestion and immune fluid.
3. Wheel and other backbends
Wheel and other backbends can effectively and sometimes very intensely stretch the stomach and spleen meridians. This pose can help prevent your body from acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach issues.
4. Tree pose
Tree pose (my favorite!!) is a standard balancing pose that can be adapted based on your skill level. It focuses on the small intestine meridian and increases abdominal circulation. Tree pose can also calm and relax the mind and nervous system, bringing more self-awareness.
While I am not a certified yoga instructor, I am a certified Qi Gong instructor and have been a Qi Gong practitioner for some 24 years now! My goodness, how time flies... If you have a regular yoga practice and you are looking to fine tune it, come in and ask! If you feel yourself drawn to certain poses or and you don't know why, or you have a regular flow and you want to know which poses to emphasis, let me know and I will be happy to put my skills to the test and help you try to refine your practice.
Yes! Yoga and acupuncture can pair together and begin a path to better health. Book in now or contact me if you want to know more.
About 19 million American adults suffer from depression and most find their current treatment options ineffective along with a slew of unwanted side effects. Many who are prescribed antidepressants find that the medication only masks the problem, and does not cure it. However there are alternative treatments that have been proven effective without harmful side effects.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is not just beneficial for your body physically, but mentally as well. Massage is a safe technique that has been used for thousands of years that can help calm and relax the mind. By relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow, the body’s heart rate can lower and promote stress relief. When one is less stressed, depression can be improved. For those suffering with depression, seeing a massage therapist regularly can help increase mood and decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely beneficial for those dealing with depression. By targeting different points on the body, acupuncture works to release any blockages in the body’s energy flow and return the body and state of mind back to balance. When the body is in balance, we tend to feel physically, as well as mentally, healthy.
Yoga & Meditation: When practiced regularly, yoga and meditation have a profound effect on decreasing stress and boosting mood. Through deep breathing and poses, these practices help focus and clear the head and lower heart rate, which in turn can decrease stress levels and put thoughts and mood in a better place.
Depression is not something that is easy to deal with, nor is it something you have to go through alone. Know your alternative treatment options and begin the road to better health, for the mind and body.
Sources: http://bit.ly/1VQA0mC, http://bit.ly/1KbgLvE
Back to Remodeled Office!!
Oh my gosh, it finally happened!! As of today we have moved back into our original office location on site at South Park Square and it is beautifully new and improved.
Our office is in the same place, but our front door has moved as part of the remodel - our new front door is across from the McMenamins door off the central courtyard. DO NOT try to enter through our old door.
Our old door is still there and is now an emergency exit out of Jen's (new and improved!!) Facial and Waxing room.
In addition to a facelift for our space we have 2 very exciting additions to our layout:
Once we finish settling in we will have an open house and will be sure to let all our patients know about it. For now, know that we are excited to welcome you into our new space and that you are welcome to stop by for a cup of tea any time!
Look forward to seeing you soon and wishing you the very best in the New Year,
~Rebecca Hurwood, LAc
Acupuncture has been used to treat addiction for many years. Curbing addiction, specifically when it comes to smoking, is not something that can be done overnight. There will be times when you think you won’t be able to stay smoke-free and want to give up. Considering acupuncture treatment when you are trying to quit can have great effects on helping you back on the road to better health. Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. Illness arises when there is a blockage or stagnation in our natural energy flow. By using acupuncture points, this treatment helps to release these blockages and return the body back to its natural flow.
The acupuncture point specifically used to help curb smoking urges is called “Tim Mee” and is located on the inside of the arm. This point helps change the body’s perception of nicotine. This point combined with others can help reduce cravings.
Not only can acupuncture help curb addiction, but aid in symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine once you quit. Symptoms like jitters, mood swings and restlessness are common when quitting smoking. When you feel anxious from these feelings, it is even easier to feel the need for a cigarette. Specific acupuncture points can help relax and detoxify the body to lower withdrawal symptoms.
A study done at the University of Oslo, Norway, found that those who were trying to quit smoking and received acupuncture treatment reported a reduced craving for smoking and a greater distaste for tobacco.
Acupuncture can not completely eliminate addiction, but it a great aid in the recovery process after quitting. The first and hardest step is to decide to quit, there are many treatments including acupuncture that can help you on the way therein after.
I personally have worked in addiction at Hooper Detox (the location of our local "drunk tank" in Portland which also houses an inpatient addiction recovery program) and I can tell you from experience how incredibly powerful Acupuncture for the symptoms of withdrawal can be.
When I worked in this setting, there were 2 of us who would have 40 minutes to treat 45 people in a group setting who were detoxing from alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine and more. We were almost throwing needles we had so little time, but even applying a simple 5NP (5 Needle Protocol) ear acupuncture treatment would take the room from a state of anxious fidgety discomfort, to utter silence in under 10 minutes.
Based on this experience, and the 10 years since, I can promise you that Acupuncture is a powerful, effective and successful addition to any program to quit smoking. Contact me today and learn how acupuncture can help you stay smoke free for a healthier body, mind and spirit.
BOOK NOW by clicking here for an appointment or free consult.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.