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There are a multitude of health-related repercussions that accompany the average American's hectic lifestyle. We have neck pain from holding the phone to our ear while racing to work, spend the business day anxious then come home exhausted, and when we finally leave on vacation who joins us? The laptop, and cellphone, and pack of cigarettes. We recognize it is unhealthy yet we do not know how to cultivate relaxation, and smokers who use cigarettes to find a little peace often feel thwarted at how hard it is to quit.

If anxiety is taking a toll and you can't seem to quit nicotine, acupuncture can help.

One move you can make which has immediate benefits is reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke in a given day, and acupuncture can help you. Remember that there are 'hard-core craving cigarettes' and 'boredom' cigarettes and 'out of habit' cigarettes in each day, and usually a puff or two is all you need to soothe even the worst cravings. So wait for longer and longer when you're craving a smoke, or a vape, and when you finally do make sure it's only a quick puff, then put it out. You'll be down to 2 cigarettes a day before you know it, then 2 puffs a day, then your lungs will begin to recover the moment you stamp out your last cigarette.

Keep in mind you really need to increase your other activities to fill the space of the old bad habit with new good habits. You can walk, bike, dance, swim, create art, draw, write to friends and relatives, chew gum (with nicotine at first, if need be), increase how much water and drink you drink, anything to make yourself healthier while you quit the unhealthiest of habits.

Of course our daily existence may never be completely stress free, but with new good activities to hold your interest, and guidance from your acupuncturist for managing difficulty as it arises, we can ensure much more grace while navigating life’s pressures.

About the Author:  Dr. Gigi Shames is a Doctor of Natural Health. Ms. Shames is also a Licensed Acupuncturist.  She has offices in Marin and Sonoma, and provides phone coaching via (415) 233-0165 or

Ask The Acupuncturist

Q: I have had migraines for several years now and have just started to have acupuncture, I have only had three treatments but already I do not need my daily pills. Can you tell me how often you would say I needed to have acupuncture?

A: It is very difficult to say how often you should have treatments. With the positive response that you have had to treatment, it sounds as ... Read More