Breaking free from handcuffs

By Dr John Barnett

1. Can acupuncture really help me to quit smoking?

Yes, but the person has to be ready to quit. Sometime I see people in the clinic that have been peer pressured into coming by their spouse or loved one, and they’re not really ready to quit. Generally, I tell patients to be tobacco-free for at least 24 hours before their first consultation. If they take that step, it tells me they have the mindset to be tobacco-free for good.

2. How does it work?

The goal of acupuncture in this case is to reduce the cravings you have for the nicotine itself. It also helps relieve the stress, mood swings, fatigue, and irritability involved with quitting. It gives you a feeling of wellbeing which is something you definitely don’t feel during the withdraw stage.

3. How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies for everyone as acupuncture is very individualized. However, I usually start by seeing my patients two to three times a week in the beginning. Then the visits taper to once a week as the withdraw symptoms fade. Eventually, the visits discontinue altogether as they become tobacco-free.

4. Are there herbs that can help me?

Yes. I have a full herbal pharmacy in my clinic and I actually specialize in creating individualized herbal formulas for my patients. Herbs are a great addition to the acupuncture in that they help it be more effective. They can help with any anxiety they might be feeling and also help detoxify the body. However, they are not necessary when treating patients to quit smoking.

5. Does insurance cover it?

This is a tricky question as everyone’s plan is different. We do work with all major insurance companies and a lot of our patients are using their insurance to cover their visits. What we do is offer a Free Consultation at the clinic, at which point my insurance specialist will call and verify your coverage. Then while you are here I will go over your benefits in detail with you. We will then put a plan in motion to get you tobacco- free. To schedule this consultation with me, send us a message on the contact page or call us at 407-673-6700. I look forward to meeting with you.