Acupuncture & smoking

Acupuncture can be effective supporting your struggle to stop smoking through impeding cravings by calming the mind and harmonising the body’s energy. From and Acupuncturists viewpoint, smoking (nicotine drug) artificially stimulates the body’s energy giving it a false high, known as “perverse heat”. After smoking for a while, the meridians of our bodies adapt by harmonising the body with this perverse heat energy. This is an artificial balance which can and does lead to serious health issues of which we are very much aware. When the decision is taken to quit smoking, this meridian harmony is once again disturbed, leading to common problems such as cravings, restlessness, shaking, fatigue, insomnia and more. In essence, any symptoms or disease originates from an imbalance within the meridian system. The acupuncturists’ task is to harmonise the meridians and eliminate the perverse heat and encourage individuals to lead healthier lifestyles.

Eliminating perverse heat with acupuncture is often done by working on the colon meridian. This has the benefit of detoxifying, drawing energy back into the body, and supporting the Lungs. (In acupuncture theory, the Colon and Lungs are paired organs.) It is important to draw energy back into our bodies as smoking has the effect of depleting our Yin, which keeps our energy rooted in our body.

Other acupuncture points used would be those that calm and balance the mind usually achieved through working on the heart and kidney meridians, known as Shao Yin. Working on this channel has the added affect of emphasising our determined emotion to give up smoking. It is therefore important that you actually want to stop smoking as we can strengthen this emotion. Through balancing the body’s energies, healing mechanisms are stimulated. Occasionally, having a cigarette after acupuncture can cause nausea, even coughing as first time smoker would experience. This is because the body has been brought back into a state of natural balance and therefore more sensitive to factors that cause imbalance.



Neurol Res. 2010 Feb;32 Suppl 1:27-30.Effect of acupuncture on selective attention for smoking-related visual cues in smokers.

Chae Y, Kang OS, Lee HJ, Kim SY, Lee H, Park HK, Yang JS, Park HJ.

Acupuncture treatment ameliorated the smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues in smokers. The selective attention to smoking cues was associated with the degree of the cigarette withdrawal symptoms.
Prev Med. 1997 Mar-Apr;26(2):208-14.Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers.

He D, Berg JE, Høstmark AT.

This study suggests that acupuncture may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking or even quit smoking completely. Different acupoints appear to have different effects for smoking cessation and reduction.