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November 22, 2005

Consumer Reports Says Acupuncture Ineffective for Smoking

In a series of articles on quitting smoking for the Great American Smokeout, the Consumer Reports Medical Guide has said that Acupuncture is ineffective at helping people quit, according to their analysis of current studies. Article here

From the article: "One study found that people who had acupuncture when they were giving up opium had less pain and fewer withdrawal symptoms than people who didn't get the treatment. So people thought this treatment might help ease withdrawal symptoms for people who are giving up nicotine. Unfortunately, research shows this isn't the case."

I've seen many studies going somewhat back and forth on this issue but I've never seen anyone say it so cut and dry. If you know of studies that would blow this out of the water send them to me here.

Posted by Admin at November 22, 2005 06:41 AM


I heard Consumers Report takes bribes!

Posted by: JJ at November 25, 2005 08:12 AM

Well, JJ, I'm not gonna delve into whether consumer reports is truly objective. It will not be the first time I've heard studies and researchers question Acupuncture's effectiveness. Even from personal experience, the ability for Acupuncture to help with smoking cessation seems to be only a component of a comprehensive quitting plan. One that would require some form of support group or therapy, and possibly anti-depressants or nicotine replacements. I've had very few patients quit and stay that way with Acupuncture alone.

Posted by: Steve at November 26, 2005 02:51 PM

Maybe try a different point protocol, I have helped lots of people quit with acu(often herbal pills too)...The ones that fail are the ones that don't come in often enough...I can't believe you are suggesting nicotine replacement and anti-depressents! Those are poisons! Prescribe xiao yao wan for grumpyness, noni juice for willpower, and needle 4 gates, kid 3(zhi, will) gb20(shakes) extra point inside the nostrils at 10 and 3 o clock or extra sweet taste(manip. until metallic taste in the mouth) Then moxa under T7, bl23, bl52(to boost willpower) + nada protocol (or just kd in the ear and shen men to minimize)If they really have no willpower you can also do sp1 and lv4 for over thinking and anger(enemies of the will(zhi) thru ke and mother/son cycle)Get them to come in 1st thing in the morning for tx and not have a smoke then after tx they should be able to last all day, then the next day repeat...If they can take the xiao yao wan for a month straight before the acupuncture then the result is really good. Another herb is lobelia drops on the tongue when craving or a minty herbal ointment that can be applied to sweettaste(extra point)

Posted by: JB at November 28, 2005 02:08 PM

I think I got JB a little riled up - I love it!! Admittedly, I've never tried half of the things you are advocating and will definitely give them a shot. My usual protocol involves 3x/wk treatment with both the NADA protocol and usually a general TCM diagnosis treatment usually involving the 4 gates, gv20, and gb20.

So JB you generally prep people a month prior to quitting with XYW? Do you treat 7 days/wk or just 5 (and for how long)? Where have you found lobelia drops?


Ps. I do, however, value the 'poisonous' properties of anti-depressants and nicotine replacements. I'm not saying I like either one, but they can be massively effective for smoking (and for other things). Some people just don't respond to Acupuncture alone no matter what they try and I'd rather have someone addicted to nicorette than marlboro. After all it's not the nicotine that causes lung cancer.

Posted by: Steve at November 29, 2005 03:55 PM

I don't have a set system, its all case by case, the best results I've had are when I can convince someone to go cold turkey after pre-dosing with herbs and some acupuncture/moxa to boost willpower, then they come in 1st thing in the morning for 3 days or so, that is enough to start them off then I do 3x a week for a month or so. If they relapse I just start over. As soon as they start coughing phlegm and clearing out their lungs a bit, the patient will relax more as breathing and relaxing are related. An herbalist in my town is selling "mai wei di huang wan" with some western herbs added as "quit smoking formula" but I don't see how that would help, as yin tonics are so slow acting, it is a good formula for someone who has already quit to repair lung yin. I have seen and heard of several people who tried wellbutrin(xyban) to stop smoking or for mental problems and then stop the wellbutrin after a while and go full-blown insane! Wellbutrin is very dangerous I think, if you stay on it the rest of your life, you might be ok though. To naturally supplement dopamine you can use an ayurvedic formula than contains "cowhage" or velvet bean...I think that addictions are "cumulative" so to speak, as in the more drugs (nicotine) you put in your body, the more damage is done, therefore I don't believe in nicotine replacement. Lobelia has similar to nicotine chemicals that are not addictive, you can get it online...Noni juice is awesome I think but it is hard to get a good price on pure noni with all the pyramid marketing schemes going on...I also suggest saunas to help quit smoking. I saw the herbal drops for the "sweet taste" point on e-bay before. Keith Richards quit heroin with some type of ear point shocker device. Good luck

Posted by: JB at November 29, 2005 08:06 PM