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Give up smoking. A natural and ecological help

Publicado: 23 June, 2020 - Actualizado: 20 May, 2021 | 7'

If you are now reading this article, you are looking for ways to give up smoking, you have tried many times, your environment always reminds you of what you should not do and you should do it. There are also many interests around smoking and this may make it more difficult for us to give it up. Therefore, the longer the time passes and we cannot stop smoking, the more frustration we feel.

Dejar de fumarDid you ever think about it?.

  • I know that smoking affects my physical and mental health.
  • I am not aware of the risks I am taking if I keep on smoking.
  • My family and friends are worried about my health.
  • I feel guilty about smoking.
  • Even so, I agree that giving up smoking is possible and I am able to do so.

So, once I have made the difficult decision to give up smoking, the key question is, Where do I start?

There is a lot of information and many different methods, but the most effective one is that which is designed according to our own needs, and for this we have to know:

  • Where we are.
  • What we can do.
  • How I am going to do it in a natural way.
  • Keys to success.
  • Other options.

The process of giving up smoking - where are we?.

Regardless of how much you smoke, you know that when you smoke you are inhaling more than 4,000 compounds, the most important ones are Tar, Carbon Monoxide and Nicotine.

We are not going to talk about the Tar that is removed from the cigarette paper (responsible for induced cancers), nor about Carbon Monoxide (a competitor -survivor- of Oxygen in the blood), we will only talk about Nicotine, an alkaloid whose addictive action is as powerful as cocaine, heroin, amphetamines or alcohol, whose image has been subtly worked by commercial companies, thus hiding the reality and showing smoking as an "inoffensive" element of social use.

Nicotine has its own identity, which gives it specific pharmacological characteristics that explain its difficulty in giving it up, that is, the relapses after many attempts to give up the habit are considered part of the process of giving up smoking.

Nicotine involves three specific and essential inter-related processes:

  • Physical and Psychological Addiction: the need to repeat smoking with increasing frequency.
  • Tolerance: As the organism becomes less sensitive to the effects of Nicotine, the person tries to inhale more in order to get a similar effect.
  • Abstinence: These are the symptoms that appear when Nicotine is either reduced or stopped, such as Anxiety, Restlessness, Insomnia, Difficulty in Concentration, Irritability, etc.

The aim of this programme is to focus on knowing, to use another tool that will help us to achieve our aim of getting into new, healthier habits.

"To give up any habit we have to change the vacuum left by another healthy habit", otherwise we will be doomed to failure.

There are many studies on the harmful effects of nicotine on our Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Metabolic, Muscular, Skeletal, Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Systems. This programme to give up smoking that we propose focuses on the main cause of smoking, Nicotine:

The action of Nicotine.

dejar_fumar2The action of Nicotine is mainly based on the release of Dopamine, a neurotransmitter (chemical substance) that is produced in specific neurons (cells) located in the Accumbens Nucleus (area of the brain) which, together with the Olfactory Tubercle (where the sense of smell is located) creates the Basal Ganglia where the Reinforcement System of the Brain or Pleasure Reward Circuit is located.

The substances which have the greatest addictive potential are those which have an immediate action on the Brain Reinforcement System or Pleasure Reward Circuit, such as Nicotine.

Giving up smoking, what can we do?.

1. Make a Written List of Benefits.

When you decide personally to give up smoking, you should be aware of all the benefits you will get from giving up smoking. As an example, make a list of:

Physical benefits: (Cardiovascular - Decreased Blood Pressure and Heart Rate, Respiratory - Increased Resistance to Effort, Immunological - Reduced risk). Less Anxiety and Irritability.

Psychological: Self-esteem (if I can do this and I succeed), the next step will be...). Self-recognition, recovering self-control.

Economic: the cost of medicines to treat the effects of smoking will decrease significantly, as well as the important savings involved in changing habits and stopping buying tobacco. A good idea is put the daily or weekly money that was used to buy tobacco in a piggy bank and after some time calculate and be rewarded with the money saved.

2. Set short, medium and long-term goals.

No rush, but no pause. Giving up smoking may be a long process and it is therefore important to have a follow-up together with a professional of your choice (doctor, pharmacist, psychologist, therapist) to give you advice and be aware of the possible effects, both psychological (mood changes) and physical (weight gain, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, etc.). The effectiveness of the Stop Smoking Programme is three times higher when there is a professional support person.

3. Set a day to start the programme.

Try to avoid publicity and comments that remind us of our effort. On the other hand, we must inform our friends and family (family, people we trust) but avoid unnecessary surprises and reminders if we change our behaviour.

4. Accept relapses.

It is important to not take relapses as an option, they are a possibility, it is important to ask ourselves the following questions:

What happens if you fall back into smoking while trying to give up?: NOTHING, 59% of Spanish smokers have tried to give up smoking without success. You start the process again, "Your Process", and relapses can have the opposite effect, they will encourage you.

Giving up smoking in a natural way with essential oils.

As a Naturopathic Pharmacist, one of the therapeutic methods that I use often in my daily practice are Essential Oils, which I found of great interest after having studied their therapeutic activity.

The strategy for the use of Essential Oils is based on the indirect stimulation via inhalation of a specific area of the brain (Basal Ganglia) where the neurons that release dopamine (chemical substance-neurotransmitter) are located. In the lack of nicotine, the activity of these neurons is reduced, causing symptoms that lead to a relapse into nicotine consumption.

The Natural Proposal of Essential Oil Support for giving up smoking is based on the chronological use of three kinds of essential oils, to be selected from each Group; the Groups, the kind of Essential Oil, time of use, way of use and its action, as detailed below.

Help for the morning.

GROUP A (MORNING ACTIVATORS)

WHEN Used before breakfast, just after waking up from a good sleep.

HOW On an absorbent piece of paper (tissue or tissue paper), add 10 drops of the chosen Essential Oil, then inhale with a deep breath, hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale slowly.

TYPE OF ESSENTIAL OIL :   LEMON  TANGARIN         

TYPE OF ACTIVITY             ACTIVATE  VIGORISING MOTIVATE

Helps during the day

GROUP B (DIURNAL COMPENSATORY)

When and Frequency  Use during daily activities (during the morning and into the evening).

Frequency of use: Use when you feel like smoking.

HOW  On an absorbent piece of paper (tissue or tissue paper), add 10 drops of the chosen                                        Essential Oil, then inhale with a deep breath, hold your breath for a few seconds and                               exhale slowly.

 

TYPE OF ESSENTIAL OIL       MARJORAM

                                               THYME

                                               ROSEMARY

                                               GINGER

TYPE OF ACTIVITY                STIMULANTS AND IMMUNOMODULATORS

Helps at night

GROUP C (EVENING BUFFER)

When and Frequency Use at the end of the daily activities (from the evening to the time of rest).

                                   Frequency of use: Use when the desire to smoke appears.

 

How:                              On an absorbent cellulose-type paper (tissue or clinex), put 10 drops of the chosen                                        Essential Oil, inhale with a deep breath, hold your breath for a few seconds and                                              exhale slowly.

TYPE OF ESSENTIAL OIL    CINNAMON

                                           CAMOMILE

                                           CEDAR

                                           INCENSE

                                           MYRRH

 

TYPE OF ACTIVITY             RELAXANTS, PROMOTES CONCENTRATION AND INTROSPECTION

Keys to staying free of work

To Sum up, the following points should be taken into account:

  1. Reinforce the will and look for help (Doctor/Pharmacist/Therapist), the possibilities of giving up smoking are three times higher if you are attended by a professional.
  2. Tell the people who live with the smoker about the physical and psychological problems caused by the process of giving up smoking.
  3. Clean areas that smell of tobacco.
  4. Change routines and habits related to the consumption of tobacco. Preventing such associations will prevent relapses. For example, replace coffee with tea, herbal teas or pleasant alternatives.
  5. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  6. Remove everything related to tobacco: lighters, ashtrays...
  7. Avoid smoking, and if you do, then rinse your mouth immediately with a liquid.
  8. Keep busy physically (exercise) and mentally (enjoyable reading).
  9. Accept that relapses are part of giving up smoking.

Other natural options that can help you to stop smoking

acupunturaWe must take into account other smoking techniques, included in the context of Alternative Medicines, among which Acupuncture is the most widely used.

Acupuncture is one of the most common of the millenary oriental medical techniques. It is based on the search for balance in the human body, whose functioning depends on energy flows.

Nowadays, there is no agreement among scientists about the benefits of Acupuncture to stop smoking, what has been found by Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is the activation of brain regions related to attention, motivation and reward, that is, the area corresponding to the Basal Ganglia (the same area where the Essential Oils act).

Acupuncture or Electro-Acupuncture is focused on improving the symptoms derived from nicotine withdrawal, such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia and restoring normal lung function.

Finally, there are now pharmacological treatments which must be given under strict medical supervision.



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