Cigarette smoking is a hard habit to break. Many have tried, and many have failed. But those who’ve succeeded will tell you that the end goal was worth the struggle.

If you’re still seeking a solution to your nicotine addiction, perhaps you should consider a painless procedure that was developed about 2,500 years ago – acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps to cure addiction by treating the body and mind. “It helps to calm the nervous system in much the same way that many medications do,” explains Brendan Carney, LAc, a licensed acupuncturist at the Brigham and Women’s Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies. “Repeated treatments at strategic body points and discussions with the practitioner help the patient observe their habits lucidly and change their addiction pattern.”

It literally wouldn’t hurt to try. Most patients barely feel the insertion of the extremely fine needles involved in acupuncture, and, after the needles are in place, patients typically feel only a slight, if any, pressure sensation.

Molly Sayce tried it. After learning that Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) employees could get free acupuncture services for smoking cessation, Molly decided to see Brendan at the Osher Center. Watch the video above to see how Brendan and acupuncture helped Molly kick the smoking habit for good.

Besides addiction, clinical studies have demonstrated that acupuncture – by itself, or in combination with conventional therapies – may be an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy; various types of pain; problems associated with pregnancy, such as morning sickness; allergies, including hay fever;  and stroke rehabilitation.

To learn more about acupuncture and other complementary therapies offered at BWH, please visit the Osher Center website or call (617) 732-9700.

For more information about smoking cessation, read: “The Great American Smokeout: Make It the Event of a Lifetime.”

- Chris P

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