In my years of practice, I have seen patients with a wide array of health problems. From back pain to migraine headaches, the one constant indicator of successful treatment is the desire for success. My philosophy about living the healthiest life, free of pain and disease, resolves around one simple concept: the commitment to make a change.

One of the most frustrating health issues for me to witness is the addiction to cigarettes. Most smokers make an effort to hide their smoking habit—especially when they are near me or any other health practitioner—by covering up the lingering smell with breath mints or by washing their hands. But the deleterious effects of smoking on appearance are not quite so easy to hide.

Did you know that the term ‘smoker’s face’ is actual medical terminology? First published in the British Medical Journal, ‘smoker’s face’ involves lines and wrinkles on the face; gauntness of facial features; and a grey appearance of the skin.

Smoking is the main cause of preventable death and causes one in every five deaths; most smokers already know this. But I’ve found addiction to be a stubborn and interesting condition; the craving for nicotine makes it easy to push aside all of these statistics and continue to smoke.

It’s not quite so easy to avoid looking in the mirror.

Skin, Teeth, and Nails

Let’s take a look at the truth about smoking and appearance. We know that smoking can cause stained and discolored teeth; premature aging and skin wrinkling; yellow and discolored fingernails; bad breath; and hair loss and thinning.

Smoking cigarettes impairs the ability of the skin to regenerate itself by causing a narrowing of the blood vessels, reducing blood supply to the skin. Without this blood supply, the skin is deprived of oxygen, which is necessary for all living cells. When the skin is denied the necessary environment for regeneration, collagen levels are reduced (keep in mind that collagen is the principal structural protein holding the skin together) and the healing process is thwarted.

Then, of course, there is the battle of good versus evil— anti-oxidant versus free radical—that takes place every time you inhale. Organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. Every drag on a cigarette results in more than a trillion free radicals!

Quitting Smoking Naturally through Acupuncture

I know that the vast majority of smokers want to quit, but just don’t know how. In my years as a holistic physician, I have sought out the best possible cessation treatments, and have found acupuncture to be extremely helpful to those who have made the commitment to quit smoking. In fact, the success rate at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center is approximately 75%. Recently, we successfully treated a patient who informed me during her consultation that she smoked four packs per day. I questioned her asking how she found the time to smoke 80 cigarettes per day. She informed me that it completely consumed her time and that she woke up every night between two and three A.M. just to smoke a couple of cigarettes before returning to sleep. After three acupuncture treatments she was sleeping through the night and her cigarette intake was down 50%!

Acupuncture is successful because it helps with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation, including headaches, irritability, and restless sleep. Overall, acupuncture helps your body return to a natural balance by speeding up the detoxification process and helping to reduce cravings.

The Quit Smoking Now program at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation recommends that patients go “cold turkey” after the first acupuncture treatment. The treatment plan usually includes five treatments over a several weeks, but each patient is evaluated and treated according to his or her individual needs.

Please contact Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center now for a complimentary consultation to determine whether you are a candidate for our Quit Smoking Now program.