How Acupressure Can Help You Quit Smoking

Written by: Kevin Cash



Time to read 4 min

Smoking is one of the hardest habits to kick, but acupressure could be the key that unlocks it for you. By targeting specific pressure points through acupressure, it can help you quit smoking by reducing your nicotine cravings.

We'll cover the science behind acupressure and its effectiveness to stop smoking. We'll look at methods like the ear massage technique and the 5-point NADA protocol. They can help curb nicotine cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms during the quitting process.

This holistic approach can help you break free from the addiction to nicotine. Let's take a look to see how pressing a few key points on the body will help you quit smoking.

What are the Pressure Points to Reduce Nicotine Cravings?

To tackle nicotine cravings using acupressure, you can start with simple techniques like an ear massage, which is great for home use. This ear massage triggers the release of endorphins, your body's natural pain relievers. It also balances the human body's energy, Qi, by stimulating key acupuncture points.

Here are the four acupressure points to help you quit smoking:

Ear Lung Pressure Point
LI5, HT7, Tim Mee Pressure Point

  1. Ear Lung : Located in the center of the hollow in the lower part of the ear.

  2. Large Intestine 5 (LI 5) — Yangxi or Yang Stream : Found on the top of the wrist, in the groove below the thumb bone.

  3. Tim Mee : The Tim Mee acupuncture point is a potent point just below LI-5, over the bony ridge on the side of the wrist.

  4. Heart 7 (HT 7) — Shenmen or Spirit Gate : Situated just below the inside of the wrist crease, on the pinky finger side of the arm.

To stimulate the pressure points, apply firm pressure to an acupoint and either Tap or Rub it in a circular motion for about 1 minute. Then repeat it 3 to 5 times.

You can also gently massage your earlobes by pulling on them or using a circular motion for relaxation.

For safety, if you experience any irritation, stop the acupressure. Pregnant individuals should consult a licensed acupuncture practitioner before starting anything new.

Aside from the acupressure points, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) outlines acupuncture points to stop smoking. There is a variety of other protocols that are helpful, but the 5-point NADA protocol is the most widely used.

The combination of 5 auricular acupuncture points can help quit smoking, according to the NADA protocol. These are the five points and their other benefits:

MA-TF1, Kidney, Autonomic, Liver Pressure Point

  1. Autonomic Point : Calms the nervous system and promotes relaxation.

  2. MA-TF1 — Ear Shenmen : Reduces anxiety and nervousness.

  3. Kidney Point : Aids in reducing aggression, calming fears, and supporting organ health.

  4. Liver Point : Supports detoxification, blood purification, and aggression management.

  5. Lung Point : Enhances aeration and helps with grief management.

A professional acupuncturist that follows the NADA protocol will place needles in these 5 specific points for about 30-45 minutes. Removing and replacing the needles regularly to prevent infections is important to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Does Acupressure Really Help With Quitting Smoking?

Man Smoking a Cigarette

Acupressure can indeed be a valuable tool in the fight with smoking. It's especially useful with the physical cravings from nicotine addiction. While acupressure can't cure the smoking habit itself, it is a powerful tool in controlling withdrawal symptoms and reducing the urge to smoke.

Here are the main ways acupressure helps in the process of quitting smoking:

  • Alleviate Withdrawal Symptoms : Acupressure has shown promise in alleviating the discomfort of withdrawal.

  • Reduce Cravings : Acupressure can help reduce the intensity of cravings by targeting specific points.

  • Manage Stress and Anxiety : Since stress and anxiety often trigger the desire to smoke, acupressure's relaxation benefits can be particularly helpful.

  • Support Overall Well-Being : Acupressure's holistic nature can contribute to a sense of well-being, making the quitting process more manageable.

  • Enhance Self-Awareness and Mindfulness : Acupressure may deepen individuals' self-awareness and mindfulness, reinforcing their commitment to quitting.

  • Offers Non-Invasive Self-Care : Acupressure is non-invasive and can be easily done at home, providing an accessible and empowering self-care technique.

Acupressure is most effective when paired with a strong commitment to quitting. Before quitting smoking, you'll want to prepare yourself mentally and accept the idea of no cigarettes.

Should I Use Other Techniques Besides Acupressure?

Woman Doing Yoga

Acupuncture is a commonly used method to stop smoking. It uses the same pressure points as acupressure, in addition to other points, but stimulation of the points is done by needles in acupuncture.

Here are some compelling reasons why acupuncture to quit smoking helps:

  • Historical use for quitting smoking.

  • Strong research backing its effectiveness.

  • Reduces cravings.

  • Alters the perception of tobacco taste and smell.

  • Stimulates the release of feel-good hormones.

  • Enhances overall health and well-being.

Since smoking addiction is complex, having support on multiple fronts is helpful: physical, emotional, and social.

Here's a mix of other good techniques to tackle both the physical and emotional aspects of quitting smoking:

  • Hypnotherapy : Trains the subconscious mind to steer clear of tobacco.

  • Chinese Herbs : Aid in managing cravings, irritability, detoxification, and tissue repair.

  • Ear Seeds : A form of self-acupressure. Placing tiny balls on specific ear points helps curb the urge to smoke.

  • Yoga : Combines physical postures, breathing, and meditation to improve overall well-being.

  • Lifestyle Changes : Eating small, frequent meals and exercising can reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  • Counseling : Physician-led discussions on the benefits of quitting have a high success rate.

Each technique offers a unique way to support those on the path to being cigarette-free. Whether it's the physical relief from cravings or the emotional support through counseling, a comprehensive approach is often the most effective.

The journey to quitting smoking is highly personal and unique to each person. It's about finding the right combination of techniques that work for you. Explore these options and seek support from healthcare professionals to make your smoke-free goal a reality.