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OTHER THERAPIES

Although overcoming some addictions requires medical supervision, alternative therapies can ease withdrawal. More importantly, certain alternative therapies provide tools, a person needs for permanently changing behavior patterns that fostered addiction.

  • Acupuncture

  • Hypnosis and Visualization

  • Meditation and Yoga

Acupuncture
No one knows how it works but there is considerable anecdotal evidence that this ancient Chinese procedure helps people overcome drug addictions. Typically, acupuncturist inserts sterile steel needles in cartilage of outer ear, twirling them and leaving them in place for half an hour. With repeated treatments, many persons have been able to stop smoking and others have even been able to overcome heroin addiction.

Hypnosis and visualization
Cigarette smoking is especially amenable to these approaches perhaps because nicotine withdrawal does not require medical supervision. During hypnosis, a person is highly receptive to power or suggestion. Some hypnotists instruct their clients to discard all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays at a specific time. They may also plant notion that smoking is unpleasant; for example that cigarette smoke has a disgusting odor. Hypnotists often teach visualization or self-hypnosis as additional tools in resisting the urge to smoke.

Meditation and yoga
Many people turn to cigarettes, alcohol or other addictive substances as a mean of dealing with stress. Meditation, yoga and other relaxation therapies provide an alternative that is not self-destructive and has other health benefits as well. Relaxation therapy often precedes the actual cessation of smoking; in treating alcoholism and drug addiction, it is usually added during the counseling or rehabilitation stages.

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