Many a successful quitter has gotten through the pangs of cigarette withdrawal using techniques such as hypnosis, acupuncture, or meditation. These alternative, or complementary, therapies address lifestyle issues not generally covered by conventional medicine—in this case, coping mentally with the little smoking triggers that lure smokers back, developing a healthy balance between the mind and the body, and relieving stress.
Doctors who recommend alternative approaches encourage patients to try them in conjunction with other quitting methods such as medication, therapy, the patch, or nicotine gum. “People shouldn’t think that alternative modalities will help alone; they should be combined with other treatment,” says Amit Sood, M.D., director of research for the Mayo Clinic’s complementary and integrative medicine program. “Smoking is a serious problem and should be treated like a real chronic disease.”