Exercise Helps People Quit Smoking

Posted October 28, 2006 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Holistic Medicine


Regular exercise combined with nicotine replacement therapy may help in smoking cessation as well as make you healthier, according to a study released on Tuesday by the American College of Chest Physicians. Smokers who use transdermal patches or nicotine gum and exercise regularly are more likely to quit than those who receive nicotine replacement therapy with no fitness program.

Ralf H. Zwick, MD, and colleagues at the Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, Austria enrolled 68 smokers in a three-month study and randomly assigned them either a treatment program that included exercise or one that only used nicotine replacement therapy. Of those who exercised, 80 percent had quit smoking after the three-month period, while 52 percent of those in the group that did not exercise had quit.

The study concluded that those who combined exercise with smoking cessation aids were able to kick the habit more easily. “Exercise training is an effective therapy without side effects and aids in smoking cessation,” the researchers reported at the CHEST 2006 meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held Oct. 21-26 in Salt Lake City. Those who exercised were more likely to reduce their cigarette smoking if they did not quit.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been found to be effective in smoking cessation. Acupuncture directed to selected points on the ear and body that affect smoking-related organs such as the lungs and mouth may help to curb smoking. During the acupuncture treatment, natural endorphins of the body are stimulated, which helps to reduce nicotine cravings. Smoking cessation may occur after 6 to 10 treatments.

When combined with acupuncture, herbs can help in the smoking cessation process. Astragalus is commonly found in herbal formulas used to treat smoking addiction, shortness of breath and smoking withdrawal symptoms. Kava kava can minimize anxiety and licorice may reduce the stress experienced in the withdrawal

"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne



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