With the winter holidays in full swing, the days are flying by and we’re coming to the end of another year. Please cue the resolution reports and the end-of-year wrap-ups, and ready yourself for the diet and makeover madness that inevitably ushers in the month of January.
So, are you quitting smoking this New Year’s Eve? Is that your resolution? If you’re a smoker, it should be. Yes I said it! And I smoked for 12 years, so I’m allowed to say it. I think you should quit smoking. Because if I can do it, then you can do it, and I promise you that you can. And you should. And I even promise you that eventually, you’ll be glad you did. You won’t miss it one bit.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, it does help to have a strategy in place. And I’ll be honest – quitting is messy and difficult. So aside from the more typical, more chemical-based (the patch, the gum, etc) smoking cessation tools, may I offer a few alternative aides? In no particular order, this list of scientifically-proven, all-natural craving tamers might just help you break through that initial physical addiction. Please give them a try – and good luck to you!
1. Fresh Lime Juice
Yup, you read that right! A 2012 study titled Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation was published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, and the conclusion was that fresh lime could be used in place of nicotine gum as an effective smoking cessation aid.
2. Black Pepper
Sounds crazy I know, but a small study from back in 1994 showed that the vapor from black pepper essential oil was significantly effective in reducing reported cigarette cravings among smokers. So, get yourself some black pepper essential oil, and sniff sniff sniff your cravings away!
Truth! Quitting sucks and you feel like crap, but the verdict is in. Even short, light-intensity exercise can help curb cravings, according to this 2004 study in the journal Psychopharmacology. The conclusion? “Five minutes of moderate intensity exercise is associated with a short-term reduction in desire to smoke and tobacco withdrawal symptoms.”
Acupuncture and related therapies, like acupressure or aurical acupressure, can be effective in addressing the difficulties that so often accompany quitting, such as insomnia, jitters, irritability, coughing, dry mouth, constipation, fatigue, and depression. Studies have also shown that acupuncture can directly aid in smoking cessation by ameliorating withdrawal symptoms.
5. Self Massage
And who doesn’t love a good body rub? The great news is, you don’t have to pay a professional or cajole your partner into performing the task. Self-massage, on specifically focused on the ears and hands, has been shown to “alleviate smoking-related anxiety, reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, improve mood, and reduce the number of cigarettes smoked.”
So give yourself a rub. You’re working hard to quit, and you deserve it!