Kick the Habit: Smoking cessation with Circuit Healing

Forty million Americans smoke tobacco. More than half a million deaths every year are associated with smoking. One quarter of Native Americans smoke cigarettes. Out of the 10 top leading causes of deaths in native communities, six are linked to smoking.

Traditional and commercial tobacco differ in the way that they are planted, grown, harvested prepared and used. There are more than 7,000 chemicals in commercial tobacco; hundreds are harmful and 70 can cause cancer.

Smokers can and do quit smoking. There are more former smokers today than current smokers. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking related diseases. Seven out of 10 smokers say they want to quit smoking. Health benefits to quitting smoking include:

  • Decreased risk of lung cancer
  • Decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease
  • Decreases heart disease within one to two years of quitting
  • Decreases respiratory symptoms: coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing
  • Decreases lung diseases such as COPD

Pokagon Heath Services offers a comprehensive smoking cessation initiative for those who want to kick the habit. Behavioral Health’s Circuit Healing Program consists of three holistic therapies: auricular acupuncture, talk therapy, and touch therapy. This program requires a 12-week commitment and Pokagon citizens can take advantage of it every Monday and Thursday.

Thursday programming involves a 90-minute time slot in which the participant moves through the three different therapies. On Monday, an additional 35 minute session of auricular acupuncture is provided to help the participant sustain reduced levels of cravings for tobacco and lower stress levels. Regular attendance is required in order for the treatments to be effective.

Auricular Acupuncture
Circuit Healing participants complete a twice weekly five-point ear acupuncture protocol with a PHS auricular acupuncture specialist certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. Auricular acupuncture was developed by the ancient Chinese and was also used by Northern Plains tribes using porcupine quills. It consists of stimulating designated points related to internal body functions on the skin by inserting needles at these points. Auricular acupuncture balances the energy that has become blocked, too weak, or stagnant. Physically, auricular acupuncture relaxes and reduces stress, decreases pain, increased energy and immunity, and normalizes sleep. Mentally and emotionally it helps you feel clear, alert, and calm. Individuals treated with ear acupuncture often report an improved sense of well-being, a feeling of being more relaxed. This treatment has been shown in dozens of studies and a variety of clinical settings to be beneficial in reducing cravings and symptoms of cigarette withdrawal. Ear dot magnets/beads are also available to use in place of needles.

Talk Therapy
Participants in Circuit Healing attend weekly talk therapy with a licensed professional counselor. Through motivational discussion, the participant and counselor work together with respect and sense of equality. The style of talk therapy is calm, and focuses on drawing out the motivation to change from the individual, rather than forcing the individual to make positive change. Additional educational aides may be used if requested.

Touch Therapy
PHS provides Circuit Healing patients with weekly touch therapy with a licensed massage therapist. Therapy can also include Native American traditional healing practices like smudging, aromatherapy, drumming and/ or music, or deep breathing. Touch therapy is used as treatment for the pain of withdrawal, focusing on specific therapeutic points. Touch therapy has been found to increase immune response. Cravings to smoke can be so strong that to not give in requires so much energy and strength that giving in seems easier. Touch therapy has been shown to reduce cravings and substitutes a positive way to feel better and take care of oneself. It is a way to move lifestyle away from self-destruction and toward self-care.

If you are ready to kick the habit, please call PHS at (269) 462-4459 for more information.