From Resolutions to Reality
The idea of “New Year, New You” sounds like a great plan each December, but unfortunately, resolutions tend to come and go as quickly as our holidays do. As a Naturopath, one of my main goals this year is to help you form healthy, long-lasting habits. Making lifestyle improvements instead of a 3-week crash cleanse is what we want to focus on this year. Forget the re
solutions; let us focus on what is needed in order to change the way we look at health, food, and preventative medicine.
One of the things a lot of people want to change each year is their smoking habit. How many of you have made a new years resolution to quit smoking, but after February 1st rolls around, you find yourself slowly slinking back to a cigarette or two on a Friday night. These two cigarettes turn into a half pack on the weekend, which turns into a casual smoke each night after work. I’m not casting judgments here. As addictions go, nicotine is one of the most addictive substances to the human body. Quitting is no easy task. This is why I want to offer some help, and show you how to make a successful change to your habits once and for all.
The ever so popular e-cigarettes have become a hot item on the market. With different styles, flavours, and nicotine options, e-cigarettes are quickly becoming a healthier, and more stylish alternative to cigarettes, especially for those that want to quit smoking. While helpful to many, I have heard from a lot of patients that e-cigarettes are not a desirable alternative for everyone due to their cost, functionality, and potential health risks. Aside from the harmful side effects of nicotine, e-cigs have also the potential to cause dry mouth, allergies, asthma, and something called “popcorn lung”.
Ok, so we know cigarettes are bad, that isn’t the point of this article. We also know that the marketed alternatives to smoking, while helpful, aren’t the healthiest. And we know that cigarettes are one of the hardest habits to kick. So what can Naturopaths do to help? A lot.
This involves the insertion of very fine needles into certain points in the body and ears. When the needle is inserted, it stimulates the flow of energy and blood throughout the body, which helps regulate the body’s natural systems. Acupuncture will help reduce cravings for nicotine, calm the mind, reduce anxiety, clear the sinuses and lungs, and reduce stress. Usually, visits are 30 minutes long and run once a week for 8 weeks. These visits are covered under your extended health benefits plan.
You can talk to your Naturopath about ways to quit smoking, including gradual quitting programs, support groups, stress reduction techniques, alternatives to smoking, journaling, behavior therapy – basically finding a path that is right for you. We help to create individualized plans that are specific, goal oriented, and that are designed with you and for you.
The great thing about herbal medicine is that each herb has many different purposes. 1 herb can help many different symptoms at once. We can use herbs to reduce cravings, and also relax the body, help with sleep, manage appetite, clear the lungs, boost the immune system, reduce anxiety, and manage depression. Herbs are used in many forms including infusions (tea), tinctures, powders, and tablets. Speak with your Naturopath to make sure the herbs you are taking are safe, effective, and right for you.
Naturopaths are licensed to inject various vitamins into the body. This includes B vitamins and powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione. These nutrients can help replenish vitamin deficiencies in the body, and also aid in boosting energy, mood, and nerve health.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant in the body, and is especially useful in the lung tissue. Nebulized glutathione allows glutathione to be inhaled, and to, therefore, target lung tissue directly, as it is not absorbed well through digestion. Nebulized glutathione can be useful in conditions of inflammatory lung disease where we want to decrease the oxidant load or correct antioxidant deficiencies in the lungs. It can be used to reduce the risk of COPD development in smokers, as well as reduce oxidative damage from other lung conditions. Nebulized glutathione can not be used in patients who have sulfite-sensitive asthma as it may cause an allergic response in some individuals. It is always important to discuss these options with your Naturopathic doctor to see if they are appropriate for you.
At gesund the choice is yours. You may choose a “pay as you go” plan, or purchase our Smoking Cessation Program. In my experience, patients are most successful when they are part of a program. A group of appointments can be purchased together in advance, this keeps you committed to the process while habits and behaviours change, and saves you some money on the overall cost.
Seeing a Naturopath can also be about a lot more than your smoking habit. Once you are ready, we can work with you to help you quit, and we can support you through each step of the way. As we care about holistic and preventative medicine, we will ask about all areas of your health, and work with you to not only quit smoking but to help you achieve optimal health and happiness in 2017.
Bring your resolutions to reality this year, and book with an ND today!