Here’s the deal on smoking. There are many reasons why people start smoking. But there are only a few why they keep smoking. Anyone who tells you that they enjoy the taste of cigarettes is kidding themselves and lying to you. No one enjoys cigarettes, including smokers. So, what keeps them smoking?
What keeps them smoking is the feeling they get with each puff of smoke. Smoking brings chemicals into the body that stimulates the brain, activates dopamine, and makes people feel good. The problem is that the effects don’t last all that long, which is what brings on that next puff. And, over time, people get more addicted to it and used to it, so they need to smoke more and drag deeper to get that same feeling they got when they initially started.
When people try to smoke, what they lack is something that helps fill that void of good feeling. Some people will go to food looking for it, but that backfires in weight gain. Some people will try drugs to overcome smoking, and many anti-smoking drugs are dangerous and addicting themselves.
Something many might not think about trying is massage therapy. It seems like a nontraditional method to overcome smoking, but it essentially has the effect on the brain that a smoker’s brain has been missing, that being that it makes the body relaxed and feels good.
Since no one can afford to have a massage therapist coming home with them and massaging them all night, a study was done in 2001 to see how self massage of certain areas of the body might help smokers to quit. What it determined is that self massage certainly helped people reduce the amount they were smoking, and in a few cases did actually help people quit. They were taught hand and ear massage techniques to use, and it actually worked.
The theory then is that regular, non-therapeutic massage could help someone to reduce or quit smoking, as long as it’s done along with therapy of some kind for support. It’s safer than drugs and easier than going cold turkey. It’s definitely something to consider if you’re looking to quit smoking.