Quit Smoking With Acupuncture Makes it Easier

Quit smoking with acupuncture – why you should consider acupuncture to help you quit smoking.

According to the U.S Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 17.8% of people in the US smoke, 3200 people under the age of 18 start smoking every day and 2100 people go from occasional smokers to daily smokers every day.  Annually in the US there are 42000 smoking related deaths.

Over many years, acupuncture has been clinically shown to be extremely effective in helping people quit smoking.  Acupuncture needles are inserted into different points on the body and outer ear.  You will also have special needles inserted on the outer ear, which will stay in place with a flesh colored plaster for about a week. The treatment is calming and cleansing for the body and makes the quitting process far more manageable.  When you do this treatment with us, we will give you some homeopathic and herbal medicines that assist to reduce cravings between acupuncture treatments.

Some patients find this treatment enables them to quit “cold turkey” ,while others notice a significant change in their smoking habits – cravings satisfied quicker, forget to smoke and are often completely put off by their or someone else’s cigarettes.

There is never going to be a perfect time to quit, so if you are a smoker and want to quit, give us a ring today.  If you know of anyone else who may benefit from quitting with this treatment, do them a favor and pass this mailer on or just suggest acupuncture.

6 Things to do instead of smoking….

For more information or to book an acupuncture appointment contact Dr Yutar

quit smoking with accupuncture - Sandtn

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Avoid the Winter Blues

Even though we have passed the winter solstice, the nights are still long and in Joburg it feels like winter is only beginning to show us what it has to offer.

Along with our icy Johannesburg weather it is that time for cold and flu viruses to be rampant.  If you haven’t already been sick with either one of those this winter then you are one of the lucky ones.  They are caused by viruses and have limited duration of infection.

Flu will be more severe than the typical cold and often comes with fever and body aches.

Some of the favorite herbal medicines to assist with these infections include:

  • Echinacea
  • Pelargonium
  • Elderberry
  • Astragalis
These herbs have immune modulating and supportive benefits.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin well known for its immune system benefits.  Our bodies do not make it so we must get it from our food or use supplements. Good food sources include strawberries, kiwi fruit, tomato and citrus fruits.

Garlic is known for its anti-microbial and immune tonifying effects.  It has been shown to have benefits that help prevent colds and flu as well as to reduce the severity of the disease should you get it.

Ginger is another favorite, excellent for viruses and bacteria including RSV (one of the main culprits of chest infections in young children).

Washing hands is one of the best ways to avoid picking up unwanted germs from people, door handles and light switches.

Always remember the benefits of good sleep, hydration, exercise and nutrition.

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Allergies / Sinusitis and Acupuncture

People, especially foreigners always rave about our South African weather – in fact according to many, Johannesburg probably has the most temperate weather in the country.  The down side of our moderate Johannesburg weather is our lack of humidity and high altitude which both contribute hugely to the way people who battle with allergies and sinus congestion.

With our seriously hot spring weather and our rains coming so late in the year, it is no wonder people struggle with this change of season.

Acupuncture and homeopathic treatment have both been shown to assist with the symptoms of allergies and sinusitis.

Below I have set out some information about sinusitis and how acupuncture can assist with its treatment and relieve the discomfort.

Sinusitis and Acupuncture

Acute sinusitis is  inflammation of the nose and sinuses for anytime up to 12 weeks presenting with two or more of the following symptoms: blockage/congestion, discharge (anterior or post nasal drip); facial pain or pressure; and reduced or loss of smell. Other symptoms can include toothache (the upper teeth), tenderness, swelling, loss of energy and fever.  Sinusitis is chronic if it lasts for more than 12 weeks, and is associated with similar symptoms.

Acute sinusitis can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. You may also be predisposed to developing it if you have an upper respiratory infection, hay-fever, you are a smoker, have diabetes, have a dental infection or mechanical abnormalities such as deviation of the nasal septum.

Complications can include; spreading of the infection around the eye, which could lead to blindness, infection of the bones in the face, and meningitis. Symptoms and signs of these complications include swelling of the eyes or lids, eye redness, displacement of the eye, double vision, reduced vision, severe frontal headache, and signs of meningitis.

Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis in the following ways:

  • Endorphins are released during the treatment – they are chemicals that react with receptors in your brain, reducing your perception of pain.  They also trigger receptors that cause an improved mood
  • Reduces inflammation by promoting the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals or cytokines
  • Enhances the release of white blood cells – immune support, fighting the infection
  • Enhances local micro-circulation – helping to reduce local swelling and lymph drainage.

Acupuncture is an effective drug-free therapy for sinusitis, why not give it a try or recommend it to a friend.  The frequency and number of treatments needed depends on the severity of the persons condition – usually the patient experiences relief within the a day or two of the treatment.

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Folic Acid or Folate for Pregnancy Prep

If you are in the process of trying to fall pregnant or are already pregnant, your doctors’ have most likely recommended that you take a folic acid or folate supplement. Why and which one is the best?

Folate is otherwise known as vitamin B9 and it is commonly found in eggs, legumes, fruit and vegetables.  Levels of folate are generally very low in meat with the exception of beef liver.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is added to many different processed foods.

Uses of Folate:

  • Folate combined with Vitamin B12 is used by the body to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow.
  • Processes carbohydrates into energy
  • Shown to assist mood enhancement, memory and behavior
  • Essential in the production of neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine
  • Promotes the production of the brain’s sleep hormone – melatonin
  • Important for the production of DNA and RNA
  • Useful to assist with DNA repair
  • Methylation (gene regulation, processing of chemicals and removing toxins, nerve protection)

When is it important to supplement with folate?

  • During times of rapid growth
  • Pregnancy – folate hasd been shown to reduce a baby’s risk of brain and spine defects by around 50% (spina bifida and incomplete skull or undeveloped brain).
  • Adolescence

What reduces folate levels in your body?

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Poor nutrition
  • Lupus
  • Kidney failure
  • Medication for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis – Methotrexate


  • During pregnancy use around 600 – 800 mcg per day
  • During breast feeding around 500 mcg per day

Folic acid must first be converted into its active form, methylfolate, before it can be used by the body.  Folic acid is known to be poorly converted to methylfolate as it needs a particular enzyme, which has limited capacity in order to complete the conversion process.  A person’s genetics can also sometimes get in the way of this process, making it ideal to supplement with the active form which is L-methylfolate (5-MTHF).

In a nutshell, when you are choosing a supplement find one with both L-methylfolate and B12.  Vitamin B2 and B6 are also very important to combine with folate to support its use.  The better quality products available will include all of these in one.

Wishing you all the best in health

Dr Graham

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