Thursday, August 13, 2009
Smoking Cessation Laser Therapy has been around for over 20 years, and yet it is only gaining in popularity and acceptance in the US since 2002.
Even though there are thousands of practitioners offering laser smoking cessation treatments in the US, it is still in its infancy in America.
Because, as of March 2007 there is still no such thing as a laser that has been cleared by the FDA for smoking cessation. The only way for practitioners to legally offer these treatments in the US and advertise their service is to participate in a clinical trial study through an Investigational Review Board (IRB), and have clients read and sign an informed consent form.FACTS: 46.8 Million American adults in the US smoke cigarettes inspite of the significant associated dangers. Cigarettes contain over 4,600 potentially toxic substances per inhalation. Nicotine is the worst affender due to its highly addictive nature. Lung cancer due to smoking claims an estimated 442,398 Americans each year. About 1 out of every 5 deaths in the United States is attributed to the use of tobacco products.Following is information that may prove helpful to practitioners for the purposes of utilizing LLLT for Smoking Cessation. It addresses many of the questions that you or your clients may have.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Laser Smoking Cessation:
What is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?
LLLT is the application of a cold laser light to treat numerous conditions. It has been studied for over 30 years and is now commonly used worldwide to successfully treat many kinds of musculoskeletal injuries, repetative stress injuries and for acupoint therapies because it promotes healing and tissue repair. LLLT has also been found to be an extremely successful treatment for alcohol & drug addiction, weight control, and smoking cessation.
Is LLLT safe?
Cold lasers are called “cold” because they do not induce any thermal temperature raising of the tissues. LLLT is a safe, painless and medication-free treatment with virtually no negative side effects. It has been used in England, Canada and Europe for over 20 years with no documented adverse side effects. Laser therapy is a non-medical procedure and is respected by many physicians as a highly effective treatment. Several companies are currently participating in a study by the FDA to validate the effectiveness of LLLT. Countless patients are raving about their successful treatment.
How does LLLT work?
The laser light easily penetrates through the layers of your skin to activate healing responses by your cells and to stimulate your nerve endings to produce endorphins. Endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine are produced naturally by your body and are nature’s natural mood lifters and anesthetic. The endorphin production relieves the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking and helps keep you from feeling anxious or moody. LLLT quickly helps to activate the bodies innate cellular communication system and positive immune, enzyme and endorphin response.
What points on my body are used for laser smoking cessation?
Each patient is custom-treated according to his or her specific and unique diagnosis. Usually a combination of body, hand, forearm, nose and ear acupuncture points are used that are believed to influence the organs and energetic pathways associated with smoking, addiction, weight management and hunger control.
Will the treatment hurt?
No. LLLT is completely painless. In fact, most people describe an extremely relaxed feeling after being treated.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment only takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on the practitioner and the laser used. Your first visit will include a personal consultation, so you should allow for at least an hour for that appointment.
Will I gain weight?
Weight gain is avoidable when quitting smoking with laser treatment. Studies conducted in other countries have shown little to no weight gain with LLLT. If weight gain is a concern, ask your technician to explain our plan options to help ensure that you do not gain while quitting. It has been found beneficial to eat 6-8 small meals per day to help control blood sugar. The glycemic index diet is worth looking at.
Will my medical insurance cover the cost of laser therapy?
Since LLLT is not a medical treatment, insurance will not pay for it. However, the cost of many smoking cessation programs is tax-deductible. Check with your accountant.
Is the treatment guaranteed?
Nicotine addiction consists of two factors: the physical addiction and the mental addiction. The laser treatment is designed to relieve the physical withdrawal symptoms, but will not give you amnesia! If you have smoked a pack or 2 a day for ten or twenty years, this means you will be making a huge change to your daily routine when you quit. Even if you experience no physical symptoms, you will still think about smoking. Therefore, while we cannot make a guarantee, we will do everything in our power to ensure your success. Laser treatment with education and your commitment is what it is all about. Many US clinics are reporting an average of 85-90% success rates.
Are there any health conditions for which laser therapy is not recommended?
Yes. LLLT is not recommended for those who have blockages, tumors, active cancers, epilepsy, or for those who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. If you have health concerns, consult your physician prior to treatment.Is there anything I need to do before my first treatment?Make a 100% commitment before you arrive for treatment. Get rid of absolutely all your cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia. You should drink 8 glasses of water per day, drink juice, eat healthy foods and take at least 1000 mg of vitamin C per day. It is also a good idea to decrease your caffeine intake for 3-5 days before initial treatment.
What is the success rate?
A similar program used in London, England is experiencing a success rate as high as 99% for smoking cessation. In the US this is relatively new territory and some companies are currently participating in a research study to aid the FDA in establishing the success rates for the United States.
Is there anything extra that I can do to increase my success rate after the laser treatment?
Yes! Research has shown that ridding the body of residual nicotine is beneficial to the success of treatment as well as the increased health of the body. A natural method of achieving this involves drinking a combination of 1 teaspoon cream of tarter mixed in 8 oz. of Orange Juice one time per day for 7 days after your laser treatment.
How does the laser cessation treatment work?
We use a low level laser (also known as a therapeutic or cold laser). It works along the same principle as acupuncture but of course, no needles. The points that we work on are on the ears (auricular points), nose, hands, wrist, and forearm (meridian points). It is a very relaxing and pleasant treatment.We work on three different areas with the treatment. First, we treat points for the addiction to nicotine, to help block your body’s need for that drug; second, we treat diet points to help control your appetite and avoid excessive weight gain; and third we treat a lot of stress and relaxation points to help avoid the withdrawal symptoms that you would normally experience if you tried to quit on your own, such as irritability, getting short tempered, etc. We try to take away all the negative feelings and make it a smooth transition for you.For many people, one treatment is all that is needed. For others 1 or more booster treatments may be necessary, depending on the smokers’ level of stress and their resolve to actually quit smoking. Ask your practitioner for confirmation of this. We understand that unexpected troubles happen in life. You can use the booster for any reason or just for the wonderful feeling of “well being” the laser treatment gives you.
How many times do you use the treatment?
This is a one-time treatment, although some clinics offer a second treatment 1 week later. After your innitial treatment you should not have cravings. Some practitioners offer a one-time booster treatment within 6 months if you feel you need it.
How long does the treatment last and when do you start feeling it?
The treatment takes about 30-60 minutes and consultation can take from 5-30 minutes. The relaxing effect is a little different for everyone, however you should feel no cravings for nicotine immediately following the treatment.
How do you feel once you are treated and can you drive home?
You may feel light headed but it passes very quickly.
Do you do treatment for pain?
Depends on the practitioner.
Where do you place the laser?
Different points on the body, and for the smoking treatment, around the ears, hands, wrists, and on or to the side of the nose.
If I were to have a blood test, how long does it take for nicotine to be out of the body’s blood stream?
Depending on the person’s metabolism, approximately 3 to 5 weeks. A natural method of getting the nicotine out of the body much faster involves drinking a combination of 1 teaspoon cream of tarter mixed in 8 oz. of Orange Juice, one time per day for 7 days after your laser treatment.
How long does having no cravings last after the treatment?
You won’t have physical cravings, however you will still have to conquer the mental habit, which is easier for some than others.
If you are taking medications what affect does this treatment have?
Being that treatment is not taken internally, it has no affect on other medications, however if you have a concern please see a competent physician.
Can I have a pacemaker and do this treatment?
Cold lasers do not generate enough heat to heat tissues and they do not send an electrical frequency into the body. We have had no problems with any customers that had a pacemaker, though we would suggest that you ask your doctor for advice if you have concerns.
I have never heard of this treatment, who else does this?
It has been available in Europe and Canada for over 20 years.15. I have had acupuncture done, but it didn’t work very well, is this any different?Cold laser treatment is pain free and the energy that is absorbed by the body takes a long time to be dissipated, which makes it far more effective for tabacco, alcohol and drug addiction cessation.
If I want to come back after the booster for another treatment what does it cost, and is there a limit to how many times I can come back for additional treatments?
(Some practitioners charge from $50-$100 per additional treatment. Some practitioners charge a flat fee of approximately $300 for up to six treatments within a 3-6 month period)
When I drink, that is when I usually smoke. After the treatment will I still want to smoke?
You may want to avoid situations that trigger habits for a few days.
Will this affect my desire to smoke non-nicotine substances?
No - not usually.
If I come back for a booster treatment, is this different than the original treatment? How does this booster work?
This depends on what area you are having a problem. A Bright Solution to an Old ProblemModern technology has been kind enough to provide us with quit smoking laser therapy, which has an 85% success rate in Europe, Canada and the US. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) treatments are drug-free, painless, and non-invasive. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified cold lasers as a “non- significant risk device.” However quit smoking laser therapy in the US is regulated as investigational use only technology and therefore must be administered by a clinician who is participating in a clinical trial study under supervision of an investigation review board (IRB). Many IRB registered smoking cessation centers are springing up all over the US.The cold laser or stop smoking laser produces a beam of light at a high wavelength utilizing low energy. The laser is applied to specific body points to block addiction receptors, stimulate the release of endorphins including dopamine and seritonin into the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural opiates and mood enhancers. By blocking addiction receptors in the brain, the endorphin release allows clients to cease nicotine intake without the withdrawal symptoms. The procedure is quick, easy, painless, and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
So, What Happens When You Quit Smoking?
Information about health benefits of quitting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years
- 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- After 24 Hours: Your lungs begin to clear out accumulated mucus and tar. Your pulse rate and blood pressure begin to lower.
- After 48 Hours: Your sense of smell and taste begin to improve as nicotine is eliminated from your body.
- After 72 Hours: Your bronchial tubes begin to relax, making breathing easier. Lung capacity increases.
- After 2-12 Weeks: Circulation improves, making walking and physical activity easier. Stamina improves
- After 2 weeks to 3 months your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting, your coughing and sinus congestion decreases. Lung function improves. Shortness of breath decreases. Energy level increases.
- 1 year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s.
- 10 years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease and lung cancer is back to that of someone who has never smoked.