Housecall: More smokers turning to laser therapy to kick habit
Many aids, such as nicotine patches, gum and medications, are available to smokers trying to kick their cigarette habit, and now some smokers are turning to cold laser therapy for help.
Former smoker Sonny Kinsella tried several methods, including the patch and medication, but was never able to kick the habit for more than six weeks.
When he heard about laser therapy, his curiosity was piqued.
“I smoked for 50 years and I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day,” says the 64-year-old Moncton man. “I came in, took my first treatment and the next morning it was like I never smoked.”
That was two years ago and Kinsella hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.
Natalie Guergis, a certified laser technician in Moncton, says 80 per cent of clients are smoke-free after just one session with the cold laser.
“It’s strategically placed on different acupuncture pressure points, on your face, your ears and wrists and your hands,” says Guergis.
The laser stimulates the body to mass produce feel-good hormones called endorphins – something that is often replaced by nicotine in smokers and helps fuel the cravings.
“Nicotine takes over those areas so your body doesn’t send its own hormones in there so when you wake up in the morning and they’re empty, a person needs to fill that void with nicotine,” says Guergis.
By stimulating hormone production, the body is reintroduced to making endorphins naturally without the help of cigarettes.
“When you wake up in the morning, you’re a real non-smoker where the levels are back to where they were, up and down and your body is working on its own again,” says Guergis.
Clients must avoid all tobacco products for three hours before the treatment for best results.
“That way, when these hormones start to run through the body, they go to those areas that are craving and fill them up with these hormones,” she says.
Kinsella admits he had small cravings at first, but after two weeks, he didn’t even think about smoking. Two years later, he says it’s the furthest thing from his mind.
“This is it for me, I guarantee it. I’ll never smoke again,” he says.
While the cold laser is proven to be safe for most smokers, pregnant women and people living with cancer are not good candidates for the treatment.