The Natural Way

Wednesday, January 9, 2002

In psychology there are those who believe we struggle with wanting to be fully alive and with wanting to kill ourselves.

High risk taking behaviors certainly are exciting but often expose us to dreadful dangers. Living a life of only low risk-taking may just be a way of being dead while still breathing. The difficulty is figuring out how much risk is good for you without bringing the death wish too close or too soon.

Cigarette smoking can be viewed from this window. Seeing cigarettes as a way to slowly kill yourself changes values around the behavior. The satisfaction of smoking can be connected to the thrill of doing something you know isn't good for you.

Or it can be the thrill of being the rebel, blended with the companionship of other smokers, who then make up a special little clique. Sort of like a support group where non-smokers are not welcome, unless they are willing to inhale the secondary smoke thereby slowly killing themselves.

Smoking can also be a way to avoid people. A lot of bar smoking is this sort of thing.

Sometimes smoking is a feeding behavior (hand to mouth) which is calming for stressed folk. The nutty thing with this behavior is that tobacco brings the death wish closer, which is used to calm the person. See the conflict?

There is most always a physical addiction to any number of chemicals in the smoke when fully inhaled. Most people know of the dangers. Many will quit only to start back months later. Quitting is easy. Staying quit is tough. Because cigarette smoking is so complicated in its meaning, most folks just try to smoke less as a sort of bargaining position.

There are a number of natural products which have withstood the test of time in easing away from cigarette smoking. Indian Tobacco (lobelia) is useful. When a few drops of liquid extract, a few times a day, are used, the desire drops. It can be smoked as well, though I'm not sure of the wisdom in doing so. Vitamin C, when chewed at the time of craving, has been beneficial, too. This combination is workable and helpful.

Other products such as glutamine and 5HTP, both amino acids, when taken daily, can work wonders. If nervousness pops up while trying to stop, the regular use of Kava is advised. Drinking lots of water during this time is good so that your system flushes out. Nicotine will mostly be out of your system within three weeks and most of the habit will be broken by then.

The bottom line, stopping smoking is an act of love to yourself and to those around you. This will also do more to reduce medical costs and suffering in this country than any other single thing you can do. I think you are worth it. Do you?

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