He starts by rolling the bottom of my pant legs up and the top of my stocking down while I am lying on a treatment bed. He then dabs a cotton swab dipped in alcohol on the inside of both legs just above the ankles. He repeats this process but just to the inside of the shinbone about 8 inches higher. Then he inserts these thin, hollow needles about 5 inches long, into the flesh while twirling the needle. He skips the torso and moves to the hand.
First, he rolls my sleeves up above the elbow, and then he applies the alcohol and lastly the twirling of the needle. This he does where the crease ends separating the thumbs from the index finger and just below the elbow on the outer part of the arm. He then repeats the process on the side of the neck in two locations, between the eyes and the top of the ear, just below the eyes and one in the center and above the eyes. Then he starts on the head, two on each side. One just above the back of the ear and the other just above the front part of the ear. Two more on each side of the head about midway between the crown and the ear and lastly, one on the very crown of the head.
The nurse then attaches a clip connected to an electrical wire that feeds into a control box. After all the clips are affixed, she turns them on, one at a time. She asks if I feel the electric charge and if it is to low or too high. After adjustment, she moves on to the next wire. When all the wires are operating, she says she will see me in 45 minutes and leaves the room. Sometimes there is another patient on a procedure table about 6 feet away. The electrical charge is fixed for about 5 seconds then it pulses slowly for about 4 seconds. This is repeated for the entire procedure. This is Acupuncture for smoking cessation.
I started my 'stop smoking plan' 12 days ago on Monday, January 2 2006. It calls for smoking 1 less cigarette each day until, 56 days later I hope to be 'smoke free'. My first Acupuncture treatment was on Thursday, January 5, 2006 4 days into my plan.
The second treatment was on Saturday, January 7, 2006. The third treatment was on Tuesday, January 10, 2006. The forth treatment was on Thursday January 12, 2006.
Today is Saturday, January 14, 2006 and the fifth treatment is scheduled for 2:30 PM.
I then start one treatment each Saturday until the end.
Today I get to smoke 44 cigarettes. This sounds like a lot but I am used to smoking 3 packs a day, which means a cigarette whenever I feel like one. Now, I am on a set figure and it is a challenge. I try to have non-smoking hours but am not rigid. If I only smoke 3 cigarettes in a smoking hour when I was allotted 4, I can smoke the 'extra' cigarette whenever I choose. I haven't decided exactly what I plan to do when I get down to 20, 15, 10 and 5 cigarettes a day. After meals? With Coffee? When I get up in the morning? Before I go to bed? All of this is to be worked out.
Monday I am calling Allister. He is a British 'EXPAT' (Foreign National living abroad) that practices 'ACUPRESSURE' and claims to do 'HYPNOSIS'. He gave a lecture at an 'EXPAT'S' meeting I attended and claims that the procedures work. The 'Acupressure' is supposed to last 3 hours during a single visit. The 'Hypnosis' was not mentioned and is not described in his brochure. I intend on utilizing both procedures to the highest extent possible.
In addition, I intend to purchase a 'stop smoking drug' available here in Thailand (and I think all over the world) that has 60 tablets that I presume contain some form of Nicotine inhibitor. I plan to start to take them when I reach 1 pack or 20 cigarettes a day.
I am going to try 'Replacement Psychology' by replacing the smoking of a cigarette with the 'eating of a pistachio nut'.
Lastly, 'MANTRAS'. I am a big believer in 'MANTRA'S. I resumed my exercise program on the 2nd of January and have managed to complete the entire program 12 consecutive days. I had to stop the program because the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training program occupied all my time, the weather was rain and cold, I was traveling to Chaing Mai and Penang and I think I became a little lazy.
If I had an excuse, I used it. Overall, I think I missed 5 or 6 weeks. The program calls for a set number of:
1. Jumping Jacks-5.
2. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals one count).
3. Twist the body from the left to the right with arms extended,
rolling them-50 times to each side.
4. Jumping Jacks-5.
5. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals one count.
6. Bend the upper body, from arching backwards to parallelto the floor-50 times each way.
7. Jumping Jacks-5.
8. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals 1 count.
9. Bend the upper body to the left and then to the right-50 times each way.
10. Knee bends-5.
11. Touching the tows-5, both feet equal a count of one.
13. Sit up's-5.
14. Leg Scissors-5 (Lying prone, raise the legs 45 degrees, separate,bring together and down.
15. 4 laps of swimming (back stroke) in the pool (about 170/180 strokes).
16. Walk ½ mile (From the pool to the end of building complex 1, around back and past the pool, past building complex 2, around it to the front of building complex 2 where I live.
While I do the laps and take the walk I say in my mind certain 'Mantras' that reaffirm my intention to quit smoking.
Lastly, I have reduced my weight from 275 to 249 but seem to be stuck on 249. I am thinking of some measures to address this as I had hoped to be down to about 230 on Monday, February 27, 2006 when I return to Chicago.
I wish all of you the best of the New Year and hope your families experience Health, Wealth, Prosperity, and Long Life.