I was talking to my massage therapist, Page, of Northwest Massage Columbus Ohio, and I asked her if massage therapy can help smokers — all 46 million of them across the United States — kick the bad habit. I have several friends who smoke who are looking for a non-prescription method of smoking cessation.
Although she wasn’t sure if smoking cessation could be achieved 100% through massage therapy, she told me that massage helps relax the body and mind, and that act of relaxation can be positive in the journey towards quitting smoking. In fact, there was a study done in 2000 that involved 20 adult smokers between the ages of 21 and 45 who had tried to quit smoking at least once in the past. Participants in the experimental group were told to give themselves a five-minute self massage when they experienced cigarette cravings. The results were pretty amazing — the group that administered the self massage treatment experienced less anxiety, fewer withdrawal symptoms, and smoked fewer cigarettes.
By using regular self massage techniques mixed in with regular massage therapy sessions by a certified massage therapist, smokers may be able to reduce their anxiety levels and thus reduce their dependency on cigarettes. It’s certainly worth trying — and who doesn’t like a massage every once in a while?