**Sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive a free aromatherapy ebook.**
When you're ready to stop smoking, use as many quit smoking aids as you need to increase your chances for success. Let's look at how massage, essential oils, and self care can help.
While a professional massage is a great way to relax and let go of anxiety, a little self-massage may be useful as a quit smoking aid. A small 1999 study found that participants who did hand or ear self-massage three times a day reported less anxiety, better mood, and fewer withdrawal symptoms. So, it might help to massage your hands or ears when you feel a carving to smoke.
Here's a simple hand massage to quit smoking:
To massage your ear, hold the lobe between your thumb and index finger. Start at one end of the ear lobe, and massage with gentle circles to the other end. You can also apply direct pressure to specific points.
Relaxation techniques are also useful to relieve anxiety. Here's one simple exercise:
Repeat this relaxation exercise as often as needed.
One small study suggested black pepper essential oil might relieve the withdrawal symptoms of stopping smoking. Another small study compared the effects of inhaling black pepper and angelica essential oils on nicotine cravings. Both oils reduced nicotine craving and created a longer delay before the next tobacco use. Black pepper reduced craving more than angelica did, while angelica created a longer delay than black pepper did.
Possibly the biggest benefit can come from using aromatherapy for its calming effects. Calming essential oils that you can diffuse include:
In The Fragrant Mind, Valerie Ann Worwood lists the following essential oils as useful when ending an addition:
You might also reduce nicotine carvings by diffusing one of the following essential oils or making an aromatherapy inhaler you can carry with you to use as needed:
Here are more self-care tips to help you stop smoking:
No smoking graphic credit: Tomasz Steifer, Gdansk (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons