From a reader:

“Hi Doc. Even yogis as recently as the 1940’s have sung the praises of milk (and even doing milk only diets for some periods). But methinks that modern (pasteurized, homogenized, machine-raised) milk and dairy products are nasty stuff that any serious yoga practitioner should avoid. Your opinion?”

It’s true that the old yogic texts recommend that yoga practitioners drink milk. Mainstream medicine does, too. Thats in contrast to the recommendations of the modern yogis at the Yoga Institute in Bombay when I was there last year. They put it on their list of five white things to avoid.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1:62 (The most conducive foods for the yogi are) good grains, wheat, rice, barley, milk, ghee, brown sugar, sugar candy, honey, dry ginger, patola fruit (species of cucumber), five vegetables, mung and such pulses, and pure water.

For sure, modern milk isnt exactly the same as that of those old yogis. Hormones, antibiotics, and a switch from the cows natural primarily grass-based diet to one that is mostly grain has morphed what they knew as milk into what we can now buy in the supermarket.

Their milk wasn’t pasteurized either, and so you could say that raw milk was recommended. They didn’t have a choice, however. And, while I know its very fashionable right now to rip on pasteurization, I just cant get myself on board with that one.

I think its easy to forget since it was a generation or two ago what it was like before we understood how to limit the spread of bacteria in milk products.

My friend, a nurse, has had only one exposure to raw milk in her life. She ate ice cream made from raw milk when we were on vacation together by the sea. From that, she got a drug-resistant form of salmonella that was nasty. The milk wasnt pasteurized, homogenized, or produced by big business. It came from a little farmers free-range, grass-fed animal.

I just wrote to ask her about the details again and here is her reply:

“Yep, i got salmonella from eating ice cream (2 bites) made from unpasteurized goats milk. I knew when I took those 2 bites that something tasted different, and C. and I even commented about how it probably wasnt pasteurized and I better watch out. Low and behold, the next day, I started with abdominal pain. Then about 24 hrs after that, I began to have diarrhea. Belly pain and diarrhea continued for several weeks. At about 10 days, I spiked a temp of 103-104 and was taking off of work. I was off nearly 3 or 4 weeks. I was given antibiotics. They said I had to have 3 negative stool cultures to return to work in the hospital. Well I never did. After 3 months, they quit testing my stool and told me I must be one of the 5% who remains a carrier. Believe me, if I ever got it again, I would know! It was the worst abdominal pain I ever had. And not to be gross, the diarrhea had a distinct odor unlike when you have the flu! Would I eat ice cream made from unpasteurized milk again? NO WAY!!”

Here’s a responsible link to tragic stories of raw milk drinkers. Please, if you’re considering drinking raw milk, give this website a serious look – especially if you plan to give raw milk to your children. It can be fatal.

And heres a link to a power point presentation that reviews the reported (not all are reported!) illnesses from raw milk over the last several years. On the slides are also scientific references with actual data to support or refute their claims (not self-serving studies done by the very biased sellers of raw milk like some of those that are mentioned on their websites).

If you want to drink milk, I recommend pasteurized organic products from grass-fed, free range animals. As to whether or not we NEED to drink milk, well, that’s a topic for the next post….

Among different ways to quit smoking, acupuncture is perhaps one of the most important and popular. Should you try acupuncture to stop smoking?  Absolutely.  It is a decent secondary strategy that can help assist you in quitting smoking.  If you do go have the procedure done, you will notice that your craving to smoke will have decreased after the procedure.  As such, you might have a couple of sessions before you are really ready to stop smoking.

There is no reason to be nervous about the needles.  It does not really hurt much, if at all, and pretty much nobody complains about pain from the needles.  It is a very clean and clinical thing, not messy or scary at all. So, you do not need to worry about acupuncture as a way of smoking cessation since it’s safe and relatively painless.

Now if you plan to quit smoking with acupuncture, you should actually go far beyond just having this as your basic plan and come  up with some other strategies to help you to quit smoking.  Acupuncture can certainly help but it will probably not do the entire trick on its own.  In order to be successful at quitting, this will just need to be one part of your overall strategy.  Does that mean that you should not even use this method?  No, it is still worth being part of an overall quitting plan.  But you need more in order to insure that you are successful at staying stopped.

What are some strategies that can go along with acupuncture?  The main one is exercise.  You should be exercising every single day, and if you are not, then you should start.  It should be the type of exercise where it is somewhat vigorous and you are working up a sweat.  This can be a brisk walk if you like, or just about anything else, as long as you get your heart pumping and get your endorphins going.  You should aim for 30 minutes per day of vigorous exercise.  If you do this, it will be a huge addition to your acupuncture, and might even be a more important part of the equation.  It will help you tremendously.

Another strategy that you might try is to get some chewing sticks for your mouth and some Bic pens for your hands.  The chewing sticks are like fancy toothpicks that you can get at the health food store, and they usually have tea tree oil in them and are flavored.  The Bic pens you can keep in your hand and push the clicker button all day long so that your hand has something to do when it wants to hold a cigarette.  These strategies might sound silly, but you will not think so when you are going through nicotine withdrawal! Any means to stop smoking should be considered when it comes to your health, to which smoking can be very detrimental.

There exists a number of ways to quit smoking, from could turkey to different types of slow cessation. Let’s consider hypnotherapy and see whether it is helpful and if it can make you you’re your smoking habit. What about hypnotherapy quit smoking as a means to stop your cigarette habit?  Can this be a helpful technique to help you to quit, or is it just a gimmick that people use to make money off of desperate quitters?

In my experience, quit smoking hypnotherapy is more than just a gimmick, it really does help people to quit.  Some of the hardest cases that I have seen have been hard core smokers of several decades that I did not think had a good chance at quitting smoking.  These people were successful using hypnosis to quit.  I dont know the status of all of these people today, but I know of at least one who is still smoke free after several years, and he used hypnotherapy as his primary means of quitting.

Now if your idea is that you want to quit smoking, and you are going to rely on hypnosis to be your magic bullet, then that might be a bit misguided.  Understand that no quit smoking technique, including hypnotherapy, can really make you want to quit smoking.  None of these methods or quit smoking aids can really give you the desire to stop smoking.  You have to want it for yourself, from deep down inside you.and then these techniques and therapies can help.  Most people can look back at their failed attempts at quitting and see that they were just not ready to quit yet.they did not really want to stop smoking like they thought they did.  What they wanted at the time, was they wanted to want to stop smoking, if that makes any sense.  They wished things were different.  But they did not have a genuine desire to change.

It is only after a person has genuinely decided to make a change, on a really deep level, that they are ready to quit smoking.  I do not believe that hypnosis or quit smoking therapies can get a person to this point.  Now even after a person reaches this point, they still might screw up and relapse, which is why things like hypnotherapy to quit smoking can still help a great deal.  But you have to be really ready to stop before you invest your time, money, and effort into a technique like this.

 

Is it affordable?  Hypnosis for stopping smoking is dirt cheap when you compare it to the cost of smoking.  Add up your cigarette expenditures over the last couple years and then see how much it costs to be hypnotized.  I think you will see which is the better deal! So, as we have considered all the benefits of hypnosis as a way to quit smoking, you now don’t have any excuse to keep smoking!

So I had to come on here and brag a bit, I just passed the 4 year mark for quitting smoking.  I have not had a single puff, not a single bit of nicotine in that time period at all.  None!

Pretty cool, huh?  Actually I missed the day and was mad because I wanted to buy a cake to celebrate.  But I forget and then realized later that I now had my 4 years in.

So I guess you could say it gets easier over time..

Lets take a look at my stats, shall we?  What have I gained from not smoking for 4 years?

* I have avoided smoking approximately 37 THOUSAND cigarettes.

* The cost savings from not having to purchase those cigarettes is just under $7,000 dollars.

* The time I would have spent actually smoking those 37 thousand cigs?  128 days.

128 days of continuous smoking!

If you are still smoking I want you to really think about that.  Imagine smoking, non-stop, for 128 days continuously, without stopping to eat or sleep or anything else.  That is how much time I would have actually been smoking if I had not quit 4 years ago.

Folks, that is crazy.  Just plain nuts.

I dont really care about the 7 grand, I mean really, who needs another iPod these days, right?  And Im not even that appalled with the 37 thousand cig total.  But folks, do you realize you are wasting almost an entire month out of each year, engaged in the act of smoking?

We all sleep about 7 to 8 hours a day.so with your remaining, waking hours, you are giving away about a quarter of your life to the act of smoking. This is insane!  A quarter of your free time!  To a mindless activity!

Think of the things you could be doing..trust me, there are all sorts of things that do not involve smoking.  Exercise is a good one, for example.

I actually run now, on a regular basis.  Quite a bit too.  Pretty sure that quitting smoking has been a driver of that good habit.

But I actually enjoy it, you say.

Hah!  No, what you enjoy is avoiding the onset of nicotine withdrawal.  You are confusing avoiding pain with pleasure.  If you measure your happiness, contentment, and ability to handle stress, you will see that all of that stuff gets better after you are nicotine free for a few weeks.  Yes, withdrawal is a major struggle, and not much fun, but if you get through it, you will see that the cigarettes have you fooled

Living in freedom from nicotine addiction

You might not be ready for all of this.

Doing this takes guts. You have to face the world without your familiar crutch.

And, there will be an emotional loss when you quit smoking. You will mourn it in a way you might not be expecting.

But it will work. If you put in the effort it will work for you. Follow it exactly and you can hardly help but succeed.

The only question is: do you have the guts to put in the work?

 

Why you need an awesome plan

This is an awesome plan of attack for quitting smoking and if you follow it exactly you will have no problems quitting. Plus, this plan is pretty much free. I am not selling you products or services here. This worked for me and I was a hard core smoker who was addicted in the worst way.

So lets get to it.

Nobody quits smoking on their first try. It is almost impossible. The reason for this is quite simple: everyone underestimates how tough it will be. At least initially they do. When they have never even tried to go through with it cold turkey, the have no idea what they are even up against. It is not impossible and of course it can be done, but nearly everyone underestimates the task at first.

Most people have tried to quit smoking several times, in fact. I think I read a statistic once that the average smoker has tried to quit six times. Of course, some have never tried at all.

Many people who have tried to quit initially tried to go it alone, cold turkey. This is actually not a bad strategy, and I believe that anyone who is persistent with the cold turkey method will eventually prevail. But most do not believe that they can actually do it. And so they give up on cold turkey and believe that they need more help, so they might try the patch or the gum or something. But their hearts are still not really in it, and when those methods fail them, then they really get discouraged.

I know what all of this feels like because I went through it myself. I failed to quit smoking over and over again, using a variety of different techniques. At some points, I sort of just threw up my arms and resigned myself to be a smoker.

This is the worst thing you can do. Instead, you need to make a commitment to yourself, right now, that you are going to become an ex-smoker, and start enjoying all the freedom that comes along with it. Make a promise to yourself right now that you will stop at absolutely nothing until you achieve this goal. This is the most important thing in your life, by far. Fix this, and a whole world of opportunity and freedom will open up to you. Just consider 3 benefits of quitting, although there are many more:

1) Save money. Smokers spend thousands each year on cigarettes (not to mention tens of thousands in future medical bills).

2) Save time. The average smoker spends just under 1 full month out of every year engaged in the act of smoking cigarettes. Imagine how much more time you will have.

3) Mental obsession. Smokers lose mental energy every single day, mentally obsessing over when to smoke their next cigarette, where to smoke it, how many they have left, etc.

There are other benefits, but these 3 are enormous. They represent 99 percent of the time and

There are two general types of anti-smoking medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nicotine replacement therapies will work to deliver the chemical nicotine that you’re addicted to in small, consistent doses, in order to help relieve physical withdrawal symptoms. By leaving most of the physical addiction management work to the medication, you are freed to concentrate on what many consider to be most difficult aspect of the quitting process – managing the psychological addiction.

Common nicotine replacement methods are nicotine gum and nicotine patches. There are even nicotine inhalers, (some are even shaped like cigarettes!) which release a mist of nicotine and may help to relieve oral fixation and give your hands something to do. Non nicotine anti-smoking therapies work to block the pleasure receptors which are activated in your brain and which you associate with smoking.

Some treatmentsare actually mood stabilizers that were found to have side effects beneficial for quitting smoking. You could also become involved in a clinical trial of nicotine vaccination, usually found in large cities at research hospitals. Some nicotine vaccination approaches include an injection that activates your immune system to completely block nicotine from ever reaching your brain, and may work for up to a year.

You might prefer an approach that does not involve medication such as Quit Smoking Now, or just want to increase your chances of success by combining chemical treatment with an
additional method of quitting. One of the most common medical uses of hypnosis is for smoking cessation therapy. Ask your primary care physician to recommend a qualified hypnotherapist near your work or home. Acupuncture is another alternative, which is thought to work by triggering your body to produce endorphins that help to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Or you might want to try broadening your existing support system. Many states have dedicated quit smoking toll-free hotlines for you to call when the craving hits. If your state doesn’t offer one, many nonprofit organizations offer nationwide phone support services for free. Use these phone lines on an as-needed basis to talk you through your craving, which will fade out in about five minutes. In recent years the medical community has recognized the effectiveness of focus groups dedicated to overcome specific addictions. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably the most recognizable and successful of these, but they have been shown to be effective in treating all types of addictions due to their use of the “whole person” approach. If you can’t find a smoker support
meeting in your area, try starting your own!

The best quit-smoking treatment for you is obviously the one that works. Make sure that your method is practical for your lifestyle and either directly or indirectly addresses some of the reasons you used to smoke. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time around, instead congratulate yourself for your effort, and have another go!