For many of the millions of people in the world who are addicted to cigarettes, the start of January is ground zero: the chance to be a new person (a non-smoker), to not have to rush off in the middle of a dinner to puff on a cigarette or worry about the many health conditions associated with smoking, to stop feeling like a social pariah…
Of course, the social aspects of smoking (and the cost involved in keeping this habit up) are the least of one’s worries; much more disconcerting are the many illnesses associated with it – everything from lung and heart disease to various types of cancer and of course, wrinkles. Smoking has been linked to conditions you wouldn’t even dream of, including back pain, since it leads to the degeneration of discs.
If you have tried to quit in the past and failed, don’t give up; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called cytisine, a natural plant-based product which significantly increases your chances of success. Cytisine was tested in a large study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine in December, 2014.
Placebo-controlled trials involving 1,310 adult daily smokers wanting to quit, revealed that the product almost doubles the chances of kicking the habit at six months. Moreover, it is more effective as a stop smoking aid than nicotine patches, at both four weeks and six months after quitting.
In Marbella, cytisine is part of a Stop Smoking programme offered by Dr. Rachel Garrod, PhD, a renowned physiotherapist from the UK who has worked for the last three years at King’s College Hospital and held the post of Associate Professor of Physiotherapy at St. George’s Hospital.
Rachel is a UK PhD qualified respiratory physiotherapist who has conducted research in exercise for people with COPD and other diseases. Her work includes over 10 years as a lecturer in undergraduate physiotherapy, physiotherapy research and PhD supervision.
Rachel, whom I met recently and who blew me away with her friendly personality, has lived in Marbella for the past three years, but she is still part of a UK research team which carries out work in the physiotherapy management of people with chronic cough and performs studies evaluating the quality of life in people with bronchiectasis.
Rachel has over 70 papers published on her speciality. She now focuses in helping people quit smoking through a programme which combines the use of cytisine, with three therapy sessions.
Rachel explains why cytisine is such a promising new supplement: “It does not produce the same side-effects (nausea, aggression) as other stop smoking products like Champix. It binds to nicotine receptors, so that smokers don’t feel the nervousness or ‘low’ they can encounter when they try to quit without any help. Cytisine is not manufactured by big pharmaceuticals, which is partly why few people in Europe know about it.”
If you are keen on learning more about cytisine or Rachel’s programme, give her a call. Free initial assessment is offered and after that, clients see Rachel three more times, while taking cytisine. “I begin the sessions by helping patients identify the reasons why they want to stop smoking. I also help them with goal setting, action planning and relaxation techniques.
Patients are five times more likely to stop if they have professional support.” In part, this is because therapy helps patients overcome the toughest hurdle (the first few weeks after stopping). Says Rachel, “If they can stop for 28 days, they are much more likely to succeed long-term.”
As a former smoker herself, Rachel knows how difficult quitting can be: “Smoking releases feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which is why it is so addictive.” A combined approach involving supplementation and therapy, then, is your best bet for success. The treatment, thankfully, is affordable: just €250 for the supplement and the three sessions.
Rachel also helps people with anxiety and panic attacks, and can aid with asthma management. She can be considered a specialist in all things to do with the lungs and breathing. If you have failed, Rachel’s programme may just be the one that works for you. Contact her and enjoy a smoke-free life, starting today.
For further information, Tel: 652 281 122.
Rachel contributes articles to the following blog: www.marbellaazul.com