October 2012 was the month for stopping smoking. Being a non-smoker myself, I can see the disadvantages of smoking around others, but as a health professional I also see the disadvantages to the body aswell. I am blogging today to get you clued up on the effects of smoking on the body so that you can make an informed decision of whether to stop smoking or not.
The big thing that we all notice with smokers is the ‘smokers cough’. This is caused by the chemicals in cigarettes clogging up little air sacs in our lungs, called alveoli. These chemicals vastly reduce the amount of oxygen we get into our bloodstream. The chemical products also stick to the throat walls which make smokers cough, just like with mucus when we have a cold. Within our clinic, we have treatments that can help to dislodge the waste and make it easier for you cough it up and rid it from the body. These include spinal adjustments which improve blood circulation to the chest cavity and help the body to break the waste up and massage which uses a special technique called tapotement, a movement which causes vibration through the tissues of the chest cavity again to dislodge any waste in the lungs. Both treatments are not painful and are very good for the body in general.
Studies have also been carried out to show that smokers are slower healers than non-smokers. This can be caused by a number of reasons. Individuals who smoke may not be as health conscious as non-smokers and therefore prioritise other things before their health. We see a lot of chronic (long lasting) conditions within our clinic, a lot of them avoidable if help had been sought sooner rather than later.
The circulatory system of a smoker is not as efficient as a non-smoker because smoking encourages a plaque to harbour in the blood vessels and clog them up, putting strain on the heart and blood vessels themselves. This increases the risk of developing circulatory problems, heart problems but also spinal problems. The body suffers if we don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients to our living tissues so we can heal. Massage and spinal adjustments boost our circulatory system to help reverse the effects of smoking. They also boost the immune system, reducing the risk of infection taking hold, which is always a good thing in these cold winter months.
Smokers have also been reported to show higher levels of perceived pain. The exact reason is not yet clear, but there seems to be some correlation between the chemicals in cigarettes causing interference with the body’s hormones which control pain. These chemicals seem to inhibit the pain reducing hormones therefore heightening the level of pain felt. The treatments on offer at the clinic aim to reduce pain levels by creating a surge in the body’s natural painkiller, serotonin which gives immediate relaxing effects for the body.
So, even though it is everyone’s choice to smoke, I hope that this blog has made you think twice before lighting up. I think that we could all move our health up the priority list a little so we stay healthier and happier for longer.