Frequently Asked Questions about our Laser Quit Smoking Program
What is the secret to your success in helping people quit smoking?
If you have decided that it’s time to quit smoking, we can help. Our program is uniquely powerful in that it incorporates several proven interventions. This program helps you to quit smoking and get through the initial nicotine detoxification phase and we also help you to resist the temptation to resume smoking in the future.
Step One. “You gotta waaaaant it.”
We help you to cement your desire to quit. We coach you to create a steadfast commitment to the process of becoming a non-smoker.
Step two. “Just do it.”
Quitting cold turkey is the proven strategy recommended by best-selling author Alan Carr. But we make it easy for you. Nicotine withdrawal can be quick and painless with laser therapy. Clinical studies show that laser acupuncture is a highly successful method for bypassing the cravings, mood swings, weight gain and nervous tension of quitting nicotine. We also give you natural medicines that calm your nerves and detox your body.
Step three. “Meet your new best friend.”
Avoiding relapse requires two things: help in overcoming the habit of smoking and help in dealing with stress so you don’t turn to cigarettes. We address both these challenges by giving you strategies to break the habit and teaching you mindfulness and relaxation techniques. We give you the support and tools you need to succeed.
Who are the practitioners I’ll be dealing with?
Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a licenced naturopathic physician who has a natural family practice in downtown Courtenay. She has a degree in psychology from UBC (first in class) and completed her doctorate in 1996.
She is dedicated to helping people achieve optimum health and knows that quitting smoking is a critical step in that journey.
Beverly Bedard is an experienced laser quit smoking therapist. She is a certified laser technician as well as a former licensed massage therapist in Alberta. She has helped hundreds of people quit smoking with laser therapy programs. She shares her enthusiasm and confidence in this process and will be your main support with your transformation.
How does a laser therapy help people quit smoking?
The first hurdle in quitting smoking is to get through the nicotine withdrawal phase, which people often dread. The laser treatments significantly reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, so people generally sail through this phase with greater ease and break their nicotine addiction.
How does it work?
We apply a painless beam of cold laser therapy to specific acupuncture points on the ears, face, hands and feet. The deep stimulation provided by laser therapy activates these key points. On a chemical level, cravings are a desire for endorphins and dopamine that used to be released by smoking. Laser acupuncture lets the body release those chemicals naturally, eliminating the physical need to smoke immediately. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers; they help keep the body calm, reduce irritability, help with sleep, and provide a general sense of wellbeing. Dopamine is needed for a feeling of reward and satisfaction. Both are provided by laser acupuncture.
How many treatments will I need?
For most people, one treatment is all that’s needed to quit smoking for life. If you feel the need, we provide up to two free 30 minute “booster” treatments to make sure you stay on track. After that, you can book a booster session to help you relax as part of your maintenance program, but most people don’t need it unless their stress spikes. We want you to become a life-long non-smoker. We are here to help.
Does the laser treatment hurt?
Laser treatments are virtually painless. It will feel relaxing.
What kind of laser it is?
We use a class 3B laser designed to stimulate and heal tissue. These lasers are Health Canada approved. In our clinic we have safely performed thousands of laser treatments since 2005.
Will there be side effects from the treatment?
The laser treatment is very safe, but it’s important to know that there will be adjustments in the body when you quit smoking. It’s your body’s way of adjusting to the new you and any symptoms will pass. You may have congestion or coughing as you detox from smoking, there may be some restless nights, but simply let us know and we’ll suggest natural medicines if you need any help. For instance valerian is a good, safe herbal medicine proven to help with sleep.
When should I take my last cigarette?
3-5 hours before the treatment
What do I need to do to prepare for my laser quit smoking session?
- Remember, you will be quitting cold turkey. In the long run, it’s the easiest and most effective technique of smoking cessation.
- It’s time to get rid of your cigarettes once and for all. Do not carry cigarettes. Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters from your home, car and workplace. Clean any residue out your car.
- Tell your friends, family and co-workers you are quitting with laser therapy and you are not going back.
- Envision yourself free from cigarettes. Actually picture yourself walking away from your laser session feeling calm and at peace with your new life as a non-smoker. Picture yourself in one week, one month, one year, five years and ten years. Let yourself FEEL the thrill of being free of cigarettes, healthier in mind and body than you are now.
- Give some serious thought to the questions:
- What are the compelling reasons I want to quit
- What is smoking costing me in terms of your health, self-esteem, relationships, limits on my activity, etc.
- Figure out the monetary cost of smoking, and how much you will save by quitting. Think about what you’d like to do with that money.
How can I assist in the detoxification process?
We will give you a month’s supply of effective natural medicines for detoxification, lung healing and nervous system relaxation. This program will give you that fighting edge while you are getting through that critical first month off cigarettes.
How is your program better than nicotine patches or gum?
The bottom line is, you will eventually have to get off nicotine, whether from cigarettes, patches or gum, and there will be withdrawal symptoms. Laser therapy gets you through the cravings, while nicotine replacement just postpones the inevitable. Many people say they are afraid to quit smoking because they become cranky and miserable to be around. Laser therapy deals with that by helping patients relax. Others fear they’ll overeat when they quit smoking. Our treatment protocol includes appetite suppression points to curb food cravings. We also teach you the life-skills you’ll need to stay quit.
For laser quit smoking programs, it is best to be off all forms of nicotine in order to detoxify. That said, if you wish to use the patch that is fine.
What about the prescription drugs that are marketed for people quitting smoking?
Those drugs are in the anti-depressant class. They have side effects and once you decide to you want to get off them, there will be a new set of withdrawal symptoms to deal with. Plus, the success rate is quite poor, because taking a pill doesn’t teach you how to deal with the habit of smoking or how to deal with stresses that have made you reach for the smokes in the past. Why use a limited treatment that has side effects?
Fees and Policies
What is the cost of the program?
The investment in this program is $350. The fee includes a
- 15 minute introductory consultation with Dr. Macdonald
- one hour laser therapy and quit smoking educational session with Beverly
- self-stimulating ear acupressure “seeds”
- one month’s supply of detoxification and nerve calming natural medicines
- relaxation CD
- educational booklet
- stress ball
- 2 complimentary laser acupuncture booster sessions (30 minutes)
Is this your treatment covered by my extended medical?
If your plan covers naturopathic physicians, then you can submit your receipt for payment. They will likely cover at least a portion of the fee.
Can I claim my treatments on my income tax?
Yes, depending on your total family income and medical expenses, it may be tax deductible and lower your tax payable.
Is there a refund?
There are no refunds available. One aspect of motivation may be the desire to make your investment pay off. If you smoke a pack a day, you will pay off your treatment in only about five weeks of being a non-smoker!
Once you book your one hour laser treatment and consultation, we ask that you give us 48 hours notice if you need to change or cancel your appointment. Less than that will result in a $50 fee.