Quit Smoking Now!
Forsyth Woman June Issue, 2015. Posted in Current Issue, Health & Wellness
UPDATE: MORGAN IS NOW 3 YEARS SMOKE FREE APRIL 2018!
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Written By Morgan Benjamin - Former Client Smoker Participant
You want to quit smoking and everyone else wants you to quit, too. The media bombards you with tactics and medicines for quitting, but quitting is hard – almost too hard. There are drugs to help but they make you sick. There is cold turkey but you can’t get beyond 12 hours on your own. Therapy is fine, but then you’re on your on again for the rest of the week and electronic cigs don’t taste the same or feel right in your hand. So, what is left?
I believe that I discovered the easiest way to quit smoking and it only requires a commitment of one week. I have been smoke free for nearly a month and it gets easier every day.
I was one of those who couldn’t get beyond 12 hours cold turkey and Chantix threw me into a horrible sick migraine. I enjoyed smoking, but my doctor told me I had to quit. I knew I had to do something but I could not do it on my own.
Then, I found ‘Smoking Cessation Wellness Retreats,’ a program that combined Individual counseling preparation, group therapy and Reiki at a spa resort on the gulf coast of Florida and I was amazed. This seemed exactly what I’d spent years searching for. The program uses Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction that promotes healing, addiction therapy techniques, and group and individual counseling.
When I called for information, I felt an immediate rapport with the woman who answered, a former smoker who understood my misgivings. She was a credentialed counselor specializing in addiction therapy, as well as a Reiki Master. Reiki is administered by a ‘laying on of hands’ to modulate the flow of life force energy to clear, heal and straighten energy pathways. It treats the body, mind and spirit, and helps create feelings of peace, relaxation and well-being.
The retreat location is spread across golden beaches and has mineral pools, a complete spa and a full complement of exercise classes. It is a destination vacation spot in its own right. There are miles of walking and biking trails, a museum, numerous parks and greenways, as well as diving and kayaking nearby. It is a perfect choice for a therapeutic wellness retreat.
We were warmly greeted on our arrival, and settled in with a meet-and-greet with our counselors and retreat-mates. Let the week of becoming non-smokers begin!
We listened to information that many of us have never heard before. We heard facts, figures and results of scientific studies. We were warned of the changes we would experience during our week of quitting and the support we would receive. We were advised of the importance of staying busy and the necessity of resting when our bodies told us to. We were told that 3 days (or 72 hours) were all that were required to cleanse our bodies of the poisons contained in cigarettes and that everything else was habit. We were warned that we could become quite emotional, because smoking had been our friend during celebration, stress, depression and heartache. When asked about how and when we would actually quit she told us that the group would decide… our group decided on 10:30 pm Monday and each of us was as ready as we could be.
We met for breakfast daily where group schedules were disclosed and individual meetings were affirmed. Every meal was educational and entertaining. Some of us were blindsided by irritability and fatigue, and a few became distracted and forgetful; one of the group even became tearful for a day. While the degree varied, moodiness was widespread so we tried to stay busy and forget about smoking. We took yoga classes together and spent hours in the sauna, steam room and pools. Some spent mornings in the gym and afternoons exploring on foot or by bike.
We met with counselors during the afternoons and capped every evening off with a lengthy healing session. Every day was easier until the week was gone and we discovered we were all nonsmokers and that each of us had 11 new best friends.
Our group of quitters ranged in age from 33 to 64 and traveled from as far away as Canada, and as nearby as 30 miles. We were male and female, single and married, but by the end of the week we were all the best of friends. Our counselors continue to be in contact and offer support, and welcome our calls and emails. Our group continues to support each other and is always there to offer help when things get tough.
Quit smoking now. Everyone wants you to quit smoking and you know smoking is not good for you. Every ‘quit smoking’ blurb or ad on television catches your attention because you know it’s what you should do.
NOTE: from the Director/Counselor of Smoking Cessation:
** Morgan was a smoker participant in our April Session at Smoking Cessation Wellness Retreat and we had NO IDEA she had plans on writing this article !
If you are ready to think about achieving your goal to finally live a smoke-free lifestyle, call us for more information. We are happy to discuss your thoughts and concerns and answer any questions you may have.
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