NYE 2007/Get Poked

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Just in time for the big ban, Red Flower Acupuncture Studio is offering a special “stop smoking boot camp” package (complete with treatments, lollipops and tea-tree-oil chewing sticks) to help smokers kick their nicotine addictions.

“It seemed like a great time with the smoking ban and the New Year’s resolutions,” says owner and acupuncturist Erica Blair Reilly, who plans to give free treatments to local lung cancer and COPD patients with a portion of the proceeds. She will also offer a twenty-dollar discount to bartenders. “Most of them have become smokers. They’re going to feel the ban the worst.”

And if they come to her studio they’ll feel that too—in their ears. Reilly is using the “NADA” approach named for the organization—the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, whose mission is to treat addiction, and prevent relapses through acupuncture (as well as other counseling-type sessions).

The method requires that the acupuncturist insert stainless steel needles in five specific points on the outer ear. Usually the patients sit together in a room for a community approach. People tend to relax and some even fall asleep. At Red Flower patients are encouraged to keep the needles in their ears for at least twenty minutes, but it’s a casual atmosphere, so they take them out on their own and leave when they have to.

But what if January ends and you’re still sitting in the neighborhood bar, craving that cigarette? Reilly, who refers to the “it takes-days-to-kick-a-habit” rule, will offer ten-dollar “tune-up” sessions in February and March.

One patient Reilly treated for smoking cessation with the NADA method, John Nizolek, started up again when he was out drinking with friends. He thinks if he had gone to her for tune-ups he might not have relapsed.

“If you go back and get that little kick in the butt, that will help,” he says. He plans to return to Red Flower when the holidays are over.

“I have high hopes for myself,” he says. (Laura Castellano)

Red Flower Acupuncture Studio, 2023 West Carroll, (312)997-9932.

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