While quacks often try to lure smokers desirous of quitting smoking with so-called easy and short-cut therapies that often do not work, the Swami Vivekanand Drug De-addiction Centre at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here has a machine, which can help smokers give up their addiction in just two hours with the help of bio-resonance therapy.
However, thanks to the mistrust inspired by quacks, the machine, which has been here since 2011, with nearly a 100 successfully treated patients to its credit, is yet to gain favour with smokers desirous of being cured.
Forty-year-old Baldev Singh, (name changed), who belongs to a baptised Sikh family, had started consuming alcohol and chewing tobacco. Thanks to his strong will power, he quit drinking, but failed in giving up his tobacco addiction. "I used to consume 10-15 packets of chewable tobacco every day," he said.
After the final sitting of bio-resonance therapy, he said that during the three days of treatment, he did not feel the urge to consume tobacco and hoped that the impact of the treatment would stay. The treatment is given in three sittings of 40 minutes each spread over three days.
"It is a very effective machine. The smokers who have found it difficult to kick the habit have been successfully shaken out of their cravings, said Dr PD Garg, head of psychiatry department, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, who manages the Swami Vivekanand Drug De-addiction Centre.
"The BIOCON machine, also called 'quit smoking machine' uses bio-resonance therapy. The treatment involves no medication and no chemicals or hypnosis. It is non-invasive and totally painless, with no harmful side-effects. As no medicine is administered, so people find it hard to believe that it can actually cure them," he added.
Dr Garg further said that this one-of-its-kind machine is now available also in Patiala, Chandigarh and New Delhi, besides Amritsar. The post-treatment follow-up shows that 80% smokers abstained from smoking after the treatment.
Smoking is being cured worldwide by many techniques like nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gums, using medicines like bupropione, verilicline etc but bio-resonance therapy is a novel technique which is gaining popularity very fast.
More than 10,000 psychiatrists in Germany are using this therapy.
"The term 'quit smoking machine' is actually a misnomer because the machine helps cure not just addiction of smoking (cigarette/ biri) but also that of smokeless tobacco (gutka, pan masala and zarda) and is useful in certain allergies as well", says Dr Garg.
Explaining the basic principle of the working of the machine, Dr Jaswinder Kaur, incharge, tobacco cessation centre, said, "The German-made machine works by eliminating the craving for tobacco. Based on the principle of quantum physics, the BICOM device reduces or eliminates the pathological oscillations and at the same time strengthens physiological oscillations".
THE TREATMENT AND THE COST
All one has to do is to place his hands on the machine. "Vibrations from the machine will lead to the body vibrations and the resultant nerve impulses will reduce the craving to smoke/chew tobacco. Three sittings of 40 minutes each on consecutive days at the machine coupled with intensive counselling does the magic," said Dr Jaswinder Kaur.
She said, "Initially people doubted the success of the therapy and the cost of treatment amounting to `2000 was also felt to be high. However, with the Punjab government now deciding to slash the cost of treatment to `500 and making it totally free for the poor, the number of people willing to take the treatment is likely to increase."