26. April 2015 · Comments Off on Acupuncture is A Very Good Form of Complementary Treatment for Addiction · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Long used to treat addictions in Western countries, acupuncture is an Oriental healing procedure that has been utilized in hospitals along with conventional Western modes of treatment such as methadone for heroin addictions. Acupuncture is also utilized by several addiction clinics to resolve the underlying causes and symptoms of addiction. This extremely effective form of Chinese medicine has worked for thousands of years for the treatment of dozens of diseases and illnesses although it has only been used to battle the effects of addiction in the West relatively recently. Acupuncture has worked consistently to address several types of addictions, from nicotine to heroin, and from overeating to cocaine.

Proof of Acupuncture’s Success

Acupuncture has been clinically proven to be effective in treating addictions. In 1974, the Lincoln Clinic, which is the first acupuncture detoxification clinic in the United States, opened in New York City. The initial treatments given to addicts in this clinic involved a combination therapy of methadone and acupuncture. Because acupuncture treatments worked much better than methadone, methadone was eventually dropped from the treatment protocol. The clinic’s director, Dr. Michael Smith, stated that acupuncture has a rate of success that is significantly more superior to that of other conventional treatment programs
Acupuncture Treatment for Addiction in Miami – How and Why it Works

Ear Acupuncture (Auriculotherapy)

Treating addiction with acupuncture involves the needling of acupuncture points (acupoints) on the ear. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has an entire branch dedicated to addressing the body and health issues that treats only the ear. Auriculotherapy or auricular acupuncture is a type of acupuncture that focuses treatment exclusively on the ear. This form of acupuncture was discovered by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French physician who discovered that specific acupoints on the skin surface of the body corresponded to a specific acupoint on the ear. Auriculotherapy, by far, has been the most potent therapy for addictions. One added advantage of using this treatment is that it does not require the removal of clothing for it to be applied and so guarantees a patient’s privacy. These days, several standard auriculotherapy addiction protocols have been created and their facility of use allows them to be easily taught to both acupuncturists and doctors.

Western Conventional Medicine

According to Western medicine, acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating many forms of addiction can be ascribed to the fact that studies have revealed acupuncture has the ability to increase the levels of endorphins in the nervous system. Known as the body’s natural analgesics (painkillers), endorphins function in a similar way to heroin and other opiates that have a powerful painkilling effect. Studies reveal that suppressing the powerful withdrawal symptoms for drug addicts requires raising the levels of endorphin in the nervous system. The amount of endorphins in the nervous system will also determine the level of desire a person has vis-à-vis eating. This is one reason why acupuncture is also a popular and effective treatment for losing weight by assisting people to suppress their appetites.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

In the treatment of addictions, Chinese medicine has its own way of explaining how to come about resolving this issue. Known as a holistic type of treatment, Chinese medicine believes that every part of the body works synergistically and is a unified system. The focal point of the this type of medicine is the principle of yin and yang, two opposing but complementary forms of energy that needs to be in balance in order for a person to experience good health. Yang is known as the energy representing “fire” while yin represents “water.” Yin is substance, yang is function. Yang devours and yin provides. A deficiency in Yin is the type of imbalance addicts suffer in their body most of the time. When there is an abundance of Yang in the body, the person will experience symptoms such as excess of frenetic energy, restlessness, and hyperactivity. These are symptoms that compel addicts to ceaselessly seek out drugs. The emotional symptoms of Yang abundance include anger, agitation, and anxiety, among others.

These aspects of yang (fire) dominate the body due to deficiency in yin (water), which is unable to tame or balance the fire. The addict is forced to use drugs because of the abundance of yang. This, in turn, worsens the yin deficiency even more. Narcotics are yang-oriented substances that propagate this cycle. Because of their restlessness and anxiety, addicts turn to drugs to feel a lot better, but their use only adds more yang into the body, furthering the depletion of yin.

In treating addiction, auriculotherapy is performed to nourish the yin. In each ear, acupuncturists will usually needle one to five acupoints. For 30 to 45 minutes the needles are left in the ear. The treatment oftentimes makes the patient relaxed and calmed. He/she can be seated or lie down during the procedure. The treatment gives the patient a sense of well being, an experience that is not felt by an anxious patient suffering from addiction. In between treatment sessions, ear seeds are used as an adjunct treatment to prolong the benefits of the therapy. These ear seeds can be vaccaria seeds and other natural seeds or tiny metal balls stuck to the acupuncture points of the ear. To stimulate the acupoints, patients are instructed to press on them to neutralize withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Ear acupoints in the treatment of addiction include the liver, kidney, and lung. These are the organs systems responsible for eliminating toxins in the body and they are very important in the treatment of addiction.

The number of acupuncture treatments for addiction will be based on the substance being used. Addiction to “hard drugs” usually implies daily treatments until the patient becomes clean. This is followed by treatment two times a week until the patient is able to control the cravings on his/her own and has no temptation to use more substances. Daily treatments are given to alcoholics during the initial stages of treatment, which lessens in frequency as the symptoms gradually dissipate.

Nicotine is considered a mild addictive substance and so nicotine addicts do not require the intensive treatments that “hard drug” addicts need to undergo. Treatments often do not require daily treatments and results such as a lessening of the cravings are often noticed after a single or a couple of treatments. The length of the therapy is significantly less for smokers than hard drug addicts. It usually lasts for two to three weeks. Most patients are cured after a two to three week period of four to five sessions each week. There are patents who are able to lessen the number of cigarettes they smoke each day. To better control withdrawal symptoms and cravings in between treatments, ear seeds are placed on the patient’s ears and applied when the need for it arises.

The Desire to Quit

No matter what form a treatment you undergo, it may not be that successful if you lack a serious desire to quit. A sick person cannot be expected to get well if he/she does not first acknowledge his/her problem and the desire to make that change. As with any type of treatment, acupuncture will only work if the patient involves himself/herself to the treatment and if he/she has the desire to get well. Getting better is always a joint undertaking and a good result is always dependent on the patient’s desire to make it so.

As a standalone treatment for complex issues as addiction, acupuncture cannot be effective. Addiction is more than a physiological problem. It also has profound psychological implications that need to be tackled for cure to be attained. In concert with other modalities such as counseling and support group therapy, acupuncture can address the psychological aspects of addiction. The rate of relapses is quite high for addicts and so these treatments are not only given to help detoxify the addict but they also will be needed afterwards to support the addict on the arduous and long road to recovery and cure.

27. November 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture Therapy as A Way Out of Your Addiction · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

One of the biggest problems facing modern societies today is addiction. There are actually several types of addictions. Addiction can be as mild as addiction to chocolates to as serious as heroin or street drug addiction. Addiction always negatively impacts the health of the addict as well as his/her internal balance.

The Definition of Addiction

Inordinate and long-term indulgence to activities or substances considered pleasurable to a person can usually make the person addicted to that activity or substance. This often affects his day-to-day life in a huge way. Addiction, as defined by a medical dictionary refers to the psychological or physiological dependence of a person on specific substances or practices that a person cannot control. Some would argue that addiction happens when the individual is controlled by the activity or substance and not the person losing control of his urges.

There are two classifications of addiction: substance and behavioral addiction. Substance addiction generally refers to dependence to certain chemicals and street drugs such as alcohol, cocaine and nicotine, behavioral addiction, on the other hand, often denotes addiction to internet browsing, gambling, sex, and intense exercising.

There comes a point in time when the addict may be unaware that his behavior is getting out of hand and already causing issues with other individuals. Addicts become very dependent on substances or activities in order to cope with their everyday life aside from being unable to control their urge to indulge in substances or activities . They will keep on taking these substances even if its starts affecting their health and relationships and adversely affect the people around them, as well.

Based on research, the regular undertaking of activities or use of certain substances brings pleasure to a user’s brain. The user eventually sees over time, that as he/she increases his dosage, the more pleasure he derives from it. This also means that his tolerance to the substance goes up. Experts say that as one’s level of tolerance goes up, the risk for addiction increases. There will come a point when the person stops getting any pleasure from the substance and merely take it to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms. They feel alright when they take those substances.

The addict must first come to terms with his/her own addiction in order to begin treatment for it. Some of the modes of addiction therapy include participating in psychotherapy, self-help groups, behavioral therapy, counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. Throughout the years, acupuncture has been determined to be a really good alternative treatment for addiction.

Addiction from the Perspective of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Acupuncture is a very old form of Chinese medical therapy involving the insertion of acupuncture needles into a person’s acupuncture points that are scattered all over the surface of a person’s skin. Underneath these acupuncture points lie vessels where life energy known as qi (or chi) flows. The needles are inserted into important acupuncture points to normalize the flow of qi helping improve the mental and physical functions of the body. Acupuncture therapy can help improve the state of health of a person who is suffering from addiction. It aids in the natural course of action of detoxification from both substance and behavioral addiction.

Practitioners and adherents of TCM and acupuncture do have certain explanations regarding the development of addiction. They all are mainly based on the idea of the balance of yin and yang. With regards to addiction, addicts suffer from a condition known as yin deficiency. This energy imbalance causes emptiness and desperation that forces addicts to use, consume and abuse. These acts, in turn, only leads to more depletion of yin resulting in even more desperation.

Get Treatment with Acupuncture

For addiction, TCM usually utilizes acupuncture therapy alongside specific Chinese herbs. These modalities help lower cravings and promote relaxation and calmness. Studies reveal that acupuncture does aid in quelling anxiety and decreases the number and severity of withdrawal symptoms. It provides a natural and effective way of detoxifying your body from harmful substances regardless if you’re addiction is to coffee or an inability to stop your cocaine addiction.

Other studies show that the best form of acupuncture for chemical addiction is auricular acupuncture. This procedure can help treat addictions to vicodin, hydrocodone, oxycotin, tea, coffee, caffeine, methadone, crack, cocaine, morphine, heroin, nicotine and alcohol.

The NADA Protocol

The NADA Protocol states that in order to address addiction, five acupuncture points need to be treated. These are the shenmen point, sympathetic point, lung point, kidney point , and the liver point.

When the sympathetic points are stimulated, the body experiences a painkilling effect. The stimulation of these points also brings back balance to both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The shenmen points, on the other hand, result in a calming and relaxing sensation that helps allay the anxiety and nervousness that are often experienced during withdrawal symptoms.

Anger and aggression disappear when the liver point is stimulated. This point also heals the liver from the damaging effects of drug and alcohol abuse. When the lung point is stimulated it strengthens the immune system which is much needed when dealing bouts of withdrawal symptoms. It also speeds up the course of detoxification. The stimulation of the kidney point helps in regaining the source and essence of energy often impaired during substance abuse. Kidney point stimulation also fortifies willpower to help address fear and overcome addiction.

Most health experts dealing with acupuncture mostly prefer to use acupuncture since it is a very safe procedure that does not come with side effects. It is usually used until the person becomes clean from their addiction. You can lessen your acupuncture treatments once you stop taking substances although acupuncturists advise it is much better to continue receiving acupuncture treatments once a month but experts suggest that you continue taking acupuncture treatments at least once a month to guaranty long-term healing . The truth is a lot ex-addicts who have benefited greatly from acupuncture know that it helps them keep off bad substances and gives them a sense of well-being and balance.


Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824