Addiction & Acupuncture
Medical Disclaimer: The information and advice published or made available through this website is NOT intended to replace the services of a physician or a health care professional acting under a physician’s supervision, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship which has been established by an in-person evaluation of a patient.
Addiction is defined as the compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance, which means addiction can come in a lot of different forms. People can be addicted to illicit drugs like heroin just as easily as they can be addicted to sugar. But for the purpose of this article, let’s stick to illicit drugs and alcohol.
According to the Health Services Administration, 23.5 million people ages 12 or older have needed treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. And the treatments provided aren’t guaranteed, nor are they always easy. Luckily, there are alternative treatment options that can help.
Acupuncture is based on the correlation of individual locations and energetic meridians found in and on the body. For addiction, micro-acupuncture has been used with good results. Micro-acupuncture uses points on a small part of the body, like the ear, that also show correlations with balancing and restorative functions.
Auricular(Ear) acupuncture is probably the most common technique used when treating addiction. There is a specific protocol utilized for treating addiction. It is called the NADA protocol. NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. NADA was established in 1985 to promote education and training. The NADA protocol utilizes five specific points in the ear that not only address substance abuse, but also the emotional, physical and psychological attributes involved in addictions. This five-point protocol allows one practitioner to treat many patients at a time, making it more time-effective, as well as more cost-effective.
The NADA protocol consists of five specific points: the sympathetic point, Shen Men, the kidney point, the liver point and the lung point.
- Sympathetic point: Balances sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and has a strong analgesic effect.
- Shenmen point: Called “Spirit Gate”, has a calming and relaxing effect to help alleviate anxiety and nervousness that can accompany withdrawal.
- Kidney point: Tonifys the source energy and essence that is often damaged through chemical abuse. The point can also help resolve fear and increase the willpower needed to overcome addiction.
- Liver point: Promotes repair of the Liver from drug and alcohol abuse and aids in resolving anger and aggression.
- Lung point: Strengthens the immune system and accelerates detoxification. Emotionally, it is associated with grief and letting go.
When somebody is going through the initial detoxification process, it is important to receive acupuncture treatments daily until you are able to remain clean.
Acupuncture provides a solid foundation for recovery and rehabilitation. It is a supportive component of addiction treatment as well as a tool enabling addicts for a normal life after rehabilitation. Acupuncture works to enhance overall functioning in several ways. Because it is nonverbal, it helps reach patients that are resistant to change. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and agitation. And it helps develop an inner meditative state in those who are fearful or severely troubled.
Acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse offers a proven method of assisting people in the process of recovery without any side effects. Acupuncture provides relief of anxiety, depression, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.