Acupuncture for Addiction

Acupuncture » Acupuncture for Addiction



Addiction and substance abuse are social problems that have penetrated all levels of society. Whether you just can’t get going in the morning without coffee or you are suffering from a serious heroine habit, acupuncture can help you overcome your addictions. Acupuncture alcohol and drug addiction treatment can curb cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms to help you naturally detox from substance abuse.

Auricular Ear Acupuncture treatments can help with various types of addiction:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine: Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco, Cigars
  • Cocaine and Crack
  • Methadone (Crystal Meth)
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin (Morphine)
  • Caffeine: Coffee, Tea
  • Pain Medications: Hydrocodone, Vicoden, Oxycotin

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an Oriental Medicine treatment where acupuncture needles are inserted into the body. The needles are inserted into acupuncture points to adjust the Qi, or energy, of our body. These acupuncture points exist along energy channels called acupuncture meridians, which connect the surface of our body with our internal organs. By altering the flow of Qi, acupuncture can adjust many aspects of our mental and physical functioning, including helping us naturally detoxify from addiction and substance abuse.

Auricular ear acupuncture is a microsystem or micromeridian style of acupuncture treatment that maps the entire body onto the ear. Smaller needles, magnets, pellets, and seeds are used to stimulate ear points in order to induce a physiological response. Auricular ear acupuncture is commonly used in combination with whole body acupuncture to treat addiction, pain, and stress.

How Can Acupuncture Help Addiction Recovery?

Acupuncture can assist alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation. When combined with psychological counseling by addiction specialists, acupuncture can be a holistic method to help manage withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings.

Most acupuncture addiction recovery treatments utilize Auricular Ear Acupuncture. This microsystem of acupuncture has been show to be highly effective in assisting addiction programs. One study conducted by Yale University on the use of acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction found that recipients of acupuncture were twice as likely to have cocaine-negative urine screens as control groups during treatment. In addition, the acupuncture group in the cocaine addiction study was able to refrain from returning to cocaine use for longer periods of time than the control group. Auricular Ear Acupuncture has also had long-term success in group setting addiction treatment programs in New York City’s Lincoln Hospital and prison programs in Dade County Florida.

The NADA Protocol

All of these acupuncture treatment for addiction programs are making use to the work of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) Treatment Protocol. The NADA protocol has be shown to help with emotional, psychological, and physical difficulties of overcoming addiction.

The NADA protocol uses five specific ear acupuncture points on each ear for addiction treatment:

  • 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.

What are Auricular Ear Acupuncture Addiction Treatments Like?

The NADA protocol is provided in a seated group setting, and acupuncture addiction treatments last approximately 40 minutes. There is no form of Oriental Medicine diagnosis provided during the acupuncture addiction treatment, as only the standard NADA protocol is followed. The acupuncturists are trained to provide a supportive non-confrontational environment focused on harm reduction.

When you are going through you initial detox from alcohol and drug addition, it is important to receive acupuncture treatment daily until you are able to be clean. Ask your acupuncturist about receiving ear seeds to allow you to stimulate these auricular acupuncture points at home between addiction treatments to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Once you have ceased using alcohol or drugs, you can decrease the frequency of your acupuncture addiction treatments to once or twice per week for several weeks. It is recommended that you continue receiving acupuncture treatments on a monthly basis to ensure your long-term recovery from addiction.

Get the Help You Need

It is also important to receive counseling during your addiction therapy. Working with organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), during your acupuncture addiction treatments can increase the success of your substance abuse recovery.

If you are able to seek the help of a private acupuncturist or herbalist for your addiction treatments, you can also benefit from herbal remedies for addiction withdrawal symptoms. These Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas can enhance the effects of your acupuncture addiction treatments and improve your overall health.