Acupuncture helps people recover from drugs and alcohol problems. It is used in clinics throughout the United States to decrease cravings for drugs and alcohol, reduce withdrawal symptoms, relieve tension, and help people relax. Acupuncture treatments, taken enough times, clear the mind, build energy, and give a sense of well-being.
According to Chinese tradition, placing acupuncture needles in the ear affect specific organs such as the liver and kidneys. Studies have confirmed that acupuncture treatments affect various neurochemicals in the body that act on the nervous system. In addition, the treatment triggers the release of natural body chemicals, including endorphins, which help reduce cravings for drugs, ease withdrawal symptoms, and increase relaxation.
Acupuncture itself is not a substitute for therapy but is used in addition to counseling and self-help programs.
So what exactly is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into strategic points along the body that bring about therapeutic healing effects. It has been continuously practiced for thousands of years and is gaining popularity around the world to the point where insurance companies now cover it. When the needles are inserted into the different points on the body, the energy in the body shifts to encourage balance. The theory holds that if the body is in balance, it will be free of pain and disease. This ancient aspect of Eastern Medicine has many modern applications including relieving pain, decreasing inflammation/swelling, stimulating healing, treating anxiety/depression, and even helping with addiction.
Can addiction be treatable with acupuncture?
Yes. There is a National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) that certifies practitioners in a protocol for treating addictions. According to a study published on the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) website, acupuncture patients who were treated for tobacco, alcohol, and other drug addiction in combination with a 12-step program and counseling had better results than those who used just the 12-step programs and counseling without acupuncture. After 3 and 6 month follow-ups, those who received acupuncture reported improved abstinence from tobacco, drugs, and alcohol more than those without the acupuncture. Acupuncture patients also reported additional positive changes such as less anxiety, reduced depression, more energy, feeling better about themselves, and less guilt around letting their families down.
How can acupuncture ease my recovery from addiction?
Acupuncture can help regulate your nervous system which has a major influence in how you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally. It can also help reduce your withdrawal symptoms. When you feel naturally calm and relaxed and have less physical pain you are much less likely to use. Overall, acupuncture can help you feel more balanced and more comfortable in your own skin.
Do acupuncture treatments act as a detox?
Yes, treatments are said to have a detoxifying effect on your body and mind. The points used in the NADA protocol target the liver, lungs, and kidneys, as well as the nervous system.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for this specific type of treatment?
You can call our office to speak with one of our acupuncturists and discuss how treatments may help you in your recovery journey. It is usually recommended to use acupuncture to enhance your other recovery support systems.