Acupuncture is an extremely powerful treatment for managing addictions. There has been success in treating addictions to alcohol, smoking, prescription medication, heroin, cocaine, and much more. Having trouble finding the strength and encouragement to quit smoking? Know anyone currently in the process of obtaining help for an addiction to substances or alcohol? Acupuncture can be a strong motivational tool to being strength, optimism, and balance back to the body, and to allow the natural healing forces to take place.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Treating addictions uses a special technique called "NADA", which stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. NADA is a certain type auricular acupuncture where five needles are inserted in very specific regions of the outer ear. The needles are then retained for 30-45 minutes. The procedure is often done by those with specialized training in the NADA protocol. Accompanying the acupuncture treatment, patients struggling with addiction often seek complementary therapies counseling, education, health coaching, family involvement, and supportive medical health care as well. The administration of herbal formulas are also considered to minimize the cravings in between acupuncture appointments.
The goal of the treatment is to trigger the body's parasympathetic response, minimize the output of stress hormones in the "flight or fight" response, and help bring the body back to equilibrium. During a treatment, an acupuncturist may also provide additional points throughout the body to bolster a patient's unique constitution and strengthen their organ system function that may have become damaged due to the addiction.
Success rates for this study depicted that patients were twice as successful with conquering their addiction than those that did not receive acupuncture. Another study from Daegu Haany University in South Korea concluded that acupuncture for treating addictions works by "directing brain pathways and...regulate neurotransmitters" by either directly or indirectly mimicking the dopamine response in the brain.