Apr 18 2017

Acupuncture and Addiction

Do you or a loved one struggle with addiction to alcohol or drugs? Acupuncture is an excellent source of treatment.

What Causes Addiction?
According to an article in the 2012 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, drug addiction is often spurred by stress and/or depression. Drug use (both pharmaceutical and/or street drugs) can induce feelings of pleasure and euphoria in the brain. These feelings spread throughout the body when the brain releases dopamine. “Drugs positively reinforce continued use by inducing feelings of pleasure and euphoria and negatively reinforce it by suppressing withdrawal symptoms, such as dysphoria. Acupuncture is believed to decrease the positive and negative reinforcements of addiction and therefore reduce drug use.” Acupuncture treatments can reduce the positive reinforcement properties of drugs by decreasing the amount of dopamine released when the drug is used. Without the surge of dopamine, the person’s “high” or “buzz” is diminished, making it less likely that they will use the drug in the future.

How Does Acupuncture Address Addiction?
There are five acupuncture points that specific address the challenges of addiction.

  • The Autonomic Point helps calm the nervous system and constributes to overall relaxation
  • The Shen Men, or “Spirit Gate,” contributes to reduced anxiety and nervousness
  • The Kidney Point helps calm fears and heal internal organs
  • The Liver Point aids in detoxification, blood purification, and quelling aggression
  • The Lung Point increases air circulation throughout the body and helps clients let go of sadness or depression

These acupuncture points are located in the ear. Once an acupuncture session is complete, seed can be attached to the acupressure points in the ear so that individuals can rub those points when they are starting to feel anxious.

According to a study conducted at Yale University School of Medicine, One patient reported that “it’s the best relaxation, anti-anxiety drug I’ve ever had. . . It’s better than a Valium or Lorazapam or anything from the past.” One of the nurses involved in the study explains “[acupuncture is] not a cure for addiction, but it is one tool in the tool belt for recovery that we’re trying to get clients to establish for themselves.”

Acupuncture may not be a magic wand, but it can help you manage the stress that often contributes to alcoholism, drug abuse, and even smoking, because “acupuncture is used to help these patients reduce stress and anxiety.” Additionally:, “acupuncture is both safe and cost-effective. When combined with other forms of treatment, such as individual therapy, group counseling, and support groups, it can benefit those suffering from a substance addiction.” (Recovery.org)

Give The Gathering Point Community Acupuncture a call to schedule an appointment for acupuncture. We can help you beat your addiction.

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