Acupuncture has been an extremely versatile form of treatment that has served the Chinese people well for over 2,500 years. Although still regarded by most western cultures as “alternative” medicine, acupuncture is fast gaining notoriety for its efficiency in treating drug addiction and alcoholism in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a viable form of treatment for anxiety and other various forms of disease and ailments. Results from a Yale University study showed that acupuncture boosts the rate of success of drug rehab therapy by 200 percent. A different form of acupuncture called ear acupuncture has been shown to help lessen detox symptoms and increase relaxation. Due to its effectiveness, ear acupuncture is now being used by many detox facilities all around the world as well as in over 300 court-mandated drug rehab centers in the US.
Most drug rehab centers mainly use holistic types of treatment such as acupuncture as complementary to conventional western medicine. Almost all of them have a resident acupuncturist with at least, a degree in Oriental Medicine who provides patients with customized ear acupuncture and body acupuncture treatments to alleviate detox symptoms.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Our body is made up of an intricate network of bioelectrical energy that through ultrasound technology has been proven to exist. Energy channels in our body called meridians can actually be identified in this manner. Normally, this bioelectrical network of energy referred to as Chi or Qi, is in a constant state of uninterrupted smooth flow, but this oftentimes gets interrupted caused by a development of blockage in the meridians. The movement of blood stagnates whenever the Chi is blocked and this hinders the oxygen-rich blood from being transported and prevents vital nutrients from reaching the vital organs and tissues causing the body to malfunction that in turn, can result in a variety of symptoms including depression, anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, headaches, and many others. These meridians can be accessed via acupuncture needles inserted along 350 pressure points to stimulate Chi that can then stimulate the flow of blood and energy enabling the natural stimulation of the body’s own natural healing processes.
Illness can be treated and prevented by acupuncture due to the fact that this treatment helps improve the overall functioning of the immune, energy, organ, endocrine, and energy blood systems of the body. Chinese herbal medicine can also be included as an accompaniment to boost the long-term success and overall benefits of acupuncture. Herbal treatments that soothe the spirit help stabilize the pleasure chemicals of the brain that affect mood, the neurotransmitters. The process of restoring balance in the body is known as regulation.
Drug addiction and alcoholism is a three-part illness that harms the individual spiritually, mentally, and physically. The use of acupuncture in treating drug addiction involves accessing the meridians to activate the Chi of the body. Pressure points where the needles are inserted are located along the meridians and when stimulated each acupoint can produce a distinct effect on the body. For the treatment of drug addiction, specific points are identified, used, and stimulated. Stimulating certain points on the auricle or outer ear has been proven to decrease withdrawal symptoms and generate a calming effect. A Minneapolis-based research group did a controlled study that involved acupuncture detox modalities in a conventional acupuncture drug addiction therapy group and a control group in which the needles were inserted just a few millimeters away from the suggested pressure points on the ear. A 93 percent rate of completion was seen in the conventional acupuncture group while only a 2.5 percent rate was reported in the control group. The control group also experienced twice as many drinking episodes and the people in that group had to be admitted to detox more than twice as often during follow-up treatment six months after the end of the study.
It is extremely important to have a resident licensed acupuncturist in a drug rehab facility in order to provide patients with a plan of treatment that’s based on the patient’s specific needs in order to help them recover from drug addiction. Patients will receive personal acupuncture treatment as well as herbal therapy, if needed. To assist with detox symptoms, they also receive ear acupuncture on a weekly basis. More often than not, acupuncture treatment is combined with additional holistic detoxification therapies such as massage and mediation for overall well-being and relaxation.