The Importance of Including Acupuncture In the Treatment of Addiction

Addictions can either be good or bad, but regardless if they benefit your health or not, they can impact your life in a huge way. Most of us may know someone who has an addiction problem. We may have an addiction to something ourselves although it may not be significant enough to adversely affect our health. It is never easy to deal with addictions: we may be addicted to shoes, drugs, alcohol, social media, food, or coffee just to mention some. Some addictions may seem inane but they are still considered ‘addictions.’ We may be dealing with it in an unhappy or happy way, emotionally or physically, subconsciously or consciously. One might ponder and procrastinate for a while on how to deal with this problem while another might just wake up one morning and decide to tackle the addiction head on. Regardless of the severity of your addiction or how long you have been addicted to a certain thing or behavior, acupuncture can definitely help.

Acupuncture treatment for addiction works because of certain neurohormones in the body known as endorphins. These natural chemicals in the body act like morphine. They provide the person with a relaxing and calming feeling; they are responsible for the euphoric feeling known as ‘runners high,’ a sensation experienced by long-distance runners who have run for five miles straight or more. These endorphins also provide us with a feeling of strength, speed, and invincibility, free us from constraints, and remove pain. One great example of endorphins at work is during childbirth. The delivery of a child brings with it pain and extreme stress. Endorphins help calm the woman’s mind and help relieve the pain of childbirth. Upon sensing that the body is under severe stress and pain, the brain produces and releases endorphins. Their levels continue to rise throughout the birthing process and reach its peak when the woman reaches the end of her pregnancy. Really high levels of endorphins during labor and delivery can bring about an altered state of consciousness that can help the woman better cope with whatever process she is undergoing even if it is challenging and long. The woman can stay attentive, alert and even euphoric while giving birth to her child.

How Exactly Does Acupuncture Treat Addictions?

Studies have revealed that acupuncture can actually boost the amount of endorphins in the nervous system. Endorphins are the body’s own version of opiates – they function and are structured in the same way as opiates. These studies have shown that the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that people giving up drugs or smoking suffer from can be neutralized by increasing the endorphin levels in the body, more specifically in the nervous system. And since acupuncture has the ability to boost endorphin levels, it explains why this treatment can also be effective at regulating appetites.

Acupuncturists believe in the concept of Yin and Yang. There needs to be a relative balance between the two in order for a person to be in good health. In an addiction, the Yin is usually the one deficient. Acupuncturists treat (needles) certain acupoints located in the outer ear and on different body parts. Depending on the length and severity of the addiction, certain acupoints will be selected. The effect is amazing. The patient experiences profound well-being, peacefulness, and calm. Some needled acupoints help revitalize the lungs, kidneys, and liver. These are important organ systems that are responsible for eliminating waste materials and toxins. The three organs are usually weak in substance addicts because of the toxins they are subjected to on a regular basis. They work to the point of exhaustion from the constant process of waste and toxin elimination from the body.

If you suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction, your acupuncturist may recommend daily treatments to detoxify your body. Once your body is clean, the number of sessions decreases to twice a week then eventually you only need a few sessions each year to maintain the long-term results of the treatment. In order to ensure longstanding abstinence, the patient needs to join a support group or go for counseling.

For smokers, although nicotine is a much milder drug to deal with, the habit of smoking is the hardest of all substance addictions to break. Smoking’s addictive nature is actually more insidious than that of street drugs. Some smokers are strong-willed enough to break their addiction themselves; for some though, a little help would be much welcomed. Acupuncturists usually resolve nicotine addictions within a single or a couple of treatments. Nicotine craving are then drastically lowered. After that, two weeks with four or five acupuncture sessions in between is needed to provide the patient the power to quit smoking on his own. Some may still have the urge to smoke although this will have been drastically cut to just a few smokes a day. In acupuncture for smoking addiction, smokers are not required to be treated daily. Press tacks or small pellets are taped over the treated acupoints after each session. The patient should wear the tapes all the time. The pressure placed on the balls and the pellets by the patient are meant to stimulate the effects acupuncture every time the patient has a desire to smoke helping the patient overcome his urges.

Recovery from substance addiction depends on the amount of endorphins present in the nervous system. Acupuncture is able to make you feel whole and relaxed if that is what you long for. A balanced Yin and Yang and a normal flow of energy in the body can help fill the void, longing and pain that needs to be filled.

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454

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