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Acupuncture Treatment for Substance Abuse

By Turnabout A.S.A.P.

Acupuncture helps people recover from drugs and alcohol problems. It is used in clinics through the United States. Acupuncture can 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. Western science has confirmed that acupuncture treatments change levels of chemicals in the body and act on the nervous system. Acupuncture itself is not a substitute for therapy but is used in addition to counseling and self-help programs.

How it all began

One day in the early 1970's, H.L. Wen, MD., then the only neurosurgeon in all of South China and Hong Kong, was preparing to use electro-acupuncture as surgical analgesia and the patient, who happened to be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from opium at the time, reported his symptoms had disappeared. Wen canceled the surgery and scouted the hospital for other patients in withdrawal. He gave his pre-op procedure to them and their symptoms also ceased. Acupuncture for substance abuse was born.

Why Acupuncture for Detox?

  • Reduces the physical symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Relieves depression, Anxiety, and insomnia.
  • Profoundly relieves withdrawal symptoms including cravings, body aches, headache, nausea, sweating, muscle cramping, etc.

The acupuncture detoxification program is an ideal partner with other programs. It alleviates withdrawal symptoms so mental and physical stability are quickly achieved. This gives a new level of comfort allowing for more effective counseling. Twelve Step program participation, or participation in any other treatment program is considered important to sobriety.

In addition, acupuncture...

  • Can be used safely with any other health condition.
  • Does not utilize other abusable, addictive drugs for treatment
  • Can be effectively done on an outpatient basis.
  • Is successfully used as a drug detoxification method at over 100 different drug treatment clinics in the United States and is also successfully used for this purpose in at least 25 other countries.

Acupuncture Treatment

Five tiny needles are placed in each ear, and then the clients rest quietly for 45 minutes. This is a good time to relax, meditate or think about changes to be made in your life. In detoxification treatment, points in the ear correspond to specific organs including the lungs, liver, kidneys and nervous system. One of the points is for relaxation. The treatment triggers the release of natural body chemicals, including endorphins, which help reduce cravings for drugs, ease withdrawal symptoms, and increase relaxation.

How Will I feel During the Treatment?

Once the needles have been placed, your ears may tingle or feel warm. Some people even fall asleep. These are normal responses. Some people say they feel very relaxed when they are having a treatment, other's don't feel much at all. Even if you don't feel much you are getting benefit from treatment. Acupuncture is most effective after a series of treatments over a period of time.

The Detoxification Process

During detoxification, your body filters out the toxins that you have been storing up. Blood circulation begins to improve. Sometimes during the detoxification period you may feel achy, not sleep well, be cranky, or even have drug dreams. Please let the acupuncturist know if you have any of these symptoms so that additional acupuncture points can be added to your treatment.

How to Receive Maximum Benefit From Treatment

  • Treatment time should be used to sit quietly, relax and reflect or meditate.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or drink coffee in the half hour before and after treatment.
  • Let the acupuncturist know if you have any health problems.

Get daily acupuncture treatments for the first two weeks, then three treatments a week for several weeks, then two treatments per week for several additional weeks. Final treatments should be once a week. If relapse occurs or something stressful happens in your life, then additional treatments are recommended. 


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