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Treating Addictions With Acupuncture

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 5 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Acupuncture Addiction Acupuncturist

Western medicine now widely accepts the use of many alternative methods of treatment for a variety of illnesses and disorders with acupuncture being one of them. It has been found to significantly reduce the physical symptoms of cravings and withdrawal.

What Is Acupunture?

Acupuncture for addiction is the process of inserting very fine needles into the ear, at five specific points; this is called auricular acupuncture. The points are all linked to other areas of the body and by stimulating these points with needles, changes in the body’s chemicals and signals to the brain can be altered.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Auricular acupuncture works in many ways. It can increase circulation of the blood, thereby healing any organs and tissues damaged by the addiction. It can regulate breathing, increase restful sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, help control cravings and help the person feel better overall this is achieved by an increase in endorphin production, which are chemicals that are commonly known as providing the ‘feel good factor’.

By carrying all of these traits, an addict will have more control over their withdrawal period, and by reducing the physical symptoms, the psychological issues surrounding the addiction can be more easily addressed.

Who Will Benefit From Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been known to significantly relieve the symptoms of withdrawal from opiates, alcohol and tobacco and has also been proven to help those suffering from addictions to gambling, sex and those who over-eat.

Who Performs The Acupuncture?

There are a great many trained acupuncturists available, but it is important to find an acupuncturist that has a special interest in addictions and how to effectively treat them.

Ask your GP, support group or find a reputable acupuncturist using the phone book, internet or recommended source. If you are intending to go to residential rehabilitation, there will often be acupuncture offered as part of your treatment plan. Do not be afraid to check references and certificates; find out if they belong to any professional associations, this way you will be more assured of the ability and experience.

Costs between acupuncturists vary depending on their experience, location and specialist knowledge, so research well.A typical session will normally last between 45 minutes and 1 hour and most clients will need a series of sessions before they receive the full benefit from the treatment. The amount of sessions needed vary between practitioner and the needs of the client.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Providing the acupuncturist is fully trained in acupuncture, equipment is stored, maintained and used in the recommended manner and the area of needle insertion is cleaned, there should be no risk to the client.

There are no serious side-effects from acupuncture, with mild ones including discomfort at the time of needle insertion, and slight nausea.

For any addict who wants to overcome their addiction, determination and willpower are essential, but when an added therapy such as acupuncture is chosen, compliance and the ability to complete the recommended duration of sessions is needed also.Acupuncture as a treatment for addiction is not recommended alone and should be used in conjunction with other therapies to gain the maximum benefit and have the most success at overcoming an addiction.

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