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Acupuncture for Addiction


Addiction, in its simplest form, is a term used to describe any habitual, psychological and physiological dependence on any substance beyond one’s voluntary control. It can turn us into drugs addicts, neurotics, alcoholics and workaholics, just to name a few. Whilst modern scientists have thus far developed some forms of therapies that aim to relieve symptoms of addiction, other alternative therapies such as acupuncture may prove useful in its treatment. Please read on for more information.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is ancient Chinese practice that employs the use of needles on the skin to restore the body from symptoms of illness, injury and disease.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is founded on the principle that energy channels (meridians) run all over the body nourishing tissues with energy. When blocked, the energy is obstructed and prevented from nourishing the tissues, which may result in poor states of physical, emotional and mental health.

Acupuncture & TCM bases it practice on the principles of yin and yang energy, which in a healthy individual are balanced. When out of balance with deficient yin energy, feelings of desperation and emptiness can result. This can lead a person attempting to fill the ‘void’ with an addictive substance or behavior, which may manifest physically as a kind of hyperactivity. This hyperactivity then exacerbates the abuse, depleting yin energy even further, increasingly creating more and more of a desperation for the addictive substance or behavior at hand.

Acupuncture Points for Addiction

Most acupuncturists treat addiction with the use of needles on acupuncture points outside and around the ear. Other points that may be addressed include those of the lungs, liver and kidney which assist an addict to detoxify and clear any unwanted toxins that have derived from the addictive substance in their body.

How Does Acupuncture Benefit Addiction?

Auricular acupuncture, or acupuncture of the ear, has been used to treat addiction for many years.  The theory is that there are 200 points in the ear that correspond to organs in the body and, when stimulated, these points nourish and replenish these organs.  This helps with detoxification and, in the case of addiction, to suppress withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, and insomnia.  It also helps to bolster the levels of energy in the body, and leaves the patient feeling relaxed, energised, and in a positive frame of mind.

An acupuncturist unblocks energy and re-establishes energy flow along meridians by needling specific acupuncture points. In doing so it improves the state of internal organs, assisting everything from digestion, absorption, blood circulation and energy production activities.

Modern scientific research has proven acupuncture to be beneficial in addiction control and elimination by:

  • Increasing feelings of relaxation
  • Reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms
  • Improving sleep patterns
  • Raising the level of feel-good endorphins in the nervous system
  • Freeing any blocked energy from around the body

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

The number of acupuncture treatments required to treat addiction will differ between individuals. For more long-standing addictions however, treatments up to several months may be recommended.

Find out about other effective natural treatments for addiction. 


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