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Acupuncture Therapy and Addiction

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of therapeutic and pain treatment known to man, with origins dating back to 1600 BC. While acupuncture still remains controversial among many medical researchers and clinicians, you have to wonder why a practice has continued to be performed for so many thousands of years if it doesn’t work.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is almost impossible to relate to modern medicine because rather than viewing the body as a complex system of organs, vessels and nerves, it views the body as a whole composed of multiple systems of function. In TCM all ill health (mind or body) is due to a simple lack of balance in these systems. In acupuncture multiple needles are inserted and manipulated into various points of the body to try reestablish balance. These needles are inserted into parts of the body known to contain what are called meridians. The main meridians are based around specific major organs of the body including the lungs, stomach, small and large intestine, kidney, liver, and heart.

Modern research shows evidence that Acupuncture actually raises levels of endorphins in the central nervous system. These endorphins resemble opiates in both structure and function, serving as natural pain killers. Even some treatment centers use acupuncture as a form of pain management.

Does This Help With Addiction?

In TCM the balance of the body is known as the yin and yang, yin being the water element, and yang being the fire. While yang consumes, yin nourishes. When the yin and yang are in general balance, the individual is in good mental and physical health. But, when the two are off balance, poor physical and mental health result. The idea is that people who suffer from addictions are often simply suffering from a deficiency in yin, or water. When there is a lack of the nourishing element, the consuming element takes over. And because this yang is a product of deficit, it has no substance to fuel it, and is known as empty fire. This type of imbalance creates feelings of desperation and emptiness. Through its manifesting form of hyperactivity and impulsiveness it drives an individual to use drugs or alcohol, inflaming the yang, resulting in a temporary feeling of power and well being. But due to the further destruction of yin, the individual withdrawals, and feels even more empty than before.

In treatment for addiction, the focus is primarily on the liver, kidneys, and lung; the primary points of damage due to substance abuse. Needles are inserted into the ear during a session of about forty five minutes. With the raise of endorphins, the individual typically experiences a feeling of euphoria and calmness. This effect gives acupuncture a great place in assisting people who are experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms, because it naturally boosts the dopamine levels of the brain during a period where they are typically very low. It also is believed to assist individuals with post acute withdrawal symptoms, and cravings, because of the increase of endorphins.

What Else Can Acupuncture Help?

Below is a list of some of the ailments that, through clinical trials, acupuncture has been proved, or almost proved, to assist.

Proved Through Clinical Trials To Assist:

  • Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  • Biliary Colic
  • Neck Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Stroke
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Headache
  • Induction of Labour
  • Knee Pain
  • Depression
  • Facial Pain
  • Morning Sickness
  • Postoperative Pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Sprain
  • Hay Fever

Almost Proved Through Clinical Trials:

  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Alcohol Dependence and Detox
  • Narcotic Dependence and Detox
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Facial Spasm
  • Earache
  • Female Infertility
  • Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetic
  • Competition Stress Syndrome
  • Cancer Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Labour Pain
  • Obesity
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Acute Back Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Nicotine Dependence
  • Hepatitis B Status