Addiction is defined as the compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance, which means addiction can come in a lot of different forms.
People can be addicted to illicit drugs like heroin just as easily as they can be addicted to sugar.
Addictions can completely take over people’s lives to such an extent that the substance they are addicted to controls them.
For people with severe addictions medical and psychological invention may be required. Acupuncture can be a support for people who are recovering from their addiction in many ways:
- Acupuncture can stimulate the neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin, dopamine and GABA levels, which are compromised during withdrawal, can increase during an acupuncture session, helping recovering addicts overcome the depression, anxiety and sleeplessness that occur during the withdrawal period.
- The relationship that exists between the acupuncturist and the client can provide great support during this difficult transition period.
- Acupuncture has been proven to relief pain through the release of endorphins during the session.
- This can be an anxious and extremely difficult period and acupuncture can help relax and calm the person.
Auricular acupuncture is probably the most common technique used when treating addiction. There is a specific protocol utilised for treating addiction. It is called the NADA protocol. NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. NADA was established in 1985 to promote education and training. The NADA protocol utilises five specific points in the ear that not only address substance abuse, but also the emotional, physical and psychological attributes involved in addictions.
The NADA protocol consists of five specific points
- The sympathetic point – balances the nervous systems and has a strong analgesic effect.
- Shen Men – has a relaxing effect and helps alleviate anxiety and nervousness that may accompany withdrawals.
- The kidney point – boosts the source energy of the patient while helping to resolve fear and increase willpower.
- The liver point – promotes the repair of the liver and aids in resolving anger and aggression.
- The lung point – The lung point strengthens the immune system and accelerates detoxification. It also helps addicts deal with grief and letting go.
Acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse offers a proven method of assisting people in the process of recovery without any side effects. Acupuncture provides relief of anxiety, depression, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.