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Can Acupuncture Help With Alcohol Addiction

Acupuncture For Alcoholism Confirmed

Can acupuncture help treat addiction?
03 September 2018

Acupuncture alleviates depression and cravings associated with alcohol dependence. Affiliated Hospital of Henan Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial quantifying changes in alcohol cravings and depression levels using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Visual Analog Scale . Two groups were compared. One group received Traditional Chinese Medicine emotional reconciliation therapy. Another group received TCM emotional reconciliation therapy plus acupuncture. The results demonstrate that the combination of acupuncture with TCM emotional reconciliation therapy is effective for the alleviation of depression and cravings in patients with alcohol dependency.

Alcohol dependence is a serious physical and psychological problem and it is estimated that approximately 70% of those with alcohol dependence also suffer from varying degrees of depression. Many people that become dependent on alcohol do so as a result of pre-existing mood disorders, and alcohol dependence often leads to loss of confidence and low self-esteem. Effectively treating patients with alcohol dependency is challenging for healthcare professionals due to poor compliance with medical interventions, resulting in recurrent relapses.

  • Baihui
  • Neiguan
  • Zusanli

Mechanical Stimulation Of The Ht7 Acupuncture Point To Reduce Ethanol Self

Yeonhee Ryu

1KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea

2Department of Meridians & Acupoints, College of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan 54538, Republic of Korea


1. Introduction

Alcohol addiction is a serious public health problem with significant social and economic consequences worldwide. There are only three US Food and Drug Administration- cleared drugs for the treatment of alcohol abuse . Naltrexone, a mu-opioid receptor antagonist, was cleared by the US FDA for the treatment of alcoholism in 1994. Many studies have demonstrated that alcohol addiction is related to endogenous opioid systems , and antagonizing with mu-opioid receptors is effective in decreasing alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers and in treating alcohol addiction . However, naltrexone is still far from perfect in treating all cases of alcoholism and side effects, including nausea and hepatotoxicity, confound treatment in patients with liver disease .

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Animal Preparation
2.2. Ethanol Self-Administration
2.3. Acupuncture Treatment
2.4. Plasma Beta-Endorphin Assays
2.5. Drug Preparation and Treatment
2.6. Statistical Analysis

3. Results

3.1. Effect of Mechanical Acupuncture Treatment on Ethanol Self-Administration

What Is An Acupuncture For Addiction Session Like

AcuDetox draws on auricular acupuncture protocols targeted to addictions, trauma, and mental health disorders. The actual acupuncture session and experience is much like a regular acupuncture session. An acupuncturist inserts very small, sterile needles into your skin and then you sit still and quietly for at least 20-30 minutes.

NADA acupuncture targets five areas on the ear believed to be associated with substance abuse. This type of acupuncture is commonly performed in a group and sessions last from 30-45 minutes. Participants report feeling energized after AcuDetox, but also calm and relaxed.

Acupuncture for Co-Occurring Disorders Mental health disorders sometimes co-occur with drug and alcohol addiction. People with anxiety, depression, and other conditions may abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with symptoms of mental health disorders. Effective substance abuse treatment must address drug and alcohol abuse as well as underlying issues like mental health disorders.

Acupuncture can be a complement to traditional mental health disorder treatment. Some research shows acupuncture as a promising depression treatment when combined with antidepressants and therapy. It can help increase quality of life and social-emotional health. Studies also suggest acupuncture can be an effective anxiety treatment.

Dual diagnosis treatment that includes acupuncture can help with the stress, anxiety, and depression that are often associated with alcohol and drug addiction.

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Does Acupuncture Help With Addiction Recovery

According to Sobo, NADA acupuncture is more effective when participants are receptive and committed to treatment. If the willingness isnt there, the protocol wont be successful.

For it to work, there has to be the desire to quit. For example, you cant be passive about wanting to quit smoking. But if you have the mindset of Im going to quit smoking and Im going to try my best to do everything right, the NADA protocol will be effective in addition to that.

Its important to realize that the overall process is going to take time, but Sobo says you should notice results after a few sessions.

It wont be a situation where youre treated seven times and nothing has changed. If youre trying to quit smoking, you might notice that instead of smoking a pack a day, youre only smoking three-quarters of a pack by visit two or three. As you keep getting treated, that three-quarters of a pack can go to half, then a quarter and eventually, youll have less of an urge to smoke. Getting there might take a month or a few months depending on a persons history of smoking. But since were using the NADA protocol to help treat addiction, the withdrawal symptoms have to be brought down gradually and managed.

The same goes for trauma or mental health conditions.

Can Acupuncture Help With Addiction Recovery

How Acupuncture Work Against Addiction

Addiction and trauma are two very heavy and complex things to grapple with. Fortunately, no one has to battle either or both alone. Along with treatment solutions that take a persons individual needs into account, there are supplemental therapies that can help promote healing and recovery. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association acupuncture protocol is one of those therapies.

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What Is Acupuncture For Alcohol Detox

In the past century, acupuncture’s science has been researched and investigated in its relation to traditional Chinese medicine. For centuries, the acupuncture technique has been used for medicinal purposes to treat diseases and enhance health. Acupuncture is applied to different body locations, but the most common acupuncture points used in the treatment are called “Jing Qi”. Jing Qi is divine energy and is the primary energy of our body. Acupuncture targets these energy centres to stimulate the meridians or energy channels. Acupuncture’s principle is to cultivate Qi, which in Chinese medicine refers to the human body’s health and facilitates Qi’s flow within the meridians.

Acupuncture For Locomotor Sensitization

Repeated administration of addictive drugs may result in a progressive, and long-lasting enhancement of the locomotor response termed locomotor sensitization . To study the effect of EA on ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization, Jair and colleagues conducted a series of experiments, showing that EA over a combination of ST36 and PC6 reversed the ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization in the acquisition, expression and maintenance phases. These effects were accompanied by inhibition of ethanol-triggered diminution in the homer1A mRNA expression in the hippocampus, striatum, and prefrontal cortex . EA given concomitantly at DU14 and DU20 had similar effect upon locomotor sensitization, which may depend on extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling .

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Is Acupuncture A Cure For Addiction

First of all, there is no cure for addiction. Someone with addiction problems will always be an addict however they can be an addict in recovery with the right sort of treatment. One such method of treatment is acupuncture. Research has shown that acupuncture can raise the level of endorphins in the nervous system. Endorphins are natural painkillers that the body produces and produce a similar effect to certain substances, creating a sense of euphoria. Raising endorphins within the nervous system has been shown to alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking and anxiety.

Auricular acupuncture involves inserting short, thin, sterile needles into certain points on the ear. Whilst this may sound painful to those who have not had it before, if done correctly acupuncture is meant to be fairly painless. Acupuncture is believed to create a sense of calm and well-being within the person, and is especially beneficial to the organs that suffer most with addiction the kidneys, liver and lungs.

Whilst acupuncture has been shown to be a helpful source of support in treating addiction, it is important to remember that acupuncture does not deal with any psychological issues which may be contributing to the addiction. Therefore, acupuncture is usually utilised by rehabilitation centres alongside other more traditional forms of therapy such as the 12 step programme or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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Acupuncture Methods For Alcoholics

Acupuncture for Addictions

Each acupuncturist has their own method of treatment. Some are purists and adhere to Far-Eastern practices, though many blend elements of East and West. Sessions last anywhere from a few minutes to about an hour.

Despite minor differences in practice, every acupuncture session includes the following elements:

* Puncturing: needles are thin enough that relatively little acute pain results from their insertion. Only a few needles are used in a typical treatment.* Manipulation: after the needles are in place, the acupuncturist may lightly twirl them or apply heat.* Removal: after the prescribed time, the needles are quickly and painlessly removed.

For an alcoholic seeking acupuncture rehabilitation treatment, it is important to minimize expectations and keep an open mind. Some patients respond rapidly to acupuncture others see little in the way of results. Usually, it only takes a few sessions for an addict to determine if acupuncture is going to be a valuable rehabilitation tool.

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What Happens During The Treatment

Tiny needles, usually five of them, are inserted into specific points of the ear. There is an almost immediate sense of calm that settles over the patient, and they can sit in a chair with their feet up, resting in a meditative state for the duration of their treatment.

The lights are usually lowered to facilitate mental stillness. This can last between thirty and forty minutes. During that time, heart rate and blood pressure are reduced.

Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

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Is Acupuncture An Effective Addiction Treatment

Alternative therapies for the treatment of opioid addiction are adding to the tool belt of addiction treatment facilities struggling to slow opioid addiction and its effect on communities.

One type of alternative treatment is acupuncture, a therapeutic approach that seeks to stimulate the bodys own natural healing process through the insertion of tiny needles into the body.

This article explores whether acupuncture is really an effective part of a holistic addiction treatment program.

Ear Acupuncture For Addiction

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Are you or someone you love suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism? Have you tried all conventional methods of treatment but yet to find one that works for you? In this post, we look at an alternative type of addiction treatment: ear acupuncture.

With many physical and psychological benefits, ear acupuncture is slowly becoming one of the most unorthodox types of addiction therapy in modern cultures.

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Ii Acupuncture For Alcoholism

Acupuncture for alcoholism typically uses needles inserted at from three to five locations on the outer ear. This is auricular acupuncture. Practitioners believe that these spots occur on meridians leading to parts of the body weakened from alcohol abuse. Practioners sometimes use other locations on the body.

Different schools of thought disagree about how many meridians there are. About where needles should be inserted. Whether ying and yang should also be used, etc. But a common belief is that different meridians connect to different organs.

Other methods are micro-acupuncture, manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture and acupressure. Many popular alternative healing methods use similar philosophies. They include reflexolgy, reiki, shiatsu, and Qi Gong. Alcohol rehabs commonly offer acupuncture or related procedures.

Visit Treatments for Alcoholism: Resources, Descriptions, & Links.

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol most often involves auricular acupuncture treatments. Theyre given to large groups of patients who sit together quietly for 45 minutes. Alcohol and drug courts often use the NADA protocol. So do some prisons, hospitals, refugee camps, and in other venues around the world.

Suggested Advantages

Advocates of acupuncture suggest advantages of the procedure. They include these.

As a non-verbal intervention, it helps in reaching resistant patients.

It reduces anxiety and agitation while facilitating calm and receptive behavior.

How To Get Acupuncture For Alcohol Detox

The therapist performs needling treatment to help the liver’s lining restructure and drive detoxification more effective. Series stimulations are done in a line, producing muscular contractions that assist the flow of blood and nutrients and help the liver for the detoxification treatment. Regular acupuncture treatments improve the rate of liver recovery from alcohol detoxification. Moreover, the acupuncture sessions cause the body to feel as though the acupuncture needles are less painful. Acupuncture for Alcohol Detox helps overcome detoxification’s physical effects and alleviate symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal.

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Why A Holistic Approach To Addiction Recovery Is Best

Addiction recovery must be individualized, because while addictions share symptoms and dangers, ultimately addictions are as unique as the individuals who have them. No two people share the same life experiences, heartbreak, challenges, stresses, and demands, and that is why addiction treatment must be individualized and must address the individual as a whole.

Just as you could not successfully install a skylight in your home without considering the structural components, the direction of sunlight, and goals for a particular room, you cannot approach addiction recovery without considering every aspect of life, including work, family, friendships, service, and co-occurring illnesses. For many people, acupuncture may be a helpful aspect of addressing holistic health during addiction recovery.

Acupuncture Treats Chemical Addiction And Behavioral Compulsions That Feed A Persons Addiction To Abuse Harmful Substances Like Smoking Drinking Pharmaceuticals And Drug Abuse

Acupuncture and Addiction

Acupuncture can be used to aid in treatment of addiction and to help patients to reduce prescribed medications which are difficult to withdraw from. Acupuncture treatment reduces withdrawal symptoms, aids in relaxation in cases of anxiety, improves sleep, and reduces cravings for drugs. It has been used for withdrawal from drugs of abuse such as heroin and methamphetamine cigarettes and alcohol and prescribed medications such as pain medications: oxycodone, percocet, etc, benzodiazapenes: valium, xanax, ativan, antidepressants: effexor, paxil, etc.

While acupuncture is a valuable part of addiction treatment, it is not a stand-alone protocol for drug treatment. It is very important that patients working to reduce drug use utilize a complete array of modalities. For addiction, counselling and medical supervision are usually appropriate. For detoxification from prescription drugs the prescribing physicians cooperation is essential. Cigarette addiction can often be adequately addressed by acupuncture but other modalities such as medical treatment or nicotine patches or gum may be used as necessary.

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How Acupuncture For Addiction Works

The five points of the ear that are targeted during auricular acupuncture connect to the following areas of the body and improve their functions:

  • Lung Point
  • The Sympathetic/Autonomic Point
  • The Shen Men Point

Needles usually remain in place for between thirty and forty minutes. During that time, immediate calming effects are seen.

Using Acupuncture To Treat Alcoholism

Some alcohol addiction treatment centers have incorporated acupuncture in their treatment protocols. Acupuncture has definite advantages in helping patients get through withdrawal from alcohol detox but the ancient Chinese medical therapy may have other positive benefits for recovering alcoholics.

Acupuncture is painless. A licensed practitioner will take between two and five minutes to insert thin and delicate needles into strategic places in the human body and the patient will remain still for 30-40 minutes with the needles in place.

Advocates of acupuncture for alcoholics say that at the least the practice will help restore the alcoholics balance and ease the anxious feelings and cravings that alcoholics are bound to feel while in treatment. Advocates say that auricular acupuncture or acupuncture to certain areas around the ear opens up meridians or lines of energy that run through the human body. These meridians are typically blocked in recovering alcoholics. Auricular acupuncture allows the patients chi or life force to once again flow freely. This is how balance is restored.

Acupuncturists can apply needles to five areas in or around the ear that will help treat the kidneys, liver or lungs that typically suffer as alcoholics consume excessive levels of alcohol. Acupuncture has also proven to stabilize body temperature.

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Acupuncture To Quit Smoking

Several pieces of research concerning the effectiveness of using acupuncture to quit smoking have been carried out. While the poor methodology was a primary concern in several medical studies concerning the use of acupuncture to quit smoking, a research study in 2019 showed that the use of acupuncture to quit smoking was more effective than attempting to quit on your own without professional help.

The research also showed that using acupuncture to quit smoking was most effective when combined with medical addiction counseling and a smoking cessation educational program, which was found to help short-term and long-term smoking cessation.

Can Acupuncture Help With Alcoholism

Got Addictions

Acupuncture has been used to treat chronic and acute health conditions for thousands of years, but has only recently become popular in the United States. Evidence shows, however, that it can be helpful in treating a number of chronic conditionsincluding alcohol addiction.

But how effective is acupuncture for alcoholism, really? What aspects of addiction does it help with? And if youre in recovery, should you try acupuncture? Below, well look at the research on acupuncture and alcohol use disorder, and whether it could be a good part of your recovery arsenal.

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