Many people are addicted to socially acceptable addictive substances such as cigarettes, alcohol or even sugar and caffeine whether it be coffee or energy drinks.
(Yes, Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffiene are categorized as drugs!)
Alternatively, people can be addicted to more heavy narcotics such as Heroin, Ice, Cocaine or prescription drugs.
Regardless of the addiction, all of these addictive substances can play havoc with your health, leading to insomnia, anxiety, poor liver function and erratic moods to name a few.
There is a natural solution at hand – Ear Acupuncture or Auricular Acupuncture. Did you know Ear Acupuncture is used for Substance abuse and detox? Ear Acupuncture is used world wide as a prevention and treatment for people addicted to Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, Prescription drugs and hard drugs alike.
In the U.S. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (N.A.D.A.) is devoted to helping people detox using acupuncture and has lots of evidence based research on how it works.
According to N.A.D.A, using Functional MRIs to assess, Acupuncture causes a response in your Central Nervous System and several areas of your brain. It has a regulatory effect on the regions of the brain involved in stress responses.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the reward mechanism of drug taking by 3 methods:
1. By reducing dopamine (relating to pleasure and motivation- which in drug addicts uptake of dopamine is disordered and needs to be regulated, hence using acupuncture)
2. By stimulating serotonin, opioids & GABA (all related to dopamine release – natural opiates)
3. Stimulating Natural endorphin release (body’s natural opiates)
There is supporting evidence that Ear and body acupuncture can also assist relief of signs and symptoms associated with drug withdrawal such as body aches, insomnia, cravings, anxiety and depression.
The NADA protocol is needling 5 acupoints in the external ear – Lung, Liver, Spleen, Ear Shen Men and Sympathetic Nervous System. A consultation can be followed up with mobile acupoint stimulators such as tiny ball bearings or “seeds” stuck to the ear in the same point locations. This allows for easy access when any of those cravings or associated symptoms surface, you can press the seeds to stimulate the acupoints. If you feel you’re addicted, try Ear Acupuncture today for relief.
By Katika Funnell Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Practitioner
B.HSc. TCM(UTS) Cert. TCM(China) DRM Member ATMS 0414 459 659
The Family Wellness Centre (02) 9938 1090