What People Coping With Addictions OUGHT TO KNOW About Acupuncture…

Acupuncture May help with your Addiction Problem! 

Are you tired of letting an addiction or craving dictate your life? If so, practitioners at Centre of Balance in Cambridge may have an effective treatment for you. Addiction to substances such as drugs and alcohol can hinder an individual’s ability to take responsibility for his or her life and function healthily. This necessitates an intervention to help addicts take control of their lives. So what do acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine say about addiction? 

Acupuncture PointsThe Concept behind Addiction according to Acupuncture 

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine recognise the role of Zhi (willpower) as the determinant of addiction tendencies. Zhi represents the determination, drive, or urge to persist in life’s ups and downs. When a person’s Zhi is lacking, the risk of succumbing to addiction and feeling regret or pessimism consequently increases. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine work by supporting an individual’s determination and ability to tap into the inner strength necessary to combat addiction. This provides endurance that helps the addict find and maintain a healthier replacement for the addictive behaviour.   

Ear acupuncture is one of the most effective therapies to address a variety of health issues including general well-being, stress reduction, pain management, detoxification, anxiety treatment, and reducing cravings. In addition to ear acupuncture, you can conduct an ear massage at home to stimulate the release of endorphins (the body’s painkillers) and calm your nerves. Here at the Centre of Balance, we are more than willing to provide information and a practical example of how to appropriately perform an ear massage. 

The Opioid Epidemic   

Addiction to opioids such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin), fentanyl, heroin, codeine, and morphine affects approximately 2.5 million people and is responsible for nearly 100 deaths a day in the United States. These unfortunate statistics are partly due to the significantly high risk of addiction associated with opioids due to their euphoric effects. It is, therefore, essential to discuss how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used to combat this epidemic. 

Unlike conventional treatments and detoxification procedures, which are associated with undesirable side effects, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine offer a holistic treatment approach that incorporates the mind (cognition), body, and heart (emotions). Acupuncture treatment is simple, cost-effective, applicable to all age groups, and does not have adverse side effects. The rehabilitation process includes simple ear acupuncture, whereby needles are strategically placed on 5 points. These acupuncture points represent the kidney (detoxification and fear), liver (detoxification and anger), autonomic point (balance nervous system), shen men (pain and withdrawal symptoms), and lungs (breathing pattern and emotions). 

What do the FDA and Research studies say?  

In a 2017 paper, the FDA recommended the application of acupuncture as a non-pharmacological treatment to manage pain and deal with addiction. However, the paper also insists on the need for healthcare providers to understand the characteristics of the opioid dependence beforehand. To this effect, it is essential to consult a credible health centre with ample resources, customer service, and experience. Another recent publication by the Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force drew data from a variety of scientific studies and concluded that acupuncture is an important adjunct treatment to tackle opioid addiction and manage negative side effects of addiction.  

Additional Tips from Centre of Balance 

Centre of Balance practitioners recommend a few lifestyle changes to enhance the effectiveness of acupuncture. They include deep breathing exercises to keep calm, drinking water frequently, avoiding junk food (increases acidity), consuming fruits and vegetables (promotes alkalinity), and exercising more to feel relaxed. In summary, do not let your addictions control your life. Visit our clinic at Centre of Balance, Duke St Medical Centre in Cambridge, or talk to us and allow us to use our skills, knowledge, and experience to help you. 

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 Abel Bolash, Bonnie M., et al., “Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management.” The Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force, 2017, http://www.asacu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Acupunctures-Role-in-Solving-the-Opioid-Epidemic-_Final_September_20_2017.pdf. 

 FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM557071.pdf