One of the things Acupuncture has a good reputation with is Addictions. It can be helpful for smoking cessation, for example, but can also give excellent relief to folks battling more severe additions, such as polydrug users struggling to function in their daily lives.
In 2003, while I was still in Traditional Chinese Medicine College, I took a course with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). It was my first experience with treating outside the student clinic, except for friends and family (thanks, by the way, guys; that was really helpful).
During that time, I worked at the various detox centres around Vancouver, and this was something I observed quite a bit: folks came into the treatment room feeling angry, anxious, and hopeless. They would sit down for the acupuncture, and within a very short time, I saw each person calm down into a state of relaxation and sleep. By the time they left, they were cheerful and lighthearted, ready to move onto their next appointment, either with a case worker or social worker.
The main explanation for why it works for additions, is because acupuncture stimulates the release of both enkephalin and dynorphin in the spinal cord. These are your body’s natural painkillers. Withdrawal from an addictive substance can be both physically and psychologically painful. The gentle release of these substances can ease the pain and help patients into a state where they are better able to receive the other forms of treatment they need, such as counseling.
The acupuncture helps people into a more calm and therefore receptive state, where they are able to receive the type of treatment they need, even when those settings might normally trigger them. For example, a visit to the doctor or psychologist might be triggering to someone who has been traumatized in medical settings in the past. The acupuncture relieves anxiety so strongly, that people are able to follow through with something that may otherwise be too painful.
The treatment for addition is so elegant and simple, that it can be added to your whole-body Traditional Chinese Medicine session. If you have any questions about this treatment, or about your own personal situation and how acupuncture might help, please call today and book a 15 minute phone consultation. I am always available for a chat.