Drug withdrawal and Ear Acupuncture

| July 31, 2011 | 0 Comments | 387 views

  In the voluminous studies that have been done on smoking and drug addictions, the preponderance of them point to the use of two core points, Shenmen and Lung, as necessary to treatment. Shenmen reduces withdrawal symptoms, such as restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, and cravings. It has a stabilizing effect. The major action of the Lung point is to decrease lethargy, which can develop when the use of stimulants is denied. Because the Lung is the master of the Qi, the energy of the body is increased through its use.

  Thus, the body’s own natural ability to regulate proper energy is stimulated. Researchers H.L. Wen and A.Y.C. Chung first developed a clinical protocol for treating drug withdrawal by using electrical stimulation of the ear. Later, a study using two needles on each ear found “Lung to regulate energy, and Liver to address alcoholism, plus other points based on withdrawal symptoms, to be central to drug detoxification.”7

  The treatment of drug addiction is complex due to the cultural, social, and physiological variables associated with addiction. Auricular medicine is a simple, easy, relatively convenient, and cost-effective treatment to assist in the difficult withdrawal process. W. M. Niu et al.8 showed that “the short-term curative effect in groups receiving electroacupuncture combined with ear pressing therapy was found to be equivalent to groups treated by methadone maintenance. However, the reoccurrence rate in patients treated with ear acupuncture is significantly lower.” An Avants et al.9 study between cocaine dependent patients and methadone-maintained patients showed that “cocaine use decreased significantly for patients receiving body acupuncture or ear acupuncture compared with the methadone maintenance group.”

  The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) has popularized the use of ear acupuncture in drug detoxification in the U.S. and abroad. The NADA five-point protocol utilizes Shenmen, Sympathetic, Kidney, Liver, and Lung to treat narcotic, alcohol, and nicotine addiction. The energetics of those points in the detoxification protocol should be apparent now that the energetics of the points have been discussed throughout this book. Those clinicians trained as specialists in the NADA protocol have completed a great deal of successful work and helped many thousands of patients suffering from the enslavement of various addictions. Addiction withdrawal is not my area of ear expertise, so it is best to directly consult the literature and studies done with this procedure if the reader has interest in this important area of treatment.

  Smoking is also an addictive behavior. Tiziano Marovino10 reports, “After using laser auriculotherapy for nicotine detoxification, 48% of the subjects still were not smoking 3 months later. However, they were intrinsically motivated individuals who did not have high stress levels. The laser was employed to minimize the withdrawal symptoms — not to cure the entire biopsychosocial constellation of variables that are inherent in any type of addiction.” X.S. Liu’s11 study, using semen vaccaria, showed that “ear treatment affects the sense of taste. Cigarette smoke tastes bitter and undesirable to smokers once they begin ear treatment, thus reinforcing the undesirability of the habit.”

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Category: Acupuncture Treatment, Auricular Acupuncture

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