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Acupuncture for Treating Addiction

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Addiction has been a major problem I the United States for quite a while now. There are actually many forms of addiction – they can range from addiction to sweets like chocolate to drug addiction. Addiction typically can cause harm to the overall balance and health of a person.

What is Addiction?

Addiction normally comes about due to a person’s excessive and long-term engagement in activities or use of substances that affect his/her overall functioning. Medical dictionaries generally define addiction to be a psychological or physiological dependence on certain substances or practices that cannot be controlled by the addicted individual. There are people who think that addiction happens when the activity or substance take hold of the individual and not the other way around.

There are two classifications for addiction and they are based on the item the person is addicted to. The classification can either be a behavioral or substance addiction.

Behavioral Addiction

This means the person affected has a very high obsession in engaging in activities like sex, exercise to the extreme, internet browsing and gambling. Eventually, users may be totally unaware that their behaviors are getting uncontrollable which also start to become problems to other individuals.

Substance Addiction

This refers to uncontrollable urge to use harmful substances like alcohol, nicotine and cocaine.

Aside from the inability to control themselves from engaging in certain activities or the uncontrollable desire to use or consume certain substances, addicts have become so highly dependent on these activities and substances to help deal with their everyday life. An individual hooked to a particular substance will keep on using it no matter if it causes adverse impacts on his/her health and causes problems to other people.

Based on clinical studies, regular and frequent undertaking or use of certain substances generates pleasure to the brain. During the course of time, the user becomes aware that the higher dose he/she takes, the greater pleasure he/she gets. As a result, the person’s tolerance with the substance likewise goes up. Experts conclude that the greater the tolerance level of the person, the higher is his/her risk for addiction. In the long term, the user may feel the need to take the substance not out of pleasure anymore but to prevent the pain and suffering from symptoms of withdrawal to the substance. The consumption or use of the substance is the only way they deem to feel stable and normal.

In the treatment of his addiction, the user needs to first accept that he is addicted to the substance. Treatment usually entails the use of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling and self-help groups. Because of its enduring and documented results, acupuncture has turned out to be one of the most potent complementary solutions for addiction.

How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Views Addiction

Acupuncture is an integral part of TCM and is a very old form of medicine. It is performed with the use of acupuncture needles inserted into specific points in the body known as acupuncture points. These points lie along pathways of energy called the meridians that convey energy to balance the vital energy of the body the Chinese call qi or chi. Energizing the movement of chi can change many aspects of mental and physical functioning.  The movement of chi also aids in the promotion of a natural detoxifying process from addiction and substance abuse.

Those who are adherents and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine can have varied explanations as to why addiction occurs but all of these explanations are based on the idea of yin and yang balance. Addicts generally suffer from low yin. This causes an imbalance that manifests in feelings of emptiness and desperation which compels the addicts to consume, use and abuse. These acts, however, cause more yin deficiency making their desperation even worse.

Acupuncture Deals With Addiction in  Orlando

TCM deals with addiction usually with the use of acupuncture and herbs. These therapies are very effective in lowering cravings and enhancing relaxation and calmness. Studies reveal that acupuncture actually aids in the alleviation of anxiety and in lessening the intensity and the number of occurrence of withdrawal symptoms. It doesn’t matter if your addiction is to coffee, heroine or other substances acupuncture is a very effective and natural way of cleansing out your body of toxic substances.

Studies reveal that ear acupuncture is effective in remedying many types of addiction including tea, coffee, caffeine, methadone, crack, cocaine, morphine, heroin, alcohol and even dependence to pain medications like vicodin, hydrocodone and oxycotin.

The NADA Protocol

The NADA Protocol states that five acupuncture points can be treated to help address addiction. The five points include:

The shenmen point – Treating the shenmen point causes a calming and relaxing effect that aids in treating anxiety and nervousness that often is experienced during withdrawal symptoms.
Lung point – Besides quickening the detoxification process, the activation of the lung point aids in reinforcing the immune system which is essential when coping with withdrawal symptoms
Liver point – The stimulation of the liver point helps address anger and aggression and restores the health of the liver that’s been damaged from drug and alcohol abuse.
Kidney point – The stimulation of the kidney point aids in restoring the source and essence of energy which are often damaged during substance abuse. The resolution of fear and the willpower to defeat the addiction is also further boosted.
Sympathetic point – The stimulation of sympathetic points causes an analgesic effect and also restores the balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Acupuncture is a preferred therapy because it doesn’t usually have any side effects. It is utilized until one becomes totally clean from his/her addiction. After you have completely stopped using substances, your acupuncture treatments can be reduced although some experts deem that continuing acupuncture treatments for a minimum of once a month guarantees permanent recovery. There are a lot of ex-addicts who have understood the benefits of acupuncture and are excited to go to regular sessions since it gives them a feeling of well-being and balance.

Written by Valerie

April 25th, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Drug Addiction – Coping and Support

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Coping with one’s drug addiction can be a lifetime process. The person suffering from drug addiction may utilize different coping strategies to make him stay on the path to recovery and normalcy of life. Some of the coping strategies are oftentimes used by rehab counselors to help their patients successfully treat their addiction.

One of the ways the recovering addict can do to stay sober is to control his emotions through logical thinking.  Drug addicts often seek recourse to drugs because of their emotional problems.

Another way to cope with drug addiction and avoid drug relapse is to avoid triggers to your addiction.  These can be objects, places and people which oftentimes stimulate your drug cravings. For a lot of addicts, the lack of knowledge of their triggers is what makes avoidance of them difficult. So during sessions of counselling, the rehab specialist uses strategies and procedures to identify the triggers of a patient’s addiction. Knowing these triggers can help the patent better manage his cravings for the rest of his life.

Oftentimes avoiding these triggers can be difficult. The addicted person may only have friends who are active addicts and may live in an area with high drug abuse activity. The addicted person also oftentimes is in bad financial standing that causes him to be extremely anxious and look for unhealthy ways to curb this anxiety. It is therefore important to modify a person’s lifestyle in order to avoid these triggers.

A recovering addict will find that the path to recovery is filled with moments of high anxiety, paranoia and other kinds of stressful states of emotion. Therefore it is important for that individual to learn to calm himself to help him avoid getting these emotions that may trigger drug cravings. The recovering addict can vent his troubles to a counselor, family or close friend, meditate or even pray to unload his mental stress and relax his mind. Exercises, passive or active ones can help the body and mind feel calm and relaxed.

One way to better manage one’s emotional and mental state is to regularly monitor them. In order to control drug cravings, the person may need to learn proper self-reflection techniques in order not to fall into relapse.

Continuous support from support groups and drug rehab centers is needed for a lot of recovering addicts who may not yet be strong enough to battle their addiction and cravings on their own.  It is good to know the there are rehab centers that offer various kinds of therapies like family therapy, group therapy and extra counselling for individuals who require extra assistance. Community support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous often invite addicts who underwent rehabilitation to join them and discuss about their ongoing experiences. In order to make their resolve much stronger many of them create accountability partnerships to make them more resilient to their addiction and make their lives more productive and meaningful.

 Juliette Aiyana is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in New York City.

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:48 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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