The thought of needles being poked into someone usually terrifies them to death. But if you think about it, needles breaking through our skin always has had a medical significance; whether it is injections, blood samples or biopsies. Even so, people are still terrified of it. So acupuncture – the form of medicine involving tons of needles sticking into your body simultaneously for long periods of time is naturally horrifying. But is it possible that acupuncture for addiction recovery is actually effective? Before we divulge the answer to that question, it is important to know what acupuncture is about.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine in which multiple thin needles are inserted into key areas of the body to achieve some desired effect. Most commonly it is used for pain relief, but depending on the position of the needle, other medicinal uses are there too. However, the research on such techniques have proven to be largely inconsistent and thus it is widely regarded as a pseudoscience. One the plus side, many people do swear by it and claim that it has helped them with addiction. With so many people vouching for it, naturally it makes sense to give it a go at least once.
Acupuncture for addiction
When it comes to addiction recovery, there is a specific procedure already in place. It is known as the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (or NADA) protocol. As the name suggests, this acupuncture procedure focuses on detoxifying the body from any substance abuse it may have sustained. The following 5 points are pierced in this procedure –
- Autonomic point – Piercing this point helps the person relax by calming the nerves.
- Shen Men “Spirit Gate” point – It helps one deal with nervousness and anxiety.
- Kidney point – This helps the kidney and other internal organs recover.
- Liver point – Purifies the blood while managing aggression.
- Lung point – Improves air circulation and helps the person move on.
Other benefits of Acupuncture
While the NADA 5-point protocol has its own range of benefits for a recovering addict, acupuncture can be used in many other ways too. Depending on the location that is pierced, you may experience different benefits of it.
One of the worst symptoms of withdrawal is the urge to consume the substance you were addicted to which might lead to relapse. Using acupuncture in specific parts around the body can help you detach yourself from these cravings, thus preventing a relapse.
Cures Sleep Disorders
Both, addicts and recovering addicts face the problem of insomnia. They cannot sleep enough or peacefully which leads them to believe that the drug is the only way out to sleep peacefully again. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can indeed cure insomnia to an extent and help the patient sleep peacefully again.
As mentioned before, acupuncture is mostly used to manage pain in most parts of the world. When the withdrawal symptoms get really bad, they manifest themselves as aching body parts. This is where acupuncture can help by stimulating the body’s natural pain killers.
Treats depression, anxiety and stress
Acupuncture is used in many parts of the world to treat several mental illnesses. These mental illnesses are often the triggers that lead to substance abuse. By controlling these problems using acupuncture, one can effectively reduce the risk of relapse or ever starting drug abuse in the first place.
Overall, the experience of acupuncture is a very calming one that is bound to relax your nerves and help you tune out of your busy life for some time. Like all other types of alternate medicine, there is no guarantee that this will work. But combining this with other holistic medicinal approaches will do wonders for you in your path to recovery. Don’t wait too long, go to your nearest acupuncture clinic now and feel the difference yourself!