A Holistic Approach To Addiction: Acupuncture

18 November 2019

Though it flies by in a blur of parties, food, friends and family, the holiday season can be prime time for stress. And with the nonstop action and festive celebrations, the stamina and resolve to stand up to addictions such as smoking and drinking can fade quickly. More and more, those struggling with addictions are turning to holistic therapies such as acupuncture to quell their urges in a natural way. But it’s not a new turn.

Acupuncture has been incorporated into holistic treatment plans for those overcoming addictions since the early 1970s, with the ancient alternative medicine treatment helping patients with everything from detox to recovery. These days, even respected institutions of traditional medicine (like the National Institute of Health and Cleveland Clinic) are embracing acupuncture, recommending it to patients as a supplemental treatment for those in recovery.

For those not familiar with the practice, acupuncture works by stimulating various pressure points on the body via pressure point using tiny needles. The needles are left in the body for specific periods of time, creating balance in the body that can result in not just pain management but stress reduction, better sleep and mood enhancement.

For those in the recovery space, practitioners often focus on the ear, employing what’s known as auricular acupuncture and placing needles in zones that target the lungs, liver and kidneys as well and those that affect anxiety and nervous system function. Smokers, in particular, can find relief in the treatment, with patients reporting fewer cravings and improved mood (acupuncture promotes the brain to pump out endorphins).

Though only trained professionals should perform the practice, there is a home alternative for those looking for a quick fix – ear seeds. Readily available online, the small balls adhere to pressure points on the ear and allow just about anyone to feel the benefits of stress reduction as well as health issues such as seasonal symptoms, digestive issues, headaches and more.