Acupuncture detoxification is based on five points on the outer ear, theorized to be linked to systematic and emotional cleansing. Five stainless steel, one-time use needles are placed on these points. The basic premise of acupuncture detoxification is total body cleansing, without the need for further pharmaceuticals in the reduction of cravings, anxiety and sleep disturbance along the road to overall improvement of quality of life while battling drug addiction.
Acupuncture detoxification is used to help rehabilitate from drug addictions, alcoholism and some mental disorders. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, NADA, is the primary provider of acupuncture detoxification care. NADA has center locations all over the world, providing rehabilitative care based on principles of the Chinese medicine theories of detoxification, and intended for use in conjunction with Western chemical dependency therapies.
The NADA began in 1985 after 10 years of experience developing the five ear points. The staff originally from the South Bronx Lincoln Hospital determined a need to build the organization on a national level to expand the training involved in acupuncture detoxification, developing awareness of it as a recovery tool. Since that time the NADA has become a worldwide organization, having trained more than 10,000 medical professionals including counselors, social workers, nurses, medical doctors, psychologists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, outreach workers, drug court judges and corrections officers on their protocol.
The standard systematic points are labeled Lung 2, Shen Men, Autonomic Point, Liver and C. Kidney. Five needles are used at one time, with two additional points intended for treatment of emotional and psychological disorders. These nerve points are stimulated at the surface of the skin by the needles, intending to re-energize those five systems of the body which have been disrupted by the substance abuse. The needles are left in from 25 to 60 minutes, without other acupuncture applied to other parts of the body.
Acupuncture treatment has been proven useful in helping drug addicts and alcoholics successfully complete detoxification. Some controlled studies have shown as much as a 20% increase in the detoxification success rate due to the use of acupuncture therapy, along with a 5% reduction in relapse after the use of acupuncture as a detoxification therapy.
Additional benefits have been found from acupuncture therapy, which have aided in the positive results of drug detoxification. Acupuncture can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, release pain-relieving endorphins, increase circulation and energy, improve immunity, relax muscles and reduce stress, and much more.