Dr. Bella Fooksman, D.Ac., L.Ac.
Addiction / Detox
More than ever, there is hope for those of us who suffer from addictions to substances harmful to health. There is excellent clinical evidence on the effectiveness of Acupuncture as an aid in the control of many addictions—from opioid dependence, alcohol and hard drugs to nicotine and overeating.
Acupuncture can help:
Acupuncture Detoxification is used around the world, and was first introduced in the United States at the Lincoln Memorial Hospital in the South Bronx section of New York City, in 1974. At first, acupuncture was used as an adjunct to methadone treatment, but such good results were obtained with acupuncture that methadone was dropped from the program altogether. According to Dr. Michael Smith, director of the Lincoln Memorial Hospital detox program, the success rate with acupuncture is significantly higher than that of more conventional programs like methadone, which in itself is a highly addictive drug.
Unlike methadone or other conventional methods of addiction "replacement", Acupuncture is a natural procedure with no side effects, and it can treat a wide range of addictions. It works equally well for any kind of addiction, from hard core drugs to food addiction. Patients report a substantial reduction in craving for drugs, a relief from symptoms of withdrawal, and feelings of relaxation along with improved sleep. Research has also shown that acupuncture can raise the level of endorphins - the body's natural pain killers - in the nervous system.
Acupuncture Detoxification involves treating points on the outside of the ear, as well as points on the body to supplement and bring the body back into balance. Short, thin, sterile needles are inserted at selected points and patients lie comfortably for about thirty-five to forty-five minutes. The treatments often have a profoundly calming effect on the mind and body, creating feelings of peace and well-being. Three of the five acupuncture points strengthen the liver, kidneys and lungs, which are the major organs of elimination, and detoxification of the body. They have often grown weak in individuals suffering from substance addiction because the organs have been subjected to the daily burden of eliminating an excess of toxins from the body.
People addicted to alcohol and drugs are advised to receive treatment several times per week until they are "clean", and to follow with treatments 1-2 times per week for several weeks to remain so. Smokers and food addicts generally require less frequent treatment and can typically give up their habit in a shorter period of time. After one or two treatments, the cravings are usually sharply reduced. After several treatments spread over a two-to-three week period, the majority of patients will have managed to quit. Others will have drastically cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
Acupuncture is a safe, natural and highly effective treatment for addiction that honors the individual and their struggle to live a healthier, more balanced life.