by Nicole Murray, L.Ac., MSTOM

Patients at BCA and other community acupuncture clinics successfully use acupuncture to aid in detoxification from:

▪ alcohol
▪ cigarettes and other tobacco
▪ street drugs
▪ prescription drugs
▪ sugary and processed foods

What to Expect During Treatment

In most cases, the practitioner will use the proven NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol to help in detoxification and continued support of the patient. Five needles are inserted in each ear, for a total of 10 needles. Upon insertion, there may be a stinging or warm sensation that quickly subsides. After all the needles are inserted, most patients report that they feel very calm and relaxed. This can be explained by the traditional functions of the points, and also by modern studies showing acupuncture causes endorphins to be released. The needles are retained for 45 minutes. It is most helpful, especially during detoxification, to get treatment as frequently as possible.

About Acupuncture and Addictions

The treatment of addictions with acupuncture is a modern application of an ancient medicine. In 1974 at the Lincoln Recovery Center in the Bronx, clinicians started using acupuncture to help people get relief from symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal. Dr. Michael Smith of Lincoln Hospital developed a basic, still used five-point protocol of ear acupuncture to be used for any chemical dependency, from nicotine to crack cocaine, alcohol to heroin.

According to Lincoln Hospital’s Dr. Smith, the acupuncture protocol functions to:

▪ Relieve withdrawal symptoms;
▪ Aid general relaxation and homeostasis;
▪ Enhance mental and physical functioning through activating the reserve capabilities of the body.

The results at the Lincoln Recovery Center were so promising that, in 1985, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) was established to educate clinicians about acupuncture and chemical dependency.

In 1985 research at [...]