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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Acupuncture and Addiction

Acupuncture and Addictions
In the early 1970′s, H.L. Wen, MD., then the only neurosurgeon in all of South China and Hong Kong, was preparing to use electro-acupuncture as surgical analgesia. The patient he was treating happened to be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from opium at the time. He reported his symptoms of drug withdrawal had disappeared almost entirely after receiving treatment. Wen then began giving acupuncture to other patients experiencing effects of drug addiction and helped them to re-gain freedom in their life. Acupuncture for substance abuse was born.

Acupuncture aids people in the process of recovering from addictions. It is used in clinics throughout the world. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease cravings for drugs and alcohol, reduce withdrawal symptoms, relieve tension, and help people relax. Acupuncture treatments, on a regular basis, help to clear the mind, increase energy, and provide a sense of well being.

According to Chinese tradition, placing acupuncture needles in the ear has the ability to affect specific organs such as the liver and kidneys which are major organs involved when dealing with addiction. Western science has confirmed that acupuncture treatments change levels of chemicals in the body naturally and non-invasively. Acupuncture itself is not a substitute for therapy or recovery programs but serves as a beneficial and effective complement to recovery programs and other therapies.

Why Acupuncture for Detox?

•Reduces the physical symptoms of withdrawal.
•Alleviates depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
•Profoundly relieves withdrawal symptoms including cravings, body aches, headache, nausea, sweating, muscle cramping, etc.
•The acupuncture detoxification program is an ideal partner with other programs. It reduces withdrawal symptoms so mental and physical stability are quickly achieved. This gives a new level of comfort allowing for more effective counseling. Twelve Step program participation, or participation in any other treatment program is considered important to recovery.
In addition, acupuncture…

1. Can be used safely with any other health condition.
2. Does not utilize other abusable, addictive drugs for treatment.
3. Can be effectively done on an outpatient basis.
4. Is successfully used as a drug detoxification method at over 100 different drug treatment clinics in the United States and is also successfully used for this purpose in at least 25 other countries.

During detoxification, your body filters out the toxins that it has been storing. Blood circulation begins to improve. Sometimes during the detoxification period you may feel achy, not sleep well, become irritable, or even have vivid dreams. Please let your acupuncturist know if you have any of these symptoms so that additional acupuncture points can be added to your treatment.

Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder in the United States behind arthritis, according to the College of Rheumatology.

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia can suffer from a wide range of problems, including pain, fatigue, stiffness, aches, muscle tenderness, along with sleep disorders, intestinal and bowel troubles.

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is further confirmed when 11 out of 18 specific points on the body are tender to pressure. Interestingly, some of these tender points closely correspond to the location of ancient acupuncture points.

How acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help.

According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine an imbalance to the flow of Qi and blood can lead to symptoms and signs that reflect a Western diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Qi is the energy or the power that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called Meridians, and provides the body with nourishment for every cell, tissue, muscle and organ system.

When Qi is abundant and freely circulating throughout the body, there is health and pain free living. When Qi becomes “blocked,” or the supply is inadequate, pain, stiffness, and other symptoms related to fibromyalgia can appear.

What does an acupuncturist do?

An acupuncturist will take a complete health history in order to find out where Qi has become blocked, and/or why the amount of Qi within the body has changed. They will then develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific symptoms and signs that best reflect the organ and meridian systems that are out of balance. The goal(s) of such a plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms, while addressing the root causes and underlying imbalances.

What is out of balance?

The body constantly strives to regain and maintain a healthy balance of Qi traveling through the meridian and organ systems. When the flow of Qi has been disrupted, or the supply of Qi has changed, the body becomes unbalanced and the meridian and organ systems are not properly nourished- signs and symptoms will then appear.

Most cases of fibromyalgia fit into the Chinese diagnosis of a LIVER, SPLEEN and/or HEART disharmony. This doesn’t mean that the functions of these organs according to the Chinese medical diagnosis are out of balance.

The functions related to the LIVER organ, according to Chinese medicine, are to control the smooth flow of blood, Qi and emotions and to nourish the tendons. When the liver organ becomes blocked there will be an inadequate supply of blood and Qi flowing throughout the body. The tendons and muscles will not be properly nourished, leading to stiffness and pain. Other symptoms of a blocked liver are depression, anger, anxiety and insomnia. A liver imbalance can occur from improper diet, stress, deep unexpressed anger, drugs and alcohol.

The Chinese function of the SPLEEN is to transform the food we ingest into Qi and blood. The health of the SPLEEN is affected by diet, over-concentration, and worry. An unbalanced SPLEEN can result in fatigue, digestive troubles, muscle stiffness, and pain.

When there is an insufficient amount of Qi and blood produced by the spleen, the HEART organ will be affected. The role of the HEART is to pump blood throughout the body, it is also considered to be the home of the Spirit. If the SPLEEN cannot generate enough blood to nourish the HEART, the HEART Qi does not have enough control to properly house the spirit. Symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations, insomnia and emotional unrest.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe alternative in the effective treatment of fibromyalgia. Along with the use of acupuncture, natural Chinese herbal formulas, dietary recommendations and calming exercises can also help promote balance and health.

In November 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH), suggested that acupuncture could be an effective modality in treating fibromyalgia. Not only by treating the pain and discomfort, but also by addressing the underlying problems that have caused the imbalance.