How to Treat Substance Abuse with Acupuncture

Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese technique that works on the central nervous system, triggers relaxation, pain relief and the secretion of endorphins. In the 1970s doctors discovered that electrical acupuncture treats withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include body aches, muscle cramping, headaches, sweating and nausea. Acupuncture treats all these symptoms by restoring the energy flow in the body, stimulating circulation, boosting the immune system and creating an overall state of calm and relaxation.

  • Combine acupuncture with a Twelve Step program. Acupuncture will give you the strength and relaxation to successfully go through the detoxification treatment. Go to counseling and follow the program both the doctor and the acupuncturist design for you.

  • An acupuncture session to treat substance abuse lasts approximately 45 minutes. The acupuncturist inserts thin sterile needles in various parts of the body along acupuncture meridians. The treatment is painless and comfortable. To treat substance abuse, acupuncturists insert needles in the ear area in points that create relaxation in various parts of the body. Acupuncturists believe body parts communicate, so relaxation points sit all over the body.
  • The acupuncturist will also insert needles in points that treat headaches, insomnia and irritability. Discuss with the acupuncturist all the symptoms you experience. The acupuncturist will customize the treatment to meet your problems and specific symptoms. Be completely honest with the therapist and trust the method, and you will get results. You might also benefit from other alternative medicine methods. Ask your acupuncturist for herbal supplements you could take to help you with the substance abuse problem. You can also employ acupressure techniques at home to relieve your withdrawal symptoms. Your acupuncturist can teach you some acupressure methods. Do not try acupuncture yourself without proper training or ask untrained friends to do it. If you need to get more acupuncture sessions, discuss that with your therapist.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can start out as acute, so acupuncturists will usually suggest a session every day for a few weeks. After the first results show and the patient learns how to deal with the withdrawal, he can reduce the number of sessions to once or twice a week.
  • Discuss with your acupuncturist any health problems you might have, such as high blood pressure or asthma. Also describe the evolution of your symptoms and let the acupuncturist know if you experience new symptoms. The treatment differs for different symptoms, so the acupuncturist cannot help you if you’re not honest.
  • Find an acupuncturist who is qualified and has experience with substance abuse treatment. Visit the website for the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture to find out more about the method and find a certified acupuncturist at You can also find a list of acupuncturist on Acufinder Web (

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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