Acupuncture is an ancient art of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China and Japan.
According to traditional Chinese philosophy, physical and mental health is dependent of the body’s natural energy-known as Qi. It is believed that Qi circulates throughout the entire body.
The movement of Qi may become disrupted by factors such as drug use, stress, poor diet, infections (viral or bacterial), or trauma.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific points in order to stimulate and restore the natural movement of Qi.
Acupuncture may be used to help people recover from drug and alcohol problems, it is used in clinics and rehabilitation programmes throughout the UK.
Acupuncture can help decrease cravings for drugs and alcohol, reduce withdrawal symptoms, relieve tensions and aid relaxation.
Auricular acupuncture uses 5 points on the ear. This is the 5-point protocol developed by NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association). This protocol for the treatment of substance abuse was initially developed in China in 1972 and subsequently developed and researched in the United States.
The points used are:
- Shen Men
These points are believed to calm the mind, strengthen the internal organs and aid the sympathetic nervous system.
Auricular acupuncture can help symptoms such as headaches, body aches, sleep disturbances, cramps, sweating, tremors, anxiety and depression and of course to help reduce cravings.
Acupuncture has been shown to increase the secretion of certain naturally occurring substances in the body (endorphins and encephalins) responsible for feelings of Well-being.
Ear acupuncture takes place in a group setting: you are encouraged to remain quiet whilst the needles are in place. The needles remain in place for approximately 40 minutes. Whilst the needles are in place, you may well feel pleasantly relaxed or slightly drowsy.
During the acupuncture session, you may like to try some detox tea: this is a tea made with herbs such as chamomile, peppermint and vervain, which aid relaxation. Other teas are also available.
What happens in a treatment?
Each treatment lasts approximately 45minutes: the initial consultation may take slightly longer. During the first consultation, a detailed case history will be taken in order to assess how acupuncture may be able to help you.
After the needles have been inserted, they remain in place for about 30 minutes.
What does acupuncture feel like?
When the needles are in place, people may feel sensations such as warmth, tingling or numbness; these types of sensations among many others indicate a positive response to treatment.
Is it safe?
Yes. Acupuncture is a safe treatment with minimal side effects, each needle is sterile, disposable and only ever used once.
If you are interested in receiving acupuncture, please speak to your key worker.