It has been said that acupuncture is an ancient tradition that originated in China and dates back to about 2,000 years ago. In the early years, around 6000 BCE, there are artifacts indicating that sharpened bones and rocks were used instead of todays practice of using needles. Acupuncture did not make its way to the United States until the early 1900s, but did not really get any traction until about the early 1970s. The story of how it became more commonly known in America is that in1972 Henry A. Kissinger (president Nixon’s Secretary of State) traveled to China with a journalist (James Reston) from the New York Times. While in China, James Reston got very ill with appendicitis and found himself in need of emergency surgery. Throughout his stay in the Chinese hospital, the doctors used acupuncture to help alleviate his pain. He subsequently returned to America with a newfound appreciation for acupuncture and his experience in the Chinese hospital. After which, he wrote an article of his experiences in China that was then published in a New York Times. From that time on, acupuncture has continued to become more and more widespread across the country, and is often used as a supplement to western medicine for countless ailments.

There are many methods available for an individual seeking substance abuse and addiction treatment. Any combination of traditional and non-traditional forms can be successful. Some people, for example, will supplement a traditional treatment program with meditation or other types of non-traditional approaches. There will be some treatment facilities that use medications, under medically supervised staff, to help an individual with his or her substance abuse problems. Acupuncture is becoming another alternative supplemental method used to help with the treatment of substance abuse and addiction.

The practice of acupuncture is based on the notion that each person has the same pathways of energy, also known as meridians, that span throughout one’s physical body. When a human body’s meridians are stimulated, they increase one’s flow of life energy, which is known as Qi. However, the meridians can have blockages. This is where acupuncture comes into play. Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny needles into one’s meridian points to help get stagnant energy flowing.

In terms of substance abuse and addiction treatment, acupuncture has helped people in a number of ways. Some of the reported benefits of acupuncture for individuals in treatment for substance abuse or addiction have included the following: a decreased anxiety level, has helped to ease one’s physical pain, has reduced one’s uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, has lowered one’s stress levels, has helped with regulating one’s sleep, and it has even been said to have reduce one’s drugs or alcohol cravings.

The specific type of acupuncture that is most commonly used in substance abuse and addiction treatment is ear acupuncture, which is known as auricular. There are five specific meridian points that the clinician targets using auricular. The five points are as follows: the Autonomic Point (also known as the Sympathetic Point), the Shen Men Point, the Liver Point, the Kidney Point, and the Lung Point. The Autonomic Point helps to increase one’s relaxation and helps to soothe one’s nervous system. The Shen Men Point is meant to lesson one’s anxiety levels. The Liver Point will ultimately help to remove toxins from one’s bloodstream and liver. It also can help to reduce an individual’s aggressive tendencies. The Kidney Point is said to help restore one’s vital organs, while also helping to ease one’s fears. The Lung Point can help to reduce one’s emotions associated with grief and can also help to improve one’s lung function. It is clear that a combination of activating these areas in one’s body can aid in the healing process of a person who has spent any length of time abusing drugs or alcohol. Though it has many benefits, acupuncture is not meant to be used as the primary or sole method of treatment for individuals who suffer from substance abuse and addiction.

Regardless of the type of treatment one decides pursue, obtaining treatment for substance abuse and addiction is of utmost importance. There are many locations, all over the United States, that are equip to help an individual in need of substance abuse or addiction treatment. Please do not delay in seeking treatment, as the dangers of substance abuse and addiction can be devastating. An individual should feel free to reach out to any hospital, clinic, treatment facility or even religious institution for further information on substance abuse and addiction.