Several alternative therapies for addictions have revealed incredible potentials, including a couple of Traditional Chinese Methods (TCM) methods, acupuncture in Palm Harbor and auriculotherapy (auricular acupuncture). These two treatments have been used for centuries to preserve and regain health. Today, auriculotherapy is used to address current drug problems such as like crack, heroin, and cocaine, heroin as well as the perennial problems of cigarette and alcohol addiction. When this method is administered to patients, they often manifest fewer relapses with no tangible adverse side effects. It’s a bit ironic that people in the Western deem TCM as a type of “alternative therapy” when it has been used by countless numbers of people for thousands of years!
Auriculotherapy is based on the principle that the auricle or outer ear is made up of acupuncture points that when stimulated, produces corresponding health benefits to some of the body organs. It is the stimulation of the external ear to determine and treat illnesses in other areas of the body. The outer or external ear is oftentimes compared to an upside-down fetus, with the feet represented as the top of the auricle and the head, the lower lobe of the ear,while the rest of the fetus’s body,represented as the rest of our body.
Current uses of this technique are founded on the work of French Doctor Paul Nogier who practiced in the 1950s. The Chinese government feted Dr. Nogier by giving him the title “Father of Modern Ear Acupuncture.”
However, it was an American psychiatrist named Michael Smith,who laid the groundwork and use of this technique in the realm of chemical dependency. In 1987, he came up with an auriculotherapy protocol to treat drug and alcohol addiction, which was first used in the Lincoln Hospital in New York. The protocol was modified to concentrate on court-related referrals. Dr. Smith helped establish the court monitoring system and drug court treatment of Miami and has counseled many other programs all over the country. He based this on the model used by the Lincoln Hospital. Most importantly, Dr. Smith also established the NADA protocol created by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
Addictions and Auriculotherapy
Auriculotherapy treats addictions by using certain auricle points associated with dependencies. These points are stimulated with laser, electro-stimulation, acupressure, needles, magnets, seeds/pellets, or acupressure. The therapy is performed by various practitioners, including psychotherapists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, nurses, chiropractors, naturopaths, and medical physicians. One of the greatest aspects of auriculotherapy or acupuncture is that they are safe enough to be used on “high risk” patients. Pharmacologic therapies are usually curtailed by the physical conditions of the patient like high blood pressure and pregnancy. Auriculotherapy and acupuncture can be conducted affordably and effectively on a wide range of people.
The West barely knew anything about acupuncture let alone, auricular acupuncture until the early 70s. The NIH (National Institutes of Health)in 1997 issued a statement recommending the therapy for several illnesses. The WHO or World Health Organization has listed more than 40 health problems, including addictions, which acupuncture can treat.