All About Acudetox: What It Is and How It Treats Addictions

Acudetox Acupuncture for addiction treatment

All About Acudetox: What It Is and How It Treats Addiction

Substance abuse is reaching epidemic levels in the United States. Despite the millions of adults battling with addiction, only about 10% of addicts seek the treatment that they need.

And it’s no wonder! Rehabilitation can be uncomfortable. The withdrawal process can be painful and it can be both physically and mentally strenuous to confront the roots of addiction. 

This is where acudetox comes in. Acudetox is the use of acupuncture as a medical treatment. 

Acudetox is unlike any other treatment in its ability to heal the mind and the body, bringing the two together in harmony. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about the many benefits of using acudetox for addiction treatment.

What Is Acudetox?

Acudetox is a specialized needling treatment for those struggling with substance addiction. Essentially, it’s acupuncture for addiction. It is an effective stress reliever, that promotes a sense of peace in the recipient. Acudetox represents the fusion of ancient and modern medicine.

Certified practitioners place needles at specific points around the ear, to balance the body’s energy. After placing the needles, they allow the patient to settle into quiet relaxation for about 30-45 minutes.

Acudetox has very few reported side effects. It is also more cost effective than traditional acupuncture. 

History of Acudetox

Chinese acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to create a sense of harmony and stillness. It has also been used for pain relief and to alleviate other ailments.

Traditional acupuncture activates trigger points around the body with thin needles. The trigger points correspond to various organs and afflictions. Practitioners stimulate these points to realign energy flow and promote healing. 

Acudetox is specialized ear acupuncture for drug addiction. It was first invented and studied by Dr. Michael Smith in 1974. Acudetox was further developed into a formal protocol by the National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA) in 1985. 

Due to its remarkable ability to reduce stress, acudetox has been used to support addicts, victims of trauma, and patients with ADHD. It has even been instrumental in disaster relief. 

After the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, the Red Cross funded an acudetox clinic in Manhattan. The clinic treated thousands of people for stress in the first 10 days alone.

NADA volunteers have also treated victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. NADA has even spread to India and Thailand to support victims of Burmese refugee camps. 

Acupuncture Points in the Ear

Acudetox involves the activation of trigger points located around the ear. The stimulation of each of these points contributes towards relaxation and pain relief. Acudetox patients report immediate feelings of calm, and a lasting reduction in stress. 

You can easily find one of these acupuncture points yourself. Towards the top of the ear, you’ll find an oval-shaped dent. If you gently pinch this point between your thumb and forefinger, you will have found the “Shen Men” point, also known as the “Spirit Gate.”

There are four other points around the ear, known as the “Sympathetic,” the “Kidney,” the “Liver,” and the “Lung.” The NADA protocol involves the simultaneous stimulation of all five points.  

After Hurricane Sandy, NADA stepped in and trained disaster relief volunteers in acudetox. Due to time constraints, they couldn’t certify the volunteers to use needles. Instead, the volunteers learned how to tape beads and seeds to the “Shen Man” point. 

The beads applied pressure to the trigger point, creating a mild version of acudetox. Even with this limited methodology, the displaced disaster victims found a new sense of hope and tranquility.   

Does Acudetox Work?

Many studies have been performed to determine the effectiveness of acudetox for drug addiction. The findings were overall very positive.

One study by Dr. Smith in 1979 compared traditional heroin addiction treatment to a detox program augmented by acudetox. The study found that the patients who used acudetox had greater success in managing the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Dr. Smith noted that patients who didn’t participate in acudetox reached for Valium to counter the pain of withdrawal. The patients who underwent acudetox were better able to manage their symptoms without another substance.

Using acudetox, the patients experienced relaxation and a sense of calm. They were better able to control their anger and experienced both stress relief and improved mental clarity. 

Further studies have found similar results. Overall, acudetox treatment allows recipients to experience relief from withdrawal symptoms. This can encourage addicts to resist temptation and makes them more receptive to rehabilitation.  

Acudetox in Substance Abuse Therapy

The acudetox benefits alone can’t cure addiction, they can only make treatment more tolerable. Addicts who received acudetox treatment were found to be more likely to continue their addiction treatment. They also experienced better outcomes.

Acudetox should therefore be considered a supplement to traditional addiction treatment. 

Drug addicts often have difficulty feeling good without also being high. One of the acudetox benefits is feeling calm and relaxed, without getting high. This sensation can help open the patient up to new experiences, and new ways to feel good.

With acudetox, the withdrawal process is also less painful. Acupuncture’s primary benefit is pain reduction. Considering how painful withdrawal can be, using acupuncture for addiction treatment can alleviate the worst symptoms.

The meditative qualities of acudetox treatment can also make the patient more open to therapy and counseling. The feelings of relaxation and calm also reduce depression and anxiety.

The easier the treatment process is, the more likely patients are to see it through to the end. By pairing acudetox with traditional addiction treatment, addicts can experience a complete recovery. 

Building a Treatment Plan

Acudetox treatment is a powerful tool for detoxification and maintaining sobriety. That’s why it’s one of our favorite treatments at Bridging the Gaps.

We believe that the best treatments support the mind, body, and spirit. Acudetox supports all three and brings them into harmony together. If you’re interested in learning about our programs, and how you can use acudetox to recover, feel free to reach out to us to discuss treatment options!

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