I have worked for over seven years in the field of addiction treatment. I have run group acupuncture sessions in a 12 step day programme and have worked as a full body acupuncturist for Action on Addiction, Sharp, WDP and IDAS in London.
I originally trained over a decade ago in acupuncture treatments specifically for drug addiction and worked in detox centres. I then went on to do a bachelor of science degree in Acupuncture: Chinese Medicine where I did my dissertation on Acupuncture and Addiction.
Acupuncture is a holistic therapy and as a result I treat all the conditions which may be a result of addiction, as well as the addiction itself.
Through modern day MRI scanning we have seen that acupuncture has an effect on brain chemistry and neurotransmitters which are often deficient or out of balance as a result of drug use. Acupuncture can positively effect the levels of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in someone who has used drugs. This is particularly important in early recovery when levels are out of balance and the affected person can feel vulnerable and unhappy and will often have cravings for drugs. Acupuncture can help you acknowledge that you can feel good and in balance from within, without any outside chemical aid.
Acupuncture will also considerably reduce cravings for drugs and will reduce withdrawal symptoms and help the body to detox quickly.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the most common model of acupuncture used in China and the West. TCM has clear diagnostic techniques when treating a person. It has a clear understanding of addiction and together is a very effective support in the recovery process. We use many ways to diagnose in our consultation, including specific questions, pulse reading, tongue diagnosis and general appearance such as eye brightness, facial colour etc.
I see acupuncture as part of an integrated recovery plan. As a non judgemental treatment I believe that acupuncture is effective in residential care, day programmes and one to one clinic visits. The model of addiction treatment is irrelevant to our treatment plan, we treat everyone on an individual basis. I have treated clients in recovery and active addiction and have found benefits to the client in both situations.
My treatments are different from Auricular Acupuncture protocols. Although I use some auricular points when needed, my treatments focus on the individuals pattern, that is the presenting conditions of the client.