Addiction / Ear Acupuncture

Addiction and substance abuse are social problems that have penetrated all levels of society. Whether you just can’t get going in the morning without coffee or you are suffering from a serious heroine habit, acupuncture can help you overcome your addictions. Acupuncture alcohol and drug addiction treatment can curb cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms to help you naturally detox from substance abuse.

Ear Acupuncture For Addiction

Auricular Ear Acupuncture treatments can help with various types of addiction:

Nicotine: Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco, Cigars
Cocaine and Crack
Methadone (Crystal Meth)
Heroin (Morphine)
Caffeine: Coffee, Tea
Pain Medications: Hydrocodone, Vicoden, Oxycotin
How Can Acupuncture Help Addiction Recovery?

Acupuncture can assist alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation. When combined with psychological counseling by addiction specialists, acupuncture can be a holistic method to help manage withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings.

Most acupuncture addiction recovery treatments utilize Auricular Ear Acupuncture. This microsystem of acupuncture has been show to be highly effective in assisting addiction programs. One study conducted by Yale University on the use of acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction found that recipients of acupuncture were twice as likely to have cocaine-negative urine screens as control groups during treatment. In addition, the acupuncture group in the cocaine addiction study was able to refrain from returning to cocaine use for longer periods of time than the control group. Auricular Ear Acupuncture has also had long-term success in group setting addiction treatment programs in New York City’s Lincoln Hospital and prison programs in Florida.

How Did NADA Begin?

In 1985, following 10 years of their experience developing the basic five ear-points NADA protocol for treatment of addiction, the staff and other professionals associated with the South Bronx’s Lincoln Hospital determined a need for a national-level organization to expand training capacity and awareness of the value of acupuncture as a tool of recovery.

NADA was then established to enroll members, establish a collection of related reference materials, codify a training curriculum and develop a flexible system for registering qualified trainers and delivering trainings. NADA has since trained and certified more than 10,000 health professionals, including counselors, social workers, nurses, medical doctors, psychologists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, outreach workers, drug court judges, corrections officers and others to use the protocol.

Ear Acupuncture Hawaii

The NADA Protocol

All of these acupuncture treatment for addiction programs are making use to the work of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) Treatment Protocol. The NADA protocol has be shown to help with emotional, psychological, and physical difficulties of overcoming addiction.

The NADA protocol uses five specific ear acupuncture points on each ear for addiction treatment:

Sympathetic point – Balances sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and has a strong analgesic effect.
Shenmen point – Called “Spirit Gate”, has a calming and relaxing effect to help alleviate anxiety and nervousness that can accompany withdrawal.
Kidney point – Tonifys the source energy and essence that is often damaged through chemical abuse. The point can also help resolve fear and increase the willpower needed to overcome addiction.
Liver point – Promotes repair of the Liver from drug and alcohol abuse and aids in resolving anger and aggression.
Lung point – Strengthens the immune system and accelerates detoxification. Emotionally, it is associated with grief and letting go.

What are Auricular Ear Acupuncture Addiction Treatments Like?

The NADA protocol is provided in a seated group setting, and acupuncture addiction treatments last approximately 40 minutes. There is no form of Oriental Medicine diagnosis provided during the acupuncture addiction treatment, as only the standard NADA protocol is followed. The acupuncturists are trained to provide a supportive non-confrontational environment focused on harm reduction.

When you are going through you initial detox from alcohol and drug addition, it is important to receive acupuncture treatment daily until you are able to be clean. Ask your acupuncturist about receiving ear seeds to allow you to stimulate these auricular acupuncture points at home between addiction treatments to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Once you have ceased using alcohol or drugs, you can decrease the frequency of your acupuncture addiction treatments to once or twice per week for several weeks. It is recommended that you continue receiving acupuncture treatments on a monthly basis to ensure your long-term recovery from addiction.

Get the Help You Need

It is also important to receive counseling during your addiction therapy. Working with organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), during your acupuncture addiction treatments can increase the success of your substance abuse recovery.

If you are able to seek the help of a private acupuncturist or herbalist for your addiction treatments, you can also benefit from herbal remedies for addiction withdrawal symptoms. These Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas can enhance the effects of your acupuncture addiction treatments and improve your overall health.

Acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse offers a proven, side-effect free method of assisting you in the process of recovery. Acupuncture treatments are non-addictive and provide relief of anxiety, depression, cravings, and other withdrawal symptoms. Free yourself of addiction today!


Beyond the actual needling treatment, a key element of the protocol specifies qualities of behavior and attitude on the part of the clinician. We create a zone of peace within which patients can begin to experience their own inner strengths. The points utilized are ear acupuncture points to stimulate the major detoxification organs (lung, liver and kidney) and the emotions associated with them (grief, anger, and fear) using the Chinese Medicine ear acupuncture model. Feelings of calm and peacefulness are often reported after receiving the acudetox needling. In addition to reduced withdrawal symptoms and increased feelings of calm, some recipients find they can more easily focus on and work through the underlying problems that are major contributing factors to their addiction problems.

Acupuncture takes the edge off of the anxiety and the body has more room to make subtle adjustments of connectedness within the body and with the outside environment in a holistic process (i.e. lowering anxiety may change a sleep pattern, the immune system may be less strained, the overall health improves, and we have renewed energy for ourselves and perhaps the care of others.