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Curing Addiction With Acupuncture? - Articles Surfing
Although acupuncture and Oriental medicine have made great strides in the past few decades, it continues to face obstacles from other health professionals and policy makers, in part because of a lack of randomized, controlled trials that prove its effectiveness.
Everyone claims addiction is a major problem in this country. The jails are crowded with addicts. Addiction, either directly or indirectly, costs untold millions (and possibly billions) of dollars in every area of life: poor health; lost productivity; crime; accidents; and so on.
Addiction is a state of mind. Addictive thinking is so pervasive in our country that we tend to lose perspective, and substance dependence merely marks the extreme end of a continuum. In simple terms, addiction stems from an unreasoned, counterproductive attachment to an idea, person or thing. You can be addicted to drugs, alcohol or nicotine, but you can also be addicted to food; money; exercise; work; power; sex; or television.
Addictive attachments are a reaction to an inner sense of emptiness, so in an acupuncture paradigm, addiction is perceived as a condition of "empty fire." This describes the volatile impulsivity of many addicts. It also acknowledges the underlying feelings of weakness and fear that set someone up for addiction.
To understand how acupuncture contributes to substance abuse treatment, it helps to have a basic grasp of the differences between Eastern and Western medical paradigms. Oriental medicine assumes that mind, body and spirit are inextricably connected and affect each other. It relies heavily on the body's intrinsic capacity for healing itself. Imbalances in the body's energy matrices cause disease, and acupuncture heals by restoring balance.
Standard Western substance abuse treatment is confrontational; it operates on the assumption that the patient's denial must be shattered before recovery can begin. Relapse is often cause for dismissal from the program, even though everyone admits relapse is part of the disease. Everyone also acknowledges that addiction is a disease of lying - to oneself and to others - yet most treatment relies heavily on talk, either through counseling or meetings.
Treatment centers that include acupuncture take a nurturing, but not enabling, approach. The goal is to build self-reliance from the inside out by encouraging even small gains while de-emphasizing punishment for missteps. Patience with the process is key to an acupuncture-based treatment program.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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