What is one of the safest routes on the road to addiction recovery without the cost of rehab, possible side effects, or other medical intervention? The answer is not what one would expect.
Famous otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) Alfred A. Tomatis discussed the role of the ear in human communication and its important place in relation to the human body. We use our ears to hear, of course, yet they are more than tools for processing audio. They balance the body and can help heal certain malfunctions in the brain. This has become a wealth of knowledge for addiction specialists who know that alcoholism is a brain disease.
Addiction plays out through the mind and the body. Ear acupuncture addresses the whole body by allowing the flow of energy to circulate throughout the human system. points to acupuncture as establishing a balance of “Qi,” or energy within the body. In the course of addiction, neurotransmitters in regions of the brain fall out of order. Scientists are trying to better understand how to balance the through the use of conventional medicines for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.
Practitioners use the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice of acupuncture to find an equilibrium within the receptors and interceptors of the brain’s neurotransmitters. Acupuncture has been proven effective as a supplementary treatment for addiction, specifically for alcoholism. have shown a 90% detox success rate for people that were addicted to alcohol. Additionally, recidivism—the likelihood of relapsing—decreased to 5% for those who used acupuncture during their detox.
According to , practitioners of acupuncture take specific measures relating to the ears:
“The acupuncture needles are inserted in the outer ear to a depth of about one eighth of an inch and will penetrate cartilage if it is present in that location. Needles are twirled 180 degrees for smoother insertion. Notably, the arrangement of acupuncture points on the ear is similar to the arrangement of neurons in the motor cortex of the brain itself.”
Acupuncturists often use the following five points on the ear to achieve different health benefits.
Shen Men point
This point is referred to as “heaven’s gate” or “spirit gate,” because stimulating it can produce feelings of euphoria. The Shen Men point is located near the top pointed area of the ear, or in medical terms, the apex of the triangular fossa. The point is cited for its healing properties associated with physical pain and nervous system malfunctions.
By stimulating this area, practitioners can help regulate stress, fear, depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders, physical pain, and other health ailments that are often present during and after alcoholism. You can stimulate this powerful point with a simple massage with a cotton swab without the or scheduled acupuncture treatments at a TCM center.
Sympathetic Autonomic point
Auricular (ear) acupuncture of the Sympathetic Autonomic point in the ear has been successful in the improvement of . By placing acupuncture needles at this point in the outer part of the upper ear, practitioners can help their patients find balance in their cycles of brain activity, hormone levels, and feelings of determination.
Inside a shell-shaped depression (the superior concha) in the ear is the Kidney point. Stimulating this point can help balance systems in the body, since practitioners believe that this point is the center of the yin (jing) and yang in the body. According to Landgren (2008), “The body’s fundamental energy and store the vitally important essence Jing. They thus govern the process of achieving maturity and both physical and psychological development” (p.100).
Alcohol abuse can major damage to the cells on the liver’s walls. This point for ear acupuncture therapy repairs cells and eliminate toxins that are remaining in the liver. It is believed that the liver point controls the flow of energy. This is due to the liver monitoring the blood levels.
Yale School of Medicine published an article, “” which celebrates the endorsement of the 5 ear points for the substance abuse treatments for rehabilitation patients. The lung point is famed for lifting feelings of grief and the circulation of more oxygen through the body.
About the author: Zena D.
Zena D. writes about , metaphysics and fostering better ways of living. Her individual research on personal improvement for all facets of life spans nearly a decade. When she is not helping others, she is an advocate for protecting animals from abuse.
CARTER, K., & OLSHAN-PERLMUTTER, M. (2014). NADA PROTOCOL INTEGRATIVE ACUPUNCTURE IN ADDICTIONS. JOURNAL OF ADDICTIONS NURSING, 25(4), 182-187. DOI:10.1097/JAN.0000000000000045 —SOURCELANDGREN, K. (2008). EAR ACUPUNCTURE. EDINBURGH: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE/ELSEVIER.