Acupuncture for Addiction?
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners such as Margot Gersh, who works at Promises Rehab in Malibu, are big believers. “Acupuncture is extremely effective in treating addiction,” she says. “It rebalances the person from day to day, which makes them feel a lot better. It also regulates their temperature so that they aren’t going through the sort of extreme temperature changes that people experience when they’re coming down.”A study by researchers at Yale University in 2000 found that nearly 55% of cocaine addicts in a group treated by having auricular acupuncture needles inserted in specific parts of the outer ear tested clean during their last week of treatment, as opposed to only 23.5% in the group that did not. The study compared three “relaxation” techniques acupuncture that was said to hit the right addiction spots versus acupuncture that did not hit these spots (this was the control) versus a “calming” video–among 600 coke addicts. Elizabeth Stuyt, the medical director for the addiction recovery division at the Colorado Mental Health Institute, conducted her own study on the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture, published in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis in 2006. She found that 61% of the patients who participated in biweekly acupuncture sessions completed their entire treatment program, compared to only 32% of the acupuncture abstainers.
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