Can Acupuncture Help to Treat Addiction?  

We know that acupuncture can help with physical pain, ailments, and certain mental struggles. But what about the pain and anguish that comes along with addiction?

While there are many obvious holistic avenues to take in a quest for Wellness, acupuncture is often overlooked in the treatment of addiction. Perhaps it shouldn’t be.

Addiction is comprised of physical and psychological dependence on substances, and is often best treated with dual modalities, and a variety of approaches.

In a recent article out of Manila, Philippines, Dr. Iris Teo Hwee Chin, President of Singapore’s Si En Traditional Chinese Medicine College says, “Ear acupuncture tends to have this effect as pressure points near ear nerves send signals to the brain that switches the thinking and urges of the body.”

The article continued that, “several patients showed signs of getting over their addiction after completing 10 weekly sessions of ear acupuncture.”

The argument in favor of using acupuncture for addiction, in this case alcohol, is further supported by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.  Faculty member Brian Bender, Lac., who practices 5 Element Acupuncture, uses sensory methods to identify elements in a state of imbalance, and then uses specific points to address the imbalance. Faculty member Donna Keefe, Lac., added that, “When an addict is suffering from an in imbalance, they are using a substance like alcohol to self-medicate.”

Recovery.org, a helpful site that connects individuals and families suffering from addiction to services and programs, outlines the specific acupuncture points that might aid in recovery:

  • Lung Point: improves lung function and alleviates feelings of grief.
  • Liver Point: removes toxins from the liver and blood, and curbs aggression.
  • Kidney Point: repairs vital organs and eases fears.
  • Shen Men: decreases anxiety - also known as the "spirit gate."
  • The Autonomic (or Sympathetic) Point: promotes relaxation and soothing of the nervous system.

While evidence is mixed surrounding the efficacy of acupuncture for addiction treatment, many studies have shown positive effects and correlations.

*If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please seek professional, medical help immediately. It is important to note that acupuncture as treatment should be sought in conjunction with other, supervised treatments and therapies.

Acupuncture as a Possible Solution for Seasonal Allergies

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, it’s safe to say Fall is here – and with it comes all the seasonal allergy symptoms of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, congestion and headaches. If you find that the beauty of the season gets hidden behind suffering from seasonal allergies, you’re not alone.

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In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million people across the country, amounting to nearly 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.


If you’ve tried your fair share of pills, syrups, sprays, sinus rinses and cold packs, perhaps we can help.

A recent article originally published by TIME via CNN reported that of the participants studied in a trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine who tested positive for pollen allergies with nasal symptoms, those who received combined treatment of acupuncture and antihistamines demonstrated a greater improvement in their allergies than those who took antihistamines alone, and those who had “fake” acupuncture.

Additionally, a NPR article cited Dr. Sandra Lin, an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology (an ear, nose and throat doctor)  at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as suggesting, “Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus, it could be an option for people looking for non-pharmaceutical treatments.”

As far as allergies and rhinitis are concerned, within alternative medicine they are typically associated with qi within the lung, and spleen. By targeting these meridians, acupuncturists can attempt to target these meridians and help to balance the qi.

Curious to know if acupuncture could help relieve some of your allergy woes? You won’t know until you try – and it can’t hurt (literally) to pay us a visit!

An Argument for Acupuncture use in the Emergency Room

It’s hard to watch the news these days without hearing of the crippling opioid epidemic that is sweeping our nation. With stronger prescription pain medication regulations and the high risk of addiction and/or overdoes, people are swiftly turning to other resources and options when it comes to pain management. While many may already know the benefits of acupuncture for chronic pain, it is now considered an option for acute moderate to severe pain, as well.

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In emergency rooms (where people typically go for sudden or concerning pain) doctors are becoming increasingly cautious about the use of prescription pain medication administered orally or intravenously. Instead, according to a recent article in Forbes, a recently published study out of Australia has found that acupuncture is a safe and alternative option to opiates; depending on the patient, of course.

Dr. Marc Cohen, the lead investigator behind the study, said to Forbes, "Our study has shown acupuncture is a viable alternative, and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions. But it's clear we need more research overall to develop better medical approaches to pain management, as the study also showed patients initially remained in some pain, no matter what treatment they received.”

Dr. Sergey Motov, M.D, a specialist in pain management, and an attending ER physician at Maimonides in Brooklyn was also quoted in the article as saying, “I am very supportive for use of acupuncture in the ED as an adjunct to opioid analgesics with a hope of opioid reduction and to non-opioid analgesics as a part of multimodal approach.”

We find these results and support incredibly valuable, as holistic methods are often effective yet overlooked.

If you find yourself suffering from chronic pain, acupuncture is sure worth giving a chance. And while acupuncture can provide relief- as always-  any concerning pain or symptoms should be addressed with your physical as soon as possible.

Hate Needles? Here's Why You Should Still Try Acupuncture.

Let’s face it, nobody really likes needles. Really, who would be a fan of sharp metal objects being inserted in your body to either draw out blood or inject a needed treatment? While nobody is really lining up around the block to get poked and prodded, some people hate them more than others. And while that’s all perfectly normal, it shouldn’t get in the way of you trying acupuncture. Here’s why.

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While acupuncture technically involved needles, the approach is considered to be “needling” and blood is very rarely a factor (unless a drop here or there comes up from a particularly congested area.) No Band-Aids necessary, no closing your yes or holding your breath, and no certainly no tourniquets are needed.

In fact, acupuncture needles are also far different from what is considered a traditional needle. Often called acu-needles, they are typically hair-thin and made of surgical stainless-steel wire. Typical acu-needles range between .16-.4mm, whereas needles uses for venipuncture (a blood draw at a lab) are .82. Some have compared the needle size and sensation to that of a cat’s whisker. Feeling a little better already?

As for the biggest component of fear - pain – you can relax. There’s little to no pain involved in acupuncture. The unpleasant sensation and pain of a needle for blood draw or injection is in no way, shape, or form similar to the sensation of an acupuncture needle. Those who have tried the practice liken the sensation to be less of a needle prick and more of a twinge, similar to tweezing unwanted hair. If you can handle tweezing your eyebrows, you can handle acupuncture.

An added bonus, any uncomfortable sensation that you might (but probably won’t) feel will only exist during needle placement/insertion, so think of it as a mere second of potential discomfort in exchange for hours, weeks, or even months of health benefits.

Introducing AcuScuplt™

For those looking for a natural, alternative therapy to aid in their weight loss efforts, look no further than AcuSculpt . A newly trademarked system designed by NJ Acupuncture Center’s owner and main acupuncturist Ani Baran L.AC, AcuSculpt is leading the way of enabling weight loss through a dual modality approach – combining acupuncture and targeted massage.

The scientifically targeted service aims to slim and tone using a split treatment session of acupuncture immediately followed by firm massage.

The first step of AcuSculpt  involves acupuncture needles strategically placed first within specified weight-loss meridians. Acupuncture is believed to help facilitate weight loss as it stabilizes qi and better facilitates energy flow, while helping to reduce the fat storage hormone leptin. The service can also aid in improving liver function, thus helping the body process waste and properly digest what is consumed.

To further rev up the metabolism, supplemental electro-acupuncture is also used, as micro current stimulation is sent between pairs of acupuncture needles, targeting a releasing of accumulated or difficult to target qi. 

After a 30-minute session, the second portion of the service follows. A firm, stimulating full body massage is performed, helping to release any stubborn or retained gas and/or bloat from the abdomen area as well as fluid retention and accumulation in the thighs.

The combination of services will, over time, stimulate metabolism, regulate bowel movements and help combat fluid retention, swelling, bloating and gas – all while leading to a slimmer and more toned physique.

As with any meaningful health or fitness goals, the key to efficacy is consistency. In regard to expected results, consistent patients can reasonably expect to lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week, when supplemented by a moderate and healthful diet. To monitor progress and weight loss, patients will be measured and weighed upon beginning the treatment cycle.

Added benefits of AcuSculpt  include its potential effect on facial appearance, too. To complement a newly slimmed physique, AcuSculpt  also has demonstrated an ability to target and combat facial bloating, wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Commonly referred to as “cosmetic acupuncture” it can help restore and replenish skin elasticity, bringing fresh healthy blood to areas in need.

The end results? A refreshed and healthy appearance, from head to toe.