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Published on : Mar 14, 2014
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Slide 1 - Auricular Acupuncture Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture for Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Problems Dr David Cowan, Reader, Faculty of Health & Social Care
Slide 2 - Background Stimulating the ear to treat illness is recommended in ancient Chinese medical texts dating back over 2,000 years1 More recently, auricular (ear) acupuncture began to be effectively used in China to treat opium withdrawal symptoms2 Ear acupuncture was subsequently used as an effective treatment for alcoholism3 Ear acupuncture is now used throughout the world as a cost-effective method to treat problems arising from drug and alcohol use4 Indeed, ear acupuncture is used extensively in drug and alcohol treatment facilities, hospitals and prisons in Europe and the USA4,5
Slide 3 - Ear Acupuncture Intended Effects Qi meridians (energy pathways), as described in Chinese medicine, congregate in, or have connections to the ear Ear acupuncture stimulates the movement of vital Qi energy through meridians and facilitates the state of balance and harmony that the human form naturally desires
Slide 4 - Ear Acupuncture Intended Effects Interruption and re-routing of neural messages Stimulation of endorphin release Facilitation of detoxification from drugs and alcohol Alleviation of withdrawal symptoms Reduction of cravings
Slide 5 - Ear Acupuncture Intended Effects Restoration of equilibrium Restoration of energy and vitality Relief of restlessness Reduction of hypersensitivity Reduction of anxiety Relief of pain Promotion of sleep Promotion of physical and psychological wellbeing
Slide 6 - Ear Acupuncture Intended Effects While ear acupuncture is widely used as a cost-effective treatment for drug and alcohol problems, it has wider applications, for example, it has been demonstrated to reduce anxiety prior to dental surgery6
Slide 7 - Some Common Treatment Points Sympathetic - corrects imbalances in the nervous system, provides analgesia and reduces intestinal contractions Shen Men - induces a calming effect, alleviates insomnia, restlessness and general hypersensitivity Kidney - aids digestion and metabolism Liver – regulates blood circulation, improves metabolism, digestion and stomach function and provides analgesia Lung - regulates breathing, temperature and circulation, treats bowel disorders such as diarrhoea. Alleviates night sweats
Slide 8 - Treatment Points on the Ear Lung Kidney Liver Sympathetic Shen Men
Slide 9 - Future Implications There is a stated need for more long-term research, such as randomised, controlled trials using large sample sizes4 However, as with many aspects of health care, it is not always possible to reduce findings and outcomes to data for statistical testing and this is the case with some aspects of ear acupuncture Furthermore, in line with recent UK Government policy, the effectiveness and value of health care treatment should be measured not only by clinical outcomes but also by service-user reported outcomes Therefore, research to assess the satisfaction of recipients of ear acupuncture and research of a qualitative nature into their broader experiences now also needs to be undertaken
Slide 10 - References Chen, P (2004) Modern Chinese Ear Acupuncture. Paradigm Publications. USA Wen, H & Cheung, S (1973) How acupuncture can help addicts. Drugs and Society (2): 18–20. Bullock, ML, Culliton PD, Olander RT (1989) Controlled trial of acupuncture for severe recidivist alcoholism. The Lancet (24):1435-1439. Wager, K & Cox, S (2009) Auricular Acupuncture and Addiction. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier. Mitchell, ER. (1995) Fighting drug abuse with acupuncture-the treatment that works. Pacific View Press, California, USA. Karst M, Winterhalter M, Munte S, Francki B, Hondronikos A, Eckardt A, Hoy L, Buhck H, Bernateck M, Fink M (2007) Auricular acupuncture for dental anxiety: a randomized controlled trial. Anesthesia and Analgesia.104 (2): 295-300.