Acupuncture is an effective recovery tool available to TERROS clients who are in treatment for alcohol or substance abuse challenges.
Acupuncture is an effective recovery tool
TERROS offers auricular acupuncture – also known as ear acupuncture – for people who are in treatment for substance abuse problems. Acupuncture supplements and supports recovery. It is not a replacement for substance abuse or mental health treatment.
Patients report reductions in cravings, anxiety, sleep disturbance and their need for prescription drugs. Many also report a more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery.
East meets West
Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years and continues to be widely practiced for symptomatic relief from a variety of diseases and symptoms. Physicians who practice traditional Chinese medicine describe acupuncture as a technique for balancing the body’s flow of energy.
Auricle refers to the outer portion of the ear. The use of auricular acupuncture for treatment of substance abuse was discovered by a Chinese neurosurgeon in 1973. The practice was brought to the United States in 1975. It is currently used in more than 100 treatment programs throughout the United States and in a least 25 countries worldwide.
TERROS has offered auricular acupuncture since 2009
This service is provided at all TERROS outpatient clinics. It is administered by a trained professional acupuncturist who has met the certification requirements of both the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners and the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
Acupuncture involves tiny hair-thin needles
The auricular acupuncture procedure utilizes tiny, hair-thin, sterile, one-time use needles. The auricular acupuncturist inserts five needles into the outer ear. After the needles have been inserted, the patient relaxes in a comfortable chair for between 15 and 60 minutes.
Some people report a little pinch when the needles are inserted, but that feeling usually goes away quickly. Some patients say their ears tingle or feel warm during the procedure. Others don’t feel anything. Most people report feeling relaxed, peaceful and calm. Patients are encouraged to practice relaxing deep breathing while the needles are in place.
Patients using acupuncture do better in treatment
TERROS has conducted studies to measure the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture as a treatment tool and found that clients who used acupuncture were more engaged in treatment than those who did not receive auricular acupuncture. Treatment engagement is a consistent predictor of favorable drug abuse treatment outcomes (Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 14, Issue 6).
We also found that people who participated in the acupuncture treatments increased their sense of personal, family, social and overall well being.
Many positive results reported after acupuncture
Clients report many positive results after receiving auricular acupuncture.
· letting go of tensions and preoccupations
· reduced cravings
· easing of withdrawal symptoms
· increased sense of self-image and self control
· decrease in both anxiety and sleep disturbances
· increased desire to focus on treatment, sobriety and recovery
“My experience was very relaxing and pleasant. I will definitely recommend it for anyone who is experiencing trials and tribulations in life.”
“Acupuncture helps me physically as well as mentally. It helps balance my mood and calms me down.”
Talk with your primary counselor
If you are interested in receiving auricular acupuncture services at TERROS, talk with your primary counselor about this treatment tool.
The frequency of the auricular acupuncture treatments varies by patients and where they are in their recovery journey. Each patient should discuss their treatment plan with their primary TERROS counselor.
“After my second session, I was sleeping better, cravings for alcohol were less frequent and shorter, and my self-image improve
Primary Medical Care.