East West Acupuncture

East West Acupuncture

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Acupuncture has been widely used in the management of patients addicted or habituated to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or overeating. There is quite an extensive literature on the subject, particularly in the case of opiates. Acupuncture is used in the withdrawal of addictive substances in one of two general ways: 1) it works non-specifically to relieve the anxiety and/or depression which accompany withdrawal; 2) it may specifically combat the manifestations of withdrawal, including chills, sweating, intestinal cramps, pain, and nausea.

According to Prof. Han Jisheng of the Neuroscience Research Institute in Beijing, "In the recent decade it was found that electroacupuncture (EA) can be used for the treatment of heroin addicts with high efficiency. Animal and human studies revealed that EA of high frequency (100Hz) is very efficient to suppress the withdraw syndrome (physical dependence), whereas that of low frequency (2Hz) is very effective to reduce craving (psychic dependence)."

Zhang B, Luo F, Liu C. Treatment of 121 heroin addicts with Han’s acupoint nerve stimulator. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 2000 Aug;20(8):593-5.. "OBJECTIVE: To observe the Han's Acupoint Nerve Stimulator (HANS) for the treatment of heroin addicts. METHODS: One hundred and eighty-one cases of heroin addiction with obvious withdrawal syndrome were selected. Among them, 121 cases were randomly assigned to be treated with HANS, and the other 60 cases was taken as the control group. In the HANS group, patients were treated with HANS from the second day of their admission in the treatment center (when the withdrawal symptoms were obvious), they were given 4 treatments (30 min each) a day at the first 3 days, twice a day for 3 more days, and once a day 7 days later. The total treatment lasted 15 days. The acupoints selected were Hegu (LI4) and Laogong (PC 8) on one hand, Neiguan (PC 6) and Waiguan (SJ 5) on the other hand, and Zusanli (ST 36), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on both legs. The frequency was 2/100 Hz, the intensities of the stimulations were 12-16 mA on arms and 16-26 mA on legs. All the manipulations in the control group were the same as in the HANS group, except that electrodes were placed at the acupoints without any electrical stimulation. RESULTS: There was no significant difference (P < 0.05) on the 8 indices (heart rate, body weight, sleeping time, chilling, pain, anxiety, catarrh and craving) observed between the 2 groups before treatment. After the HANS treatment, all the 8 indices improved significantly as compared with those observed before treatment (P < 0.01), while in the control group only a moderate improvement was observed. CONCLUSION: HANS is obviously effective in relieving the withdrawal syndrome in heroin addicts."

He, D., Berg J. E., Hostmark, A. T., (1997) Effects of Acupuncture on Smoking Cessation or Reduction for Motivated Smokers. Preventative Med 26(2):208?14. 46 patients who wanted to quit smoking were blinded to acupuncture at anti-smoking points and acupuncture at unrelated points (control). Daily consumption of cigarettes decreased in the acupuncture group more than the control. At the end of the trial 31% of acupuncture patients quit smoking compared to 0% of controls.

Avants SK, Margolin A, Holford TR, Kosten TR. A randomized controlled trial of auricular acupuncture for cocaine dependence. Arch Intern Med 2000 Aug 14-28;160(15):2305-12. “Findings from the current study suggest that acupuncture shows promise for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Further investigation of this treatment modality appears to be warranted.” 82 subjects.

Bier ID, Wilson J, Studt P, Shakleton M. Auricular acupuncture, education, and smoking cessation: a randomized, sham-controlled trial. Am J Public Health 2002 Oct;92(10):1642-7: "OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effect of acupuncture alone and in combination with education on smoking cessation and cigarette consumption. METHODS: We prospectively studied 141 adults in a quasi-factorial design using acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and education. RESULTS: All groups showed significant reductions in smoking and posttreatment cigarette consumption, with the combined acupuncture-education group showing the greatest effect from treatment. The trend continued in follow-up; however, significant differences were not maintained. Greater pack-year history (i.e. the number of years smoking multiplied by baseline number of cigarettes smoked per year, divided by 20 cigarettes per pack) negatively correlated with treatment effect. Trend analysis suggested 20 pack-years as the cutoff point for this correlation. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture and education, alone and in combination, significantly reduce smoking; however, combined they show a significantly greater effect, as seen in subjects with a greater pack-year history."

Otto KC. Acupuncture and substance abuse: a synopsis, with indications for further research. Am J Addict. 2003 Jan-Feb;12(1):43-51. "Alcoholism and drug addiction are rampant in our society. Although current treatment works better than nothing, the search for more effective interventions continues. Incorporating acupuncture into existing programs offers a promising approach. Proponents say ear acupuncture alleviates acute opiate withdrawal, reduces craving for all substances, and helps retain patients in treatment. Over 25 years of clinical experience has supported this claim, but scientific research has been sketchy, complicated by technical difficulties and often poorly designed. This article reviews the literature and offers a neurochemical model for future research."

Lacey JM, Tershakovec AM, Foster GD. Acupuncture for the treatment of obesity: a review of the evidence.

Tang X. 75 cases of simple obesity treated with auricular and body acupuncture.
J Tradit Chin Med. 1993 Sep;13(3):194-5.

Zhan J. Observations on the treatment of 393 cases of obesity by seed pressure on auricular points. J Tradit Chin Med. 1993 Mar;13(1):27-30.

Asamoto S, Takeshige C. Activation of the satiety center by auricular acupuncture point stimulation. Brain Res Bull. 1992 Aug;29(2):157-64.

Zhang Z. Weight reduction by auriculo-acupuncture--a report of 110 cases. J Tradit Chin Med. 1990 Mar;10(1):17-8.