Chinese Medicine for Alcoholism, Addictions, and to Stop Smoking
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TCM for Alcoholism
Acupuncture has long been used to treat addictions in the United States, but treatment with herbs is less well known. Tobacco and substance abuse programs use auricular acupuncture, in which needles are placed in the ear, to help tranquilize and help reduce cravings.
Chinese medicine has plenty of experience treating addiction. You may know that at the turn of the last century, a large percentage of the Chinese population was addicted to opium trafficked from India by the British. Though many means were used to rid the country of this scourge, not the least of which was wholesale execution of traffickers, Chinese medical treatments also played a role.
Chinese Herbs for Alcoholism
One of the chief formulas given to addicts of that time, is sold today under the name of Westlake Stop Smoking Tea. You can get it at any Chinese herb shop or on the web.
For those with alcohol addictions, GE GEN – GE HUA – Pueraria Radix et Flos (Kudzu Root and Kudzu Flowers) have been used in East Asia to treat drunkenness and intoxication. Tests at Harvard Medical School concluded that the compounds in Kudzu offer promise as effective agents for alcohol abuse.
Use as tea on a regular basis for three to five weeks for this purpose. Roots and flowers can both be used or combined. Flowers are steeped or quickly boiled. Roots should be boiled for 30 – 40 minutes. Powdered concentrate can be stirred into liquid.
Chinese Medicines for Alcoholism.
Other formulas and products said to Calm the Spirit may be helpful for those shedding any kind of addiction. The most effective will be the formula that matches the details of the diagnosis. It's best to see a practitioner about these.
Acupuncture for Alcoholism and Addictions
The treatment usually involves treating points on the outside of the ear. Short, thin, sterile needles are inserted at three to five points. Patients sit or lie comfortably for about forty-five minutes. The treatments often have a profoundly calming effect on the mind and body, creating feelings of peace and well-being. Three of the five acupuncture points strengthen the liver, kidneys and lungs, which are the major organs of elimination. They have often grown weak in addicts because they have been subjected to the daily burden of eliminating an excess of toxins from the body.
People addicted to hard drugs are advised to receive daily treatment until they are clean. They then receive treatments a couple of times a week for a while to help them to remain so. Alcoholics also require daily treatments during the initial period of treatment. To insure long-term abstinence, both groups are encouraged to seek counseling and participate in a support group. Interestingly, alcoholics receiving acupuncture during the withdrawal period rarely experience seizures.
Smokers are in a different category because nicotine is a much milder drug. It does not produce the dramatic effects of hard drugs, though it is probably just as addicting in a more insidious way. Smokers do not generally need daily treatments and can usually kick the habit in a shorter period of time. After one or two treatments, the craving for nicotine is usually sharply reduced. After four or five treatments spread over a two-week period, seven out of ten patients will have managed to quit. Others will have drastically cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked daily. The same five points on the ear are used. Smokers need not come in daily, so after each treatment, small pellets or press tacks are taped over these points, and the patient is sent home with instructions to press on them frequently. This pressure creates a mini-stimulus which helps to keep the endorphin level high.
Acupuncture is very effective in controlling addictions, and the drug problem in this country is a serious one. Let us all hope that more acupuncture detoxification centers will be established in the future.