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Ask an expert - neuro and psycho logical - addiction

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A great deal depends on the amount of alcohol you are drinking. There have been many studies over the years which have tried to establish whether acupuncture can be used to deal with acupuncture addiction and dependence, and few have shown that acupuncture in any of its forms has had any material advantage when used alongside the other methods which people employ to deal with their problem. That said, there are a great number of practitioners who use auricular acupuncture to help with substance abuse, and there are three organisations, NADA, EAR and SMART-UK, which have large registers of members who provide the protocol treatment which is offered alongside other services to help people try to deal with their addictions.
If the problem is of a less severe nature, as in social drinking which is starting to go out of control or an increasing use of alcohol to deal with negative emotions, there may be some benefit to have acupuncture treatment to help with the underlying causes. Chinese medicine sees the body, mind and spirit as interdependent and inter-related to the extent that treatment has a wide ranging effect on both physical and mental functions. It may be worth your while seeking the advice of a BAcC member local to you for them to assess whether they feel that they can help, if the drinking is a symptom of a cause which they believe acupuncture treatment can address. If the decision is that your problem is beyond their scope of competence, we are sure that they will be able to direct you to colleagues locally using the protocol-based treatments and throught them to the wider range of support services which are available to help with your problem.

Although the ancient Chinese were not beset by the problems of online addictions to gaming websites or other modern problems, addictive behaviour is as old as time. The Chinese would have interpreted this within their own medical systems as a form of imbalance where someone performs an activity beyond the point where it could be considered appropriate, and would have used the more generalist approach of balancing the whole system rather than using specific 'anti-addiction' points. There are one or two specific conditions which a practitioner might recognise and which might provide a more direct route for treatment, but generally the forms of modern addiction which we now see would have been alien to the Chinese way of looking at the world.


There are a number of organisations which use a specific form of ear acupuncture to treat addictions to alcohol, drugs and other forms of repetitive activity, and many of these have now grouped themselves together under the heading 'micosystems acupuncture' and achieved recognition by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).  Their members are now entitled to register with the CNHC, and a list of them can be obtained from the CNHC website at:


It is possible that some of these practitioners will have treated problems of addiction to online gambling, and have strategies which they could employ.


The other best advice, as always, is to contact a BAcC member local to you for specific advice on an inividual basis. Most members are happy to give up a short amount of time without charge to discuss whether acupuncture treatment would be appropriate.

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