In my clinic I always start each follow-up treatment with a short interview about the evolution of the patient’s initial complaint as well as their general health. Quite regularly after talking about the principal reason for seeking acupuncture, they will kind of furtively mention something like: ‘You know, after the acupuncture treatment, I slept like a baby.’ Or ‘My digestion was great this week, you don’t think that it was because of acupuncture?’ All this despite having treated their shoulder or back. To which of course I take all the credit and reply that acupuncture treats everything. No, actually I mention that I always treat each patient globally, and that may be a reason for the improvement in another aspect of their health, but there may also be other factors which were an influence as well. However, I recently had a patient come see me for a second appointment so happy that I just had to write about it.
We sat down together to talk about the first treatment. The patient informed me that the treatment had had no effect on her pain. I, of course, never enjoy hearing that my treatment has had no positive result, but then she asked, ‘Do you think that acupuncture could have helped my addiction to drinking? Ever since the acupuncture treatment, instead of drinking too much wine, I’ve been satisfied with one bottle or less of beer!’ She was so thrilled that we continued treating principally her addiction instead of her pain and she has had no problem sticking to one beer or less. She feels so much better, both emotionally and physically. She never thought she would be able to reduce her consumption of alcohol.
Acupuncture is well known as a great treatment for all kinds of addictions.
Most famously, it is a great therapy for people wanting to quit smoking. As anyone who has ever smoked can tell you, cigarettes are extremely difficult to quit. The withdrawal symptoms are nearly as severe and difficult to pass through as heroin. So if acupuncture can help with such an arduous addiction as smoking, it can assuredly treat other addictions just as well.
In Quebec, acupuncture is only taught at the College de Rosemont in Montreal. At this school there is an internship with Le Centre de réadaptation en dépendance de Montréal – CRDM, formally called the Centre Dollard-Cormier, which helps treat all different kinds of addictions.
My own interest in Japanese-style acupuncture led me to use a treatment to detoxify the system (often through the liver and kidneys), as well as points to stimulate the adrenal glands in order to help deal with the internal stress created by the withdrawal symptoms.
It can help with addictions of all kinds: drugs, medication, food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
For the best chance of success with addictions of any kind the person must first acknowledge that they have an addiction and that they voluntarily want to quit. Without this desire and drive, the battle is very difficult against any addiction.