Many people hear about using acupuncture to help with addiction and smoking cessation. As acupuncturists, we’re asked how exactly acupuncture can be used to attain this goal. There are many different facets to treating addiction and one of the most powerful tools we use in acupuncture is the NADA protocol. NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association and the protocol involves the use of specific acupuncture points on the ear to calm the nervous system and stop cravings. Auricular acupuncture is different from traditional acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The points along the ear correspond to different parts of the body and brain. Since the ear is used as a microcosm of the entire body, the effects of needling those points is stronger than body points. Ear points are also used to calm the nervous system and to “relax the mind”. In addition to the NADA protocol, traditional acupuncture is used to create a Chinese medical diagnosis that addresses energy imbalances affecting the overall person. This is another important aspect of treatment because when the body’s energy is in balance, it supports the spirit (mind) in achieving its goal of treating addiction. There is a lot of mental and emotional energy involved with addiction and both auricular and traditional acupuncture are necessary aspects to achieve this goal!
In our practice, we offer additional tools and practices that work in conjunction with the NADA protocol and traditional acupuncture. We go over all of our recommendations during the first acupuncture session and we follow up with treatment once a person is committed to quit smoking. At that point, sessions are usually in close succession as support is most needed during those first few weeks of quitting. Of course, the most important part to quitting smoking or any addiction is the desire to stop. Acupuncture (or anything!) is not going to turn things around if someone does not want to change their life. As acupuncturists, we support the person through their journey using acupuncture and energy balance.
To learn more about NADA, you can go to their website: www.acudetox.com.