Traditional Chinese Medicine, other alternative practitioners, and even traditional Western practices have had proven success using auricular acupuncture, or acupuncture of the ear, in the healing of addictions and addictive behaviors.
Auricular acupuncture experienced a burst of popularity in the mid-twentieth century when a Frenchman named Paul Nogier developed a reconfiguration of the Chinese system, which had been around for thousands of years. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol is a yet later manifestation of auricular acupuncture, using points in the ears that relate to organs involved in detoxification or addiction treatment–specifically the liver, kidneys, lungs, and nervous system. Some of the benefits reported by patients and clinicians include improved program retention, a more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery as well as reductions in cravings, anxiety, sleep disturbance and need for pharmaceuticals.
TCM practitioners agree that auricular acupuncture helps clients develop a balance in mind and body, and helps them to substitute healthy self-nurturing behavior for addictions or habits that are destructive-a process of healing that can be a source of strength with a renewal of the flow of vital forces, or qi.
Auricular acupuncture has been headline celebrity news for some years. Celebrities such as Kate Moss have publicly commended the use of auricular acupuncture. Today, addiction is not just a matter of substance abuse. Shopping, gambling, sex, the internet, food and even the use of smartphones and other mobile internet devices can be addictive. The common thread is that all of these are compulsive, emotional disorders, which even Western medical practitioners admit can be curbed by the use of Auricular Acupuncture.
TCM looks at addiction as a two-part problem. The first part is mental and emotional obsession for something, or to do something. Afterwards, there is a physical and emotional craving. TCM practitioners find ear acupuncture treatment helps to deal with that mental obsession. Auricular acupuncture then works to restore this balance.