Addictions · Anxiety · Autoimmune Disorders · Menopause 
Pregnancy related conditions · Skin Disorders · PMS 



Addictions

Acupuncture has become widely recognized for its effectiveness in treating a multitude of disharmonies and diseases that affect both human beings and animals. Many of you have likely read articles describing astonishing cures in animals for conditions that are often terminal or would usually require long term western medical treatment. I believe children and animals respond to acupuncture treatment so readily because they are not burdened with the psychological dilemma of "How can sticking needles in my body possibly be curative?" Their energy is open and available for allowing the body's healing force to become strengthened and engaged in its function of fixing whatever is not working properly.

Many patients who seek acupuncture treatment arrive unconvinced that they will find relief but are also willing to "give it a try". They state there is nothing to lose but their pain. Many are taking medications that cause them unpleasant, often toxic side effects and some are attempting acupuncture treatment as a last resort before undergoing recommended surgery. Many are finding the relief they were hoping for.

Pain and Narcotic Addiction

Jesse, a thirty-five year old woman who looked much older than her years, came into my office with a gift certificate for her birthday. Her eyes were yellowed and sunken, her skin sallow and she was severely depressed. She told me of her six hip operations, the intense pain she continued to endure and the resulting narcotic addiction. Jesse had been taking narcotics for six years but required more than the prescribed dosage for pain relief. She admitted being addicted. Jesse felt generally unmotivated and desperate. She feared losing those things in her life that had meant everything to her.

Jesse adored her young family but felt overwhelmed with responsibility and couldn't imagine going on like this for much longer. Her days were consumed with maintaining her drug habit and keeping it hidden from everyone. Jesse walked with a limp and used a cane. She was in obvious distress.

Jesse's pain in TCM terms (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the result of "stagnant qi and blood". In other words, it is the result of obstruction of blood circulation due to inflammation from injury and surgery. Her kidney energy was also very weak which resulted in bone density loss. Treatment for pain relief was aimed at restoring proper blood circulation and strengthening kidney energy. We also began a course of treatment for drug addiction using acupuncture and herbs. Three months later, Jesse reports,

"I now feel great about 90% of the time instead of living with pain every hour of every day. It has been three months since I have had any narcotic pain medicine. I am especially grateful for this. I am now able to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and to feel "well" for the first time in fifteen years. Thank you Netta. I am forever grateful."

Nicotine Addiction

Acupuncture is particularly well suited to treatment for many addictions. Most patients have tried various ways to quit smoking before trying acupuncture and many are apprehensive about another potential failure. I have found that those who want to quit are successful. As with all addictions, a person must be willing to go through the withdrawal process in order to detox from the addictive substance. It is during this detoxification process that cravings are relieved and eventually eliminated.

Countless people have quit smoking through acupuncture treatment. The comment I hear most from my patients is that quitting with acupuncture was far easier than they expected. Acupuncture treatment makes withdrawal tolerable and greatly relieves cravings.

Stan is a 42 year-old college professor who experienced rage attacks whenever he tried to quit his 25- year smoking habit. He would lose his ability to concentrate and would feel completely out of control. His wife was not looking forward to another of his attempts at quitting. He said he desperately wanted to quit and was willing to do whatever it took to succeed.

Stan was treated with acupuncture and herbs for three weeks. He was able to teach his classes during that time, experienced only manageable anger and successfully quit smoking. He left my office a happy man. Stan's case is an extreme one, but quitting smoking is experienced by many as one of the most difficult things to do.

Colleen is a 46 year-old woman who says:

"This past Thanksgiving, I bravely but doubtfully walked into Netta Hart's office. Over the past fifteen years, I had tried everything I could think of to quit smoking but it was always temporary. I couldn't stop myself from invariably having "just one cigarette."

Within six sessions with Netta I was a non-smoker and had given up coffee as well. (No one could even count how many cups of coffee I drank a day!) The amazing thing about my smoking is that, after about the fourth session, I did not even crave a cigarette. I could drive by a convenience store without my wheels veering inward for that precious pack. On New Year's Eve I partied in rooms filled with smokers and did not even consider "borrowing" one puff. In some strange way I can hardly remember being a smoker."

Upon follow-up 5 years later, Colleen remains a non-smoker!

Although many people quit smoking after their first acupuncture treatment, I recommend a series of four treatments in order to fully support the withdrawal process and to aid the lungs in the healing process. Some folks struggle more than others. Some find quitting to be easy. All have to engage their will in order to be successful. Everyone can do that.


Netta M. Hart, Licensed Acupuncturist, 18 Coastal Way, Greenland, NH 03840