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The Ease of Treating Addictions with Acupuncture
September 1, 1992

John A. Amaro D.C., FIAMA, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)

Even though I have successfully treated numerous addictions over the last 20 years, it has only been within the last two years that acupuncture as a treatment for addictions has attracted national attention.
Even though acupuncture for addictions is not a new concept, it appears the press has only recently been attracted to it, no doubt due to the ever-growing drug problem we face in today's society.

I find it so interesting to think that if it were not for the press, acupuncture would probably still be practiced in the back streets of the Asian community as it has for well over 125 years in the United States.

Hardly a week goes by when I do not receive an article from a reader of this column which was printed in their local paper or other periodical describing the benefits of acupuncture in addictions.

The Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx (New York) was one of the original pioneers of acupuncture, having used it now for 18 years. The Lincoln Hospital's clinic treats up to 300 patients a day for substance abuse, many of them being referred by various court-related agencies. Many states are following suit and establishing acupuncture detoxification programs based upon the success of Lincoln Hospital and a host of others reporting 60 percent success rates.

In the hard core heroin addict, methadone and counseling are still a vital part of the program, and counseling should be considered as mandatory in other substance abusers, to include alcoholism.

Even though the procedure is extremely simple, and can be learned in a matter of hours concerning the ear acupuncture application, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association has established a 70-hour training program to administer treatments in government-approved programs. This training is mandatory for those not licensed by the state as acupuncturist.

The politics of this situation is already beginning to stir as state approved acupuncturist are beginning to fight to restrict the use of this work to only those licensed as acupuncturist. Sound familiar?

The procedure is extremely easy which simply focuses on ear acupuncture (bilateral) on points: 1) kidney, 2) liver, 3) lung, 4) sympathetic, 5) shen men.

Needles are normally and historically used; however, laser and electronic stimulation have a very strong influence and should not be discounted regardless of what you hear from people "who know better."

In a three-part series of articles which appeared in Dynamic Chiropractic, April 25, 1990; May 23, 1990; and June 20, 1990 titled, "Now Hear This," I illustrated the points mentioned above and a chart was included in the April 25, 1990 issue.

A statement was made in that April 25 issue to "save this chart for future reference." If you were foolish enough to throw it away or have since 1990 become an avid reader of Dynamic Chiropractic, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your feeble excuse and I will send you a copy of this chart. Good excuses receive priority.

Incidentally, you may not be aware of this, but you are about to change the course of social, financial, and moral history of hundreds of individuals and thousands of people who love them.

Best wishes.


John A. Amaro D.C.,FIAMA, Dipl.Ac.(NCCAOM)
Box 1003 Carefree, Arizona
DrAmaro@IAMA.edu