Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).
Acupuncture is used with good success to help people stop smoking, and is useful in treating the full range of addictions and addictive behavior. Acupuncture works to adjust cravings by balancing your body's brain chemistry and is also useful to help heal the damage caused by smoking. The treatments are unique, from an acupuncturists perspective, as there are many fixed protocols talked about to help people stop smoking. Below you will find some of the more common treatment patterns for smoking cessation.
Auricular acupuncture is often used in the treatment of addictions and protocols may use auricular points alone or along with other body points. Many addiction based treatments use relatively fixed protocols which may or may not be used in conjunction with other points to help balance the person's overall pattern.
- The National Acupuncture and Detoxification Association (NADA) Protocol
- A common auricular protocol to use for all types of addictions is the NADA protocol. This is described in full detail within the NADA Detox Protocol section. This protocol uses the following auricular acupuncture points.
- Tim Mee Extra Acupuncture Point
- The "Extra" point Tim Mee is a popular point for use in smoking cessation treatments. It is located level with LU 7 and proximal to LI 5 in a depression between the tendons that make up the anatomical snuffbox.
- This point can be used with needling and/or moxibustion for stop smoking treatments. It is often used in conjunction with other auricular and body points.
- Some practitioners will only needle this point if it is sensitive ("ashi", or "ouch" point), others will use it regardless.
- Auricular Treatment with Body Points I
- Auricular Points:
- Shen Men
- C. Kidney
- Master Point Zero
- Lung 1 (or Lung 2)
- Body Points:
- Some practitioners recommend treating unilaterally, alternating sides with each treatment (common), others needle bilaterally each treatments, and others will needle the most sensitive side only, using the points which are sensitive to the patient (particularly the auricular points).
- Insert all needles and then connect the electro-stimulation clips as specified below (if desired):
- Red (+) clip to Shen Men Auricular Point and Black (-) clip to Tim Mee Extra Point
- Red (+) clip to LI 4 Body Point and Black (-) clip to Lung 1 or Lung 2 Auricular Point
- Use 10Hz for 30-45 minutes.
- Following the treatment, you can leave auricular press tacks or auricular pellets in the patients ear for the next few days.
- Auricular Treatment with Body Points II
- This is a variation of the above treatment protocol, differing by needling method, auricular points used, and stimulation method.
- Auricular Points:
- Shen Men
- Lung 2
- Needle the auricular points with the paired points crossing and touching each other (shen men and autonomic) - (lung 2 and endocrine). Use electro-stimulation between the two pairs of auricular needles.
- Body points such as Tim Mee, may or may not be used.