I've been getting more questions than usual lately about acupuncture for weight loss and smoking cessation. I should have expected it; everyone wants positive change, now that the new year is here. Again, for the thousandth time, I will reiterate that change starts in the brain, and without the desire to work for what you want to achieve, my needles will get you nowhere. But, if you have decided to take the steps to create a healthier you, acupuncture is a fantastic adjunct to consider. So, what should you expect if you come into my office for either of these issues? Well, I will probably start with something called the "NADA protocol." This is an auricular (ear) treatment that is extremely effective in dealing with addictions. It detoxes the body and balances everything out, making cravings much easier to deal with. It also gives you a boost of endorphins, those happy chemicals that are triggered by drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, exercise, and food. Quite often, if people receive these endorphins through another route (such as acupuncture, massage, or exercise), cravings tend to disappear. There are also a number of other acupuncture points in the ear that are more specific to the particular issue of the patient: for example, if you are an overeater who has a compulsion to always have something in your mouth, there is a point for that. Sluggish metabolism? There's a point for that. Ravenous appetite? You guessed it...there's a point for that, too.
After the auricular treatment comes the body treatment. If you are a smoker, the first thing I will want to do is fortify your lungs-so your treatment will consist of a few different Lung points. For weight-loss, I will want to get your digestion moving, so your treatment will include points on the abdomen to get your stomach and intestines moving along. For either addiction, we will want to build up the willpower, which is controlled by the Kidneys. If your excess weight partially stems from sluggishness-of either the body, or mind-there will be points added to get things moving. Lastly, there will be points added in to calm the mind and boost your spirits. And you will leave my office with some sort of device to keep the treatment going-either magnets, presstacks, or intradermals. These will not only add a extra kick to the treatment, but will also serve as a reminder of how hard you are working to change your negative habits. Voila-a prescription for addiction!