Auricular acupuncture

Addiction is a complex and widespread issue that affects many people worldwide. Traditional treatments for addiction often involve a combination of therapy, medication, and aftercare support. However, an emerging therapy known as auricular acupuncture is gaining recognition for its potential to assist people on their recovery journey.

Auricular acupuncture, which involves stimulating specific points on the ear, has shown promising results in helping individuals battle addiction. Discover how this ancient practice may offer a unique approach to holistic healing for those struggling with addiction.


Auricular acupuncture - needles

What is auricular acupuncture?

Auricular acupuncture is a specialised form of acupuncture that focuses on the ear. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the ear is considered a microsystem representing the entire body, with specific points corresponding to various organs, systems, and emotions. Auricular acupuncture aims to restore balance and harmony within the body by stimulating these points.

What happens during auricular acupuncture?

During an auricular acupuncture session, fine needles or other stimulating tools are applied to specific points on the external ear. The practitioner carefully selects these points based on the individual’s unique needs and addiction profile. The needles are typically left in place for about 20 to 30 minutes, although the duration may vary depending on the rehab treatment plan.

Benefits of auricular acupuncture in battling addiction

From reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms to supporting individuals throughout detox and enhancing emotional well-being, auricular acupuncture presents a range of benefits that can complement traditional addiction treatment approaches.

Some benefits of auricular acupuncture include:

Reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms: Auricular acupuncture has shown promise in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with addiction. Stimulating specific points on the ear is believed to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and decrease the urge to use substances.

  • Supporting detox: The ear is full of nerve endings and is connected to the central nervous system. Auricular acupuncture helps enhance blood flow and lymphatic circulation, eliminating toxins associated with substance abuse and supporting the overall detox process.
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety: Addiction often coexists with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Auricular acupuncture has been found to promote relaxation and alleviate stress by stimulating points on the ear that help regulate mood and emotions, which can contribute to reduced cravings and improved overall well-being.
  • Enhancing motivation: Auricular acupuncture has been reported to improve motivation by increasing energy levels and restoring inner balance. By supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms, this therapy can empower individuals to stay committed to their recovery.

Why is auricular acupuncture not widely known in the UK?

Despite its potential benefits, the usage of auricular acupuncture in the UK is relatively limited for several reasons:

  • Lack of awareness and understanding among healthcare professionals and individuals seeking addiction treatment regarding the specific benefits and applications of auricular acupuncture.
  • Integrating complementary therapies like auricular acupuncture into mainstream healthcare systems can be a slow process, as the focus of addiction treatment in the UK primarily revolves around evidence-based approaches.
  • While emerging research supports the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture, the evidence base is still considered limited compared to more established treatment modalities. The availability of auricular acupuncture services and trained practitioners may also be limited in certain regions, impacting accessibility and availability.
  • Regulatory and licensing considerations pose challenges, as although acupuncture is regulated in the UK, some practitioners may still need comprehensive training in auricular acupuncture.

While auricular acupuncture may not be deeply rooted in Western medicine, Oasis Bradford has recognised the value of offering diverse treatment options. By integrating mainstream and contemporary therapies, including auricular acupuncture, we have witnessed the effectiveness of these combined approaches in assisting individuals who are struggling with addiction.


Auricular acupuncture - acupuncture treatment


Are there any side effects to auricular acupuncture?

Auricular acupuncture, like any medical or therapeutic intervention, may have potential side effects, although typically minimal. It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before undergoing any treatment.

Here are some potential side effects associated with auricular acupuncture:

  • Discomfort: Some individuals may experience mild discomfort or pain at the needle insertion site during auricular acupuncture. However, this is usually temporary and subsides quickly. Skilled practitioners can minimise discomfort by using fine needles and applying them gently.
  • Bruising or bleeding: In rare cases, bruising or minor bleeding may occur at the insertion sites. This is usually a result of accidental injury to blood vessels and is not a common side effect.
  • Dizziness: Some may feel lightheaded or experience a brief episode of dizziness immediately after the treatment. This sensation is generally short-lived.
  • Sleepiness: Auricular acupuncture can induce relaxation and promote a sense of calm. As a result, some people may feel temporarily tired or sleepy after a session.
  • Nausea: Auricular acupuncture may occasionally stimulate certain reflexes that can cause temporary nausea in some individuals. These effects are typically transient and part of the body’s healing process.

Although important to be aware of the potential side effects, we should note that auricular acupuncture is considered a safe practice when administered by a trained professional. The mentioned side effects are usually mild and temporary, and with skilled application, the benefits of auricular acupuncture outweigh the minimal risk when it comes to managing addiction.


Auricular acupuncture - needles 2


How can Oasis Bradford help with my addiction?

Oasis Bradford is dedicated to providing comprehensive support for individuals battling addiction. By incorporating a range of treatment options, including auricular acupuncture, we can offer a rehab treatment that addresses each person’s needs.

If you or someone you know is seeking assistance overcoming addiction, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our rehab programme and embark on the life-changing journey towards recovery.

Frequently asked questions

Does auricular acupuncture hurt?
The sensation experienced during auricular acupuncture can vary from person to person. Some individuals may feel slightly prickling or tingling when the fine needles are inserted into specific ear points. However, the needles used in auricular acupuncture are generally very thin, which helps minimise discomfort. Most people find the procedure painless or experience only mild, well-tolerated discomfort.
Does it cost extra to use auricular acupuncture as part of my rehab programme?
When you choose our rehab treatment programme at Oasis Bradford, you can access auricular acupuncture as an integral part of our comprehensive care without additional cost. We aim to ensure that anyone can receive the full spectrum of effective treatments without financial barriers.