Auricular (ear) acupuncture has been used since the early 1970’s to treat addictions.
From a Chinese Medicine standpoint, the ear points are calming, and regulate the Liver, Lung, and Kidney. It is thought that stimulation to these nerve terminals in the ear generate a neural chain of events responsible for the feeling of relaxation experienced by the patient.
Indeed, research has demonstrated that acupuncture can influence the neurochemical
pathways of the brain, in particular, those of the mesolimbic system. This area is
involved in the mechanism responsible for reward and pleasure. This is all the more beneficial because no other drugs are being used to compound the issue.
The practitioner will use tiny needles in the ear, and then the client is encouraged to lie quietly and relax. Some people fall asleep at this time.
The effects of the treatment extend well into the following days. For the best success, a course of several treatments is recommended.