Acudetox: Acupuncture for Addiction

Acupuncture is increasingly used for addiction. In fact, one specific type of acupuncture, called auricular acupuncture, or acudetox, involves inserting needles in the outer part of the ear to help quiet symptoms of withdrawal.


The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association endorses acudetox as part of a comprehensive treatment program for addiction. According to Kulas, tapping into these five main points on the ear helps smokers quit by:


Reducing cravings: Acupuncture slows down the body’s stress response, which can help curb your cravings for nicotine, especially in the earliest stages of withdrawal when you’re also battling fatigue and irritability. “Instead of smoking, your body learns to rest, relax and breathe deeply,” says Kulas.

Releasing feel-good hormones: Studies show acupuncture triggers the brain to pump out feel-good chemicals called endorphins that can help stabilize your mood and mitigate irritability.

Enhancing overall health and well-being: When you start eliminating unhealthy habits, you feel physically better. And when you feel physically better, you may feel empowered to pick up other healthy habits.