Workshops & Groups
My name is Dixie Wall and I am a licensed Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, and Holistic Health Practitioner. For 12 years, I have practiced a combination of techniques that address not only the physical, but also the biochemical and emotional impact on health. I am a Certified Massage Therapist, a Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) Practitioner and an Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) Specialist. Addiction, nutrition, and balancing emotional, biochemical and toxic stress are my passion. With 15 years of continuous sobriety myself, I have extensive experience in the recovery community. In addition to my strong working knowledge of the 12-step program, I can offer holistic health strategies and life hacks along with acupuncture treatments to strengthen the road to recovery.
How Does Acupuncture help with Addiction?
Acupuncture is rapidly increasing in popularity as an effective aid in the control of many addictions—from serious ones involving alcohol and hard drugs to relatively less serious ones involving nicotine and overeating.
There is strong physiological evidence supporting the use of acupuncture in these areas. Research has shown that acupuncture can raise the level of endorphins in the nervous system, which are like opiates in structure and function. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. It seems that the cravings and withdrawal symptoms experienced by people giving up drugs, alcohol or smoking can be alleviated by raising the level of endorphins in the nervous system. Some researchers also believe that the desire to eat is also mediated by the endorphin level in the brain, which would explain why acupuncture helps dieters to control their appetites.
Several brain neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin, opioid and other amino acids including GABA have been implicated in the modulation of dopamine release by acupuncture. Neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin are often deficient in those abusing alcohol and drugs. Modulation of these important “feel good” neurotransmitters can also help an addict to quit.
Treatment and Groups Outline
The treatment involves nourishing the body by treating points on the outside of the ear. Short, thin, sterile needles are inserted at three to five points. Patients sit or lie comfortably for about fifteen to thirty minutes. The treatments often have a profoundly calming effect on the mind and body, creating feelings of peace and well-being. Three of the five acupuncture points strengthen the liver, kidneys and lungs, which are the major organs of elimination. They have often grown weak in addicts because they have been subjected to the daily burden of eliminating an excess of toxins from the system.
After each treatment, small pellets or press tacks are taped over these points, and the patient is sent home with instructions to press on them frequently. This pressure creates a mini-stimulus which helps to keep the endorphin level high and keep balance within the body.
More Evidence for Acupuncture
Excellent clinical evidence supports the use of acupuncture for addiction control. The first acupuncture detoxification clinic in the United States opened in 1974, at the Lincoln Memorial Hospital in the South Bronx section of New York City. At first, acupuncture was used as an adjunct to methadone treatment, but such good results were obtained with acupuncture that methadone was dropped from the program. According to Dr. Michael Smith, director, the success rate with acupuncture is substantially higher than that of more conventional programs. Unlike methadone, which is itself a highly addictive drug that is used primarily as a heroin substitute, acupuncture is a natural procedure with no side effects, and it can treat a wide range of addictions. It works equally well for cocaine and crack addicts, heroin addicts, alcoholics, users of psychedelics, and people addicted to barbiturates and amphetamines. Addicts report a marked reduction in craving for drugs, a relief from symptoms of withdrawal, and feelings of relaxation along with improved sleep.
Recovery Group Workshop Outline
In the weekly workshops we can effectively treat anywhere from 7 to 12 people. Usually, males and females are divided into two groups. Groups gravitate to one to one and a half hours long depending on size of group.
Workshops kick off with an explanation of acupuncture and regular practice of self-care such as good nutrition, meditation, and exercise. Every group we spend ten to fifteen minutes answering question clients may have about any health topic or issue. Nutrition benefiting recovery, low energy, pain, poor sleep, hormone balance and inflammation is a hot topic for most recovering addicts. We have several handouts, blogs and easy tricks for overall improved state of mind and body that we share each week. Following introduction and lecture, we treat each patient individually by going around and treat the group with needles in the ear using the NADA (National Detoxification Association) protocol. There are over 300 points on the ear and we add a couple points specific to the patients’ individual needs. While the patients are retaining needles we lead the group in affirmations, breathing techniques and meditation. Meditation has been time tested to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and increase concentration and serenity levels. During the retention of needles, we utilize several different body scans, breathing techniques, affirmations and other positive visualizations. Small pellets or press tacks are taped over these points, and the patient is sent home with instructions to press on them frequently. This pressure creates a mini-stimulus which helps to keep the endorphin level high and keep balance within the body My belief is that all these lifestyle practices tie in together a new way of life that builds a strong foundation for a lasting recovery.
We look forward to assisting your clients on their healing journey.