and 12-Step Recovery
When used as recommended by
the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, acupuncture in addiction
treatment acts in harmony with many of the principles and mechanisms of
- 12-Step meetings involve
people with a common problem participating in a supportive group.
- Acupuncture mirrors the
group setting but without verbal interaction or expectations, thus providing
a safe entree to the emotional value and support of group process.
- 12-Step programs advocate
that recovery is a daily effort.
- Acupuncture is optimally
provided daily in the same one-day-at-a-time rhythm.
- The 12-Step culture emphasizes
"progress, not perfection."
- Acupuncture is not presented
as a "cure" but as something that will help the person feel
better in the present moment.
- 12-Step meetings do not
require assessment in order for benefit to be realized
- The five-point acupuncture
protocol is "generic," not depending upon diagnosis or assessment
to be beneficial.
- The initial stages in the
therapeutic process in 12-Step recovery involve the person's accepting
and then redefining their relationship with the substance of choice.
- Acupuncture treatments bring
people in contact with the physical consequences of their substance
use, hence reducing denial and often increasing motivation to change
while at the same time keeping the focus on the substance before prematurely
expanding into psycho-social issues that need to be addressed.
- Therapeutic movement in
the 12-Step culture is a turning away from dependence upon the substance
of addiction and toward inner healing resources, or away from the inner
psychic state of isolation and toward acceptance outwardly of the tools
and resources that will support recovery. An adage of 12-Step programs
is that "recovery is an inside job," not dependent upon "people,
places, and things," and 12-Step literature suggests that many
discover a "higher power" within themselves.
- Acupuncture directs the
client's attention inward toward the sources of healing. With daily
acupuncture, clients come to identify primarily not with the therapist
or program staff but with a therapeutic process.
- A successful therapeutic
mechanism of the 12-Step culture is peer bonding. More advanced stages
in the 12-Step therapeutic process involve the person's beginning to
view the larger context of their substance use by identifying with the
recovery stories of others, by forming relationships, and by doing the
inventory and amends steps.
- The acupuncture clinic provides
non-structured opportunities for clients to form bonds with one another,
an environment in which people can share stories with their peers and
form sober relationships as they begin to stabilize.
- 12-Step programs move people
away from the notion of increasing efforts at control and toward a state
- Acupuncture helps people
feel more relaxed, with less reliance on having to be in control.
- The 12-Step regimen is not
rigidly imposed, acknowledging individual differences in the pace at
which people work the steps.
- Acupuncture gives the program
the freedom to adopt a "first things first" philosophy, allowing
people to find their own way of becoming ready to participate in more
prescribed program components.
Add Acupuncture to your Treatment Program? FAQs