Ear acupuncture helps fight addiction, advocates say

Posted at 6:53 AM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 06:53:17-05

MANCHESTER, NH (WMUR/CNN) - Ear acupuncture is a tool used by some to help treat addiction, and although it's not a mainstream way to fight this battle, supporters are trying to raise its awareness.

With each needle, it reduces stress and depression and is a tool to help people battling substance abuse, advocates said.

"And this resets the energy systems of your brain, and I'm finding this tremendously helpful," said Richard Kania, a master licensed drug and alcohol counselor.

"And in early recovery, it helps to reduce cravings. It helps to reduce anxiety, trauma, body aches, headaches, nausea," said licensed acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp.

It's also the second training in the state since a law was passed last summer, allowing counselors, recovery coaches and others to certify as acupuncture detoxification specialists.

Ropp said those people still aren't allowed to practice on others because they're not licensed.

"Our governor has repeatedly made calls for licensing boards to remove unnecessary red tape, and thus far we've really only seen the licensing board draft rules that include too much red tape," she said.

Ropp said the treatment needs to be available daily for people fighting addiction and that recovery programs should have the flexibility to decide how and when to use ear acupuncture.

"This treatment is very safe," Ropp said. "No malpractice claim has ever been filed by anyone who practices ear acupuncture as an acupuncture detoxification specialist. So there really isn't any need whatsoever for the Board of Acupuncture Licensing to put restrictions around it."

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