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Acupuncture has been used in addiction treatment and recovery for years, but there is a specific method of auricular, –or ear—acupuncture, that is utilized in hospitals and clinics worldwide which is more commonly referred to as the NADA protocol.

NADA is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association which exists to treat various addictions and direct trauma due to accidents, drug use, and natural disaster. Dr. Michael Smith, of Bronx, New York’s Lincoln Hospital, founded the organization in 1985 after reworking the Chinese auricular acupuncture system already in existence. (India also had an acupuncture system).

The protocol uses the Shen Men, sympathetic, kidney, liver, and lung points to relax and facilitate healing in the patient. While acupuncture treatments are usually given privately in a clinical setting, the NADA protocol is given in a room with other clients being treated as well. The treatments can run up to 45 minutes and are repeated as directed by the practitioner.

In the next installment we will delve deeper into NADA’s history and where it is headed in the future.

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