Addressing Depression, Anxiety, Hypertension, and Addiction through Acudetox


In 1974, the staff at the South Bronx Lincoln Recovery Center started work on a protocol that would help address substance use addiction. After 10 years of extensive research, they discovered the value of acupuncture as a tool to recovery. What became interesting to the researchers was how the 5-point ear protocol started to address other mental symptoms related to addiction such as anxiety and depression. Now known as the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), the organization has grown beyond the Bronx in New York to various cities and provinces across the globe. It is reported that more than 2,000 drug and alcohol treatment programs in the U.S. have added the NADA protocol to their repertoire. It is now also being used in 130 prison facilities across England, which has shown a significant reduction in violence in the last few years. 

Since the protocol was developed, new studies have shown hope for suicidal individuals. Today, the Indian military uses the protocol to treat officers who may have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), suicidal thoughts, and depression.  It is remarkable just how much this protocol can do as psychiatric hospitals across Northern Europe have now included this in their treatment; seeing a significant reduction in the use of benzodiazepine medication to sedate indviduals. 

How does acudetox work?

The treatment, which can last between 30 to 45 minutes, uses 5 ear points on both ears. After the individual sanitizes their own ears, the Acudetox Specialist (what you call NADA certified practitioners) applies each point gently into the person's ear. The five points are:

1. Sympathetic Nervous System. The first point that is targeted is the Sympathetic NS, which is in-charge of helping you survive. It is your "fight or flight" mechanism that tells you when there is impending danger. When this point is targeted, there is "detox" or release that takes place on the Sympathetic NS, so that the Parasympathetic NS is activated - better known as our "rest and relaxation" center. 

By activating the parasympathetic NS, this allows us to get the proper rest that our bodies need, as well as activate the growth hormones in our bodies to encourage better recovery. Sometimes, our growth hormones no longer fire because our rest hours aren't enough, or we have too much cortisol in the body - which could lead to premature death.  That leads us to our next point.

2. Shen men ("spirit gate") - I know it sounds weird, but the literal translation for the Shen men point is known as the "spirit gate". Why? Because it opens up the heart chakra and connects it with the crown chakra. What this means is it helps increase blood flow. In Sanskrit, the heart chakra refers to areas in our lives where we might feel hurt, beaten, and struck. By activating the Shen men or heart chakra, the body is able to release hurt and trauma from its cellular memory by allowing the vessels to open up and increase blood flow. This is excellent for hypertension and anxiety. 

You see, when we are anxious or highly stressed, our blood vessels naturally contract. When someone has chronic stress, the blood vessels are no longer able to relax, making it difficult for the heart to pump naturally. This can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease. 

3. Kidney - Among the functions of the kidney are the production of hormones, absorbing minerals, filtering our blood and urine, and the process of digestion. In Chinese medicine, the kidney is associated with psycho-emotional fears. By releasing any blocks from the kidney, you allow better filtering of the system, releasing unwanted bacteria from the body, as well as the production of the right hormones to support the body. In fact, studies have shown that mental disorders could be addressed by activating the proper hormones in the body. With age, we tend to lose hormones, so the onset of depression can come early. By "detoxing" the kidney, not only are you unlocking any fears, you are also allowing the kidney to function at optimum. This is why for some patients, the sensation of having to pee follows right after the procedure. 

4. Liver - Among the functions of the liver are removing toxins from the body, making sure we have enough minerals and vitamins, metabolizing and breaking down nutrients to use as energy, production of protein, production of bile (which helps digest fat), producing substances that reduce blood clotting, and helps your body remove bacteria in the blood. Phew! That's a handful. 

In Chinese medicine, the liver is associated to psycho-emotional feelings of anger. It makes sense because when we're angry we tend to do all kinds of things to the body by ingesting drugs, alcohol, junk food, tobacco, and whatever else. However, when we are angry, our system contracts, making it difficult for proper functioning of the organs and blood flow. By detoxing the liver, you detox the various unhealthy things that you tend to ingest - including all the medication you take on a regular basis.

5. Lungs - They say that the lungs are associated with grief. Depressed lungs or breathing can lead to a depressed system and mental state. By detoxing the lungs, you allow it to open up, complementing the heart chakra, kidney, and liver for better blood flow. Your lungs can be affected by allergies, smoking, and asthma. 

Depression in the Philippines

According to the World Health Organization, the Philippines has the highest incidence rate of depression in the country. Most of these cases remain untreated. It is also reported that where depression may be present, it is likely that the person experiences symptoms of anxiety as well. If you find that you may be in the starting phases of burnout / stress / depression / anxiety, I highly recommend that you book a session for acudetox. 

Who can benefit from Acudetox?

Anybody who is experiencing stress and just wants to take better preventive care for their body. Let's not wait for the onset of disease to happen just so we can take action. You can take action NOW! Recommended number of sessions for any first-timer is 4-sessions.