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Using Oriental Medicine to Overcome a Painkiller Addiction

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 6/29/2009

This article focuses on the different oriental herbs and procedures used to help people overcome a painkiller addiction.

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    Using oriental medicine to overcome a painkiller addiction has become a common practice amongst American's in recent years. There are different herbs and even acupuncture that have shown positive results in helping people overcome a painkiller addiction. Acupuncture and certain Chinese herbs can help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms as well as replace conventional painkillers.

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    Using Oriental Medicine to Overcome a Painkiller Addiction: Acupuncture

    Ear acupuncture is the most common form of acupuncture used to treat a painkiller addiction. Ear acupuncture works to alleviate, and eventually eliminate, the mental aspect of painkiller addiction. After a session of ear acupuncture a person will be more relaxed and calm because of an alleviation of addiction anxiety. Ear acupuncture may also increase endogenous opiates in the peripheral and central nervous system, in turn reducing a person's need for opiate-based painkillers. Five points on the ear will be treated with acupuncture. The Shenmen point will help to induce sleep, induce calmness and decrease blood pressure. The sympathetic point will help to support the digestive system and reduce pain. The lung point helps to alleviate skin and breathing problems and alleviate grief. The liver point help to alleviate anger and cleanse the blood. The kidney point helps to alleviate fear. Those suffering from a painkiller addiction will need several treatments before marked progress is achieved.

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    Using Oriental Medicine to Overcome a Painkiller Addiction: Bupleurum Dragon Bone and Oyster Shell

    Bupleurum dragon bone and oyster shell, also called chai hu long gu mu li tang, is a Chinese herb used to alleviate painkiller addiction withdrawal symptoms. This herb aids in strengthening a person's body during their time of withdrawal. It is also used to help reduce anxiety, stress, insomnia, headaches and irritability. These three symptoms are common symptoms of painkiller withdrawal. The ingredient, chai hu or bupleurum, is also beneficial in promoting a healthy liver. This is important because many painkillers do have negative affects on the liver. These herbs should not be taken for more than a few months.

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    Using Oriental Medicine to Overcome a Painkiller Addiction: Chinese Herbs for Pain Relief

    Many patients who are addicted to painkillers became addicted after taking them for pain. Recovering from a painkiller addiction will not stop the pain so Chinese herbs can often be used as a substitute. Du zhong and bu gu zhi can be used to alleviate pain and fatigue. Mo yao can be used to alleviate pain. Shu jing huo xue tang can be used to alleviate the pain associated with sciatica. Niu xi has also been deemed beneficial in relieving pain and is said to have an analgesic affect similar to opiates without the risk of addiction.

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