Acupuncture For Alcoholism: Does It Help?

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Acupuncture

Acupuncture for alcoholism isn’t just a new trend—it’s a beacon of hope, illuminating an alternative path in the arduous battle against this all-too-common struggle. With approximately 240 million people worldwide ensnared by alcohol use disorder, the search for effective and compassionate treatments has never been more pressing.

Nestled in Irvine, CA, Family Wellness Acupuncture is where Ryoko Takayama pours her heart and expertise into exploring how this ancient practice could unlock promising avenues for healing.

But it’s not merely about the placement of needles; it’s about engaging with the body’s innate ability to heal itself, offering a glimmer of hope to those wrestling with alcohol dependency.

Stick around as we delve deeper into whether acupuncture can truly be a game-changer in turning the tide against alcoholism.

Key Takeaways

  • Acupuncture is a promising treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) that helps reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms by targeting specific points on the body.
  • Research shows acupuncture can positively affect brain systems linked to addiction, such as reducing anxiety during withdrawal and improving cognitive functions impaired by chronic alcohol use.
  • Clinical studies confirm that acupuncture significantly lowers alcohol craving and intake, making it a valuable alternative therapy for individuals struggling with alcoholism.

Understanding Acupuncture as a Treatment Option for Alcohol Use Disorder

Acupuncture treatment for alcoholism

We’ve seen acupuncture make strides in treating various types of substance misuse, including alcohol use disorder (AUD). This traditional Chinese medicine technique targets specific points on the body with fine needles to restore balance and health.

For those grappling with AUD, studies show that acupuncture can significantly alleviate both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. It’s a supportive therapy that taps into our body’s natural healing mechanisms to reduce cravings and ease the discomfort associated with trying to quit drinking.

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, Ryoko Takayama and her team offer specialized acupuncture treatments for people struggling with alcohol dependence. These treatments are grounded in evidence-based approaches designed to address alcohol-related symptoms effectively.

By stimulating certain acupuncture points, practitioners aim to regulate accumbal dopamine levels which play a crucial role in addiction behaviors. This method not only helps curb the urge for alcohol but also supports overall mental well-being during the recovery process.

Visit us at for more information about incorporating acupuncture into your journey towards sobriety.

Acupuncture’s Role in Reducing Alcohol Intake

Acupuncture Needle Insertion On Upper Back for alcoholism

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, Ryoko Takayama knows firsthand how acupuncture can be a powerful tool for those struggling with alcohol dependence. Research shows that targeting specific acupoints helps reduce alcohol intake significantly.

This approach is not just about managing symptoms; it’s about addressing the root cause of the craving.

Acupuncture sessions at our clinic focus on balancing the body’s energy and reducing the urge to drink. Through precise needle placement, we help our clients find a sense of calm and relief from the compulsion associated with alcohol abuse.

Our goal is to support each individual through their journey toward recovery, making positive changes that last a lifetime.

Acupuncture’s Effect on Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Man suffering from withdrawals

Dealing with alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be tough. Acupuncture offers hope. It’s shown to ease the symptoms for those fighting alcohol dependency. This method can reduce cravings and lessen the challenges of withdrawal, making it easier to move toward recovery.

Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, provides this kind of support. Our approach helps manage symptoms like anxiety and sleep disturbances associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Patients often find relief and a smoother path away from alcohol dependence through acupuncture therapy.

The Impact of Acupuncture on Physical Withdrawal Signs

Woman suffering from withdrawals

Acupuncture helps ease physical withdrawal signs for those battling alcohol dependence. Our sessions at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, have shown promising results. We focus on specific acupoints like ST36 and HT7.

These points are key to reducing symptoms like shaking hands, sweating, and anxiety that come with quitting alcohol.

Ryoko Takayama leads our expert team, using techniques proven to decrease cortisol and ACTH levels in the body during withdrawal. This approach not only lessens physical discomfort but also supports overall recovery by stabilizing vital stress hormones.

Through targeted electroacupuncture, we aim to provide relief from the intense physical signs of ethanol withdrawal, making the journey towards sobriety smoother for our clients.

The Influence of Acupuncture on Anxiety-Like Behavior During Withdrawal

Acupuncture has been found to reduce anxiety-related behaviors in rats during ethanol withdrawal. The involvement of the amygdaloid corticotropin-releasing factor and the tegmental-accumbal dopaminergic system contributes to the anxiolytic effects of acupuncture.

This indicates potential for acupuncture to address anxiety-like behavior during alcohol withdrawal, showing promise as an additional treatment option within national healthcare systems.

Link: Family Wellness Acupuncture

Acupuncture’s Role in Spatial Learning and Memory Impairment

Continuing from the influence of acupuncture on anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal, it is noteworthy that acupuncture shows potential in improving spatial learning and memory impairment associated with alcohol dependence.

Studies suggest that acupuncture may positively impact cognitive functions affected by chronic alcohol use disorders, providing a promising avenue for those seeking alternative therapies.

Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, offers evidence-based treatments targeting cognitive enhancement through acupuncture interventions.

Acupuncture has shown promise in improving spatial learning and memory impairment linked to alcoholism. This approach provides hope for individuals looking beyond traditional methods for addressing cognitive difficulties related to alcohol dependency.

With careful analysis and guidance from experts at Family Wellness Acupuncture, such as Ryoko Takayama based in Irvine CA, individuals can explore this innovative approach as part of their recovery journey.

Acupuncture’s Effect on Locomotor Sensitization

Moving on from spatial learning and memory, let’s dive into the impact of acupuncture on locomotor sensitization. Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA notes that acupuncture has been found to inhibit ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization in mice.

This suggests a potential role for acupuncture in reducing the development of increased sensitivity to alcohol-related stimuli, offering new hope for those struggling with alcohol dependence.

Ryoko Takayama underscores this by highlighting research showing that acupuncture can alter mRNA expression in the hippocampus, shedding light on the complex ways acupuncture may influence locomotor sensitization.

The Role of Acupuncture in the Activity of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

Acupuncture’s Influence on the Mesolimbic DA System

Acupuncture influences the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, a crucial brain pathway related to reward and motivation. Research indicates that acupuncture can modulate dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and other regions of this system.

Functional MRI studies have shown that acupuncture stimulation affects brain activation patterns linked to addiction-related behaviors, shedding light on its potential role in addressing alcoholism.

Family Wellness Acupuncture, located in Irvine CA and led by Ryoko Takayama, offers expertise in utilizing acupuncture for individuals dealing with alcohol-related problems.

Next: 11. Acupuncture’s Role in the Endocannabinoid System.

Acupuncture’s Role in the Endocannabinoid System

Acupuncture has been found to modulate the endocannabinoid system, influencing neurobiological responses related to alcohol addiction. Research indicates that acupuncture may regulate endocannabinoid signaling pathways involved in alcohol dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

This suggests a potential mechanism through which acupuncture could impact addictive behaviors and alleviate associated withdrawal effects.

A Look at Clinical Studies on Acupuncture for Alcoholism

After understanding acupuncture’s role in influencing the endocannabinoid system, it is crucial to examine its impact through clinical studies on treating alcoholism. Clinical studies have demonstrated that acupuncture significantly reduces alcohol craving and intake among individuals with alcohol dependence.

Furthermore, these studies reveal that acupuncture positively affects brain activation during alcohol abstinence self-efficacy, as evidenced by functional MRI scans. Importantly, auricular acupuncture and electroacupuncture have shown promising results in private practice and outpatient settings for treating alcoholism.

Notably, successful outcomes from these clinical trials underscore the potential of acupuncture as a valuable intervention for individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder.

Clinical studies on acupuncture for alcoholism have provided compelling evidence regarding its efficacy in reducing cravings and intake while positively influencing brain activity during periods of abstinence.

This information offers hope to those battling with alcohol dependence and underscores the value of exploring alternative treatments such as auricular and electroacupuncture offered at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA by Ryoko Takayama.


Can acupuncture help with alcoholism? Studies suggest it can reduce alcohol intake and relieve withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, targets specific acupoints on the body.

Don’t wait to begin your journey toward better health today! Choose Family Wellness Acupuncture and book your first appointment now by phone at (949) 836-2857 or online at

Have a question? Connect with us here:


1. What is acupuncture for alcoholism?

Acupuncture for alcoholism targets specific body points to help reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and support recovery in people struggling with excessive drinking.

2. How does acupuncture work to treat alcohol dependence?

It stimulates areas like the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens, affecting dopamine levels and reducing the urge to drink by influencing opioid receptors and GABA neurons involved in addiction.

3. Is there scientific proof that acupuncture helps with alcohol abuse?

Yes, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled studies found evidence suggesting acupuncture can be beneficial for those trying to stop drinking by improving physical dependence symptoms and reducing relapse rates.

4. Can anyone receive acupuncture treatment for substance abuse issues?

While many find it helpful, it’s best if a professional acupuncturist evaluates individuals first—especially since factors like personal health history play a critical role in determining suitability.

5. Does combining acupuncture with other treatments improve its effectiveness against alcoholism?

Indeed, pairing acupuncture detoxification with therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy or peer-to-peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous enhances outcomes by addressing both physiological and psychological aspects of addiction.

6. Are there any risks associated with using acupuncture to combat heavy drinking problems?

Generally considered safe when performed by qualified practitioners, minor side effects might occur; however, serious complications are rare—making it a viable option for many looking to manage their drinking problem effectively.



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