Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Needling Addiction

Having worked in in-patient psych facilities as a nurse, I often wanted to do a little community acupuncture while the patients were in group therapy. The big problem (especially in KY where we received and "F" for mental health) is insurance companies don't want to pay for the minimum proven therapies, let alone anything extra like acupuncture. 28-day programs are reserved for those with tri-care, those with MDs who want to milk every possible day out of Medicaid/Medicare benefits (whether the patient needs it or not), or the affluent. Luckily, there are some progressive thinkers who see acupuncture as a useful tool for fighting addiction and helping prevent relapse.

Acupuncture-based pilot program helps fight addictions

Mike Allen had tried to stop drinking before.

And he'd succeeded for a few months at a time. But he always went back to the bottle.

That was until he was arrested on a drug charge, served a short time in jail as part of a probation sentence and then started receiving acupuncture this spring while on probation.

Allen said the acupuncture helped with the physical symptoms of withdrawal and supplemented the work he was doing through recovery groups and counseling.

Allen was one of 30 clients of three agencies who received acupuncture as part of a voluntary pilot program started in March. Fort Collins licensed acupuncturist Abbye Silverstein treated the clients in the joint venture of Larimer County Community Corrections, the state 8th Judicial Probation Department and Larimer County Department of Human Services.

A high percentage of offenders who have been through the criminal justice system have substance abuse problems, said Les Rudner, probations supervisor for the state 8th Judicial Probation department.

"We were seeing offenders with substance abuse problems coming back through the system again and again. We were trying to look at what we could do that we weren't doing now to prevent present relapses. When I started doing the research, one thing that came up was acupuncture," Rudner said.

Research in other communities has shown that offenders who receive acupuncture as part of a recovery program were more likely to complete treatment for substance abuse. And there were lower re-arrest rates among those who received acupuncture in court-mandated programs.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mentor Spotlight

The word about acupuncture facelifts is getting around thanks to the New York Times, and two of my mentors, Mary Elizabeth Wakfield (Constitutional Facial Renewal) and Martha Lucus (Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture), are mentioned. This comes just in time for my post-holiday promotions and will make a good addition to in-office literature.

Skin Deep
Hold the Chemicals, Bring on the Needles
Published: December 13, 2007

JANE BECKER, a composer and solo pianist, celebrated her 50th birthday at the dermatologist, paying $1,500 for shots of Restylane and Botox. But three months later, their wrinkle-smoothing effects wore off. So, she turned to a less-artificial youth tonic: facial acupuncture.

Like many women who have tried acupuncture in pursuit of beauty, Ms. Becker hoped that having needles strategically inserted into her face would be cheaper and last longer than her birthday injections.

Ms. Becker, now 53, started with 10 sessions in five weeks ($1,000) and has gone for monthly maintenance since ($105 a session).

Acupuncture didn’t end up being much of a bargain, but it pays in other ways, she said.
“I can really see a difference in my face,” said Ms. Becker, who sees Steven Sonmore, a licensed acupuncturist in Minneapolis. “It looks younger, smoother, brighter and uplifted.”

Early adopters like Ms. Becker first spread word of the virtues of a so-called acupuncture face-lift. Then before the 2005 Academy Awards, a crew of facial acupuncturists descended on Soho House, a makeshift celebrity hangout in Los Angeles, and A-listers jumped at the chance to transform their skin from the inside out.

Now, thanks to more robust marketing, cosmetic acupuncture has caught the attention of more of the wrinkled public. Its holistic approach appeals in particular to women who want to slow signs of aging, but don’t want to undergo surgery or to inject chemicals.

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