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National Addictions Management Service

Frequently Asked Questions

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​Frequently Asked Questions

What is acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to remove the blockages in qi (energy flow) and to restore health. 

How does acupuncture complement Western/addiction medicine? 

  • Acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which has been practised for thousands of years. 
  • Theories on addictive disorders from both Western medicine and TCM will be used in diagnosing and treating patients at NAMS Acupuncture Clinic. The treatment will focus on enhancing brain functions and improving physical symptoms, which can increase an individual’s chances of recovery from addictions and improve his/her  quality of life. 
  • It is important to note that acupuncture treatment for addictions is meant to complement and enhance existing medical or psychological treatment programmes for patients. 
  • Acupuncture is not meant to substitute primary treatment programmes. At NAMS, treatment for addictive disorders include medical evaluation, individual counselling, family therapy, psycho-education and support groups for patients and their families. NAMS also has an inpatient facility for patients who need to undergo detoxification and rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of acupuncture? 

According to “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials” , a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has shown therapeutic effect on alcohol dependence and substance dependence. It also helps to deal with physical and psychological distress associated with addictions such as depression.

What is the recommended duration for acupuncture treatment? 

An individualised treatment approach works best. Please speak to your acupuncturist regarding the recommended duration of treatment. 

What are the possible side effects of acupuncture?

Some patients may experience some side effects, including but not limited to:
  • Mild aching or tingling near treatment areas that could last for a few hours.
  • Drowsiness after treatment. If you do experience drowsiness, you are advised not to drive.
  • Minor bleeding or bruising after acupuncture.
  • Mild pain during treatment.
  • Dizziness, fainting or convulsion may occur in certain patients, particularly during the first treatment. 
If you experience any side effects after treatment, please inform the acupuncturist or nurse. 

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All addictions: 6-7326837, Gambling helpline: 1-800-6-668-668