Unless you live in a cave, it’s hard to ignore the ongoing news about Lindsay Lohan’s trouble with the law. She’s in jail; she’s out. She has to go to drug treatment; but that got cut short because she was okay. She’s flunked a drug test; she’s in jail; she’s out. She now has to do community service. No, wait, that’s Paris Hilton. It’s hard to keep them apart; they both need help
With each new report about Lindsay’s woes, I can’t help but think about what I would do if I had her on my acupuncture table. I have no doubt that acupuncture could help Lindsay, as it has helped thousands (or perhaps millions) of other people dealing with addictions.
Perhaps the most appropriate treatment for Lindsay would be a protocol developed by the National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA). The NADA protocol involves ear acupuncture, which is simple and can treat a large number of people quickly. Ear acupuncture works a little bit like foot reflexology, in which a map of the entire human body is found in the ear. A Western explanation is that each of the five ear acupuncture points used in this protocol are connected to nerve pathways that alter brain chemistry to calm anxiety.
The NADA protocol was developed for the treatment of addictions, and I have used it in my clinic to help patients who are recovering from chemical abuse, eating disorders, or who want to quit smoking. The NADA ear protocol has also been used with good results for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), not only with victims and relief workers after the disasters in Haiti, New Orleans and at Ground Zero. More recently, this protocol is being used to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Researchers have found that ear acupuncture offers effective trauma relief in the form of reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, and a decrease in the need for prescription drugs.
Clearly, a few sessions of acupuncture are not going to solve all of Lindsay’s problems. According to Chinese medicine, living to excess—whether it’s working too hard or partying too much—damages the Chinese Kidney system. All the vital substances in your body are stored in your Kidney, including Yin, Yang, and Essence, which is something akin to your body constitution. Basically, your Kidneys hold the genetic blueprint of who you are and how healthy and strong you will be. In Lindsay’s case, her lifestyle and various addictions have only served to deplete her Kidney and impair her overall health.
In addition, in Chinese medicine, the Heart is the organ system that houses the Shen, which encompasses the mind, memory, consciousness, and spirit. While these activities are attributed to the brain in Western medicine, we tend to intuitively know that the Heart is also an organ of feeling or spirituality. In fact, much of our language about the Heart refers to it as an organ of feeling. Terms such as someone “tugging on your heartstrings”, “knowing things in your heart” or having a “broken heart” are speaking to an emotional organ that is more than a muscle that simply pumps blood. The upheaval, dysfunction, and unhappiness in Lindsay’s life have only served to damage her Shen.
If Lindsay were coming to me for acupuncture, I’d start with some ear acupuncture. I’d also do some body points to strengthen her Kidney and calm her Shen. So, Lindsay, check it out—a few pokes may be just what you need.