Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Auricular acupuncture is a good option for the treatment of smoking addiction as Việt Nam every year has more than 30,000 people die due to diseases caused by smoking, Asso.Prof Nguyễn Thị Tân, dean of Faculty of Traditional Medicine at Huế University of Medicine and Pharmacy, told Việt Nam News.
“With the technique, four one-millimetre or 1.5- millimetre needles are inserted into four acupuncture points on the external ear surface,” Tân said at the sideline of a conference on Saturday (August 12) on application of auricular acupuncture and hydro-acupuncture, in which vitamins and medicine are injected into body points for treatment.
The acupuncture needles stimulate the central nervous system to diminish cravings, she added.
Whenever addicts feel craving, they press acupuncture needles on the external ear surface when they are at home, Tân said.
Sixty-six per cent of 300 smoking addicts who voluntarily attended a study on using auricular acupuncture for treatment of smoking addiction, quit smoking after five sessoins of auricular acupuncture, she said.
These former addicts in the south central coast province of Quảng Nam got the auricular acupuncture once a week, she added.
The one-year study was done by her faculty in co-operation with Kyung Hee University in South Korea and Quảng Nam Province Department of Health. It started in July last year. It was sponsored by the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.
“It is simple for traditional medicine practitioners at ward or commune-based health stations nationwide to insert needles into the acupuncture points on the external ear surface if they are well trained,” Tân said.
This will help improve the effectiveness of smoking cessation among local residents and the burden of diseases caused by smoking, she said.
Moreover, health officials at health stations should provide counselling and educate about the harm of smoking, she added.
Speaking at the conference, Phạm Duy Xuân Phong of HCM City Traditional Medicine Association, said that auricular acupuncture is used to treat gastritis, asthma, cardiovascular disorder, among others.
Asso.Prof Dr Nguyễn Bá Quang, director of the National Hospital of Acupuncture, said that this technique also is applied to treat sleep disorders.
“If patients just have a simple sleep disorder, it takes one week or 10 days to cure,” Quang said, adding that many months of treatment are necessary for patients with more complex sleep disorders.
Effectiveness is higher if auricular acupuncture is co-ordinated with hydro-acupuncture, he added.
The HCM City Traditional Medical Institute’s doctors this year have been trained in these techniques, which are being applied to provide more options for patients in treatment.
Moreover, as trainers of traditional medicine for health facilities in the country’s southern and Central Highlands region, the institute’s doctors will train these techniques in order to strengthen treatment without medicine in the country. —VNS