The Student Counseling Center at Colorado State University-Pueblo, which offers a variety of resources to meet psychological needs, has recently adopted an unconventional method to aid students.
Acudetox, a form of acupuncture, was implemented by the counseling center at the beginning of the fall semester. CSU-Pueblo students were able to experience it firsthand at the university’s Health and Wellness Fair Oct. 14.
The method uses small, sterilized, disposable, stainless steel needles that are inserted in specific locations on the ear using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol. Subjects may sit or lie down for approximately 30-45 minutes until the needles are removed. The procedure is supposed to have a calming, relaxing effect.
A handout, provided to students before the session, gave a detailed overview of the points: the sympathetic point, Shen Men, the kidney point, the liver point, and the lung point. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the five points will increase the body’s ability to produce endorphins in addition to other healing chemicals.
The kidney point is associated with growth, development, reproduction, courage, intelligence and the aging process, while the liver point is linked to resolving anger and balancing body systems and emotions. Lastly, the lung point is associated with respiration, the grieving process and protecting the body from disease.
Acupuncture has been used to China, its country of origin, for thousands of years. The website for the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences states that acupuncture has its roots in Daoist tradition, which observes the transfer of energy.
However, acupuncture was not introduced to the United States until the 1970s. According to Marla Lucero, a licensed professional counselor and Acudetox specialist at CSU-Pueblo, the practice was originally used to treat patients battling opiate addiction.
Most recently, Accudetox has been used in the US to treat anxiety, reduce cravings and relieve stress.
Those receiving Accudetox may be instructed to focus on a specific issue they are dealing with, whether it is an unrelenting desire for sugary foods, an emotional issue or physical pain. Subjects may experience a slight pinch as the needles are inserted.
Trevor Hardin, a senior social work major at CSU-Pueblo, tried Acudetox for the first time at the Health and Wellness Fair. He said that though the needles stung a little bit as they were inserted, he enjoyed the experience overall.
“It was worth the sting,” he explained. “From the moment all of the needles were in, I felt a sense of calm and peace. I also felt really sleepy.”
Hardin said he would recommend the experience to everyone, as the it made him feel better after having a bad morning.
Lucero mentioned that those interested in an Acudetox session can schedule an appointment on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays at the counseling center in PSY 236. She is the only counselor who is licensed to perform the procedure, and is available on those days from 9-4 p.m. The first session for students is free, and any following sessions are $10.
Edited by: Theresa Wolf
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