Lifestyle

This 30-Minute Ear Acupuncture Can Cure Addiction

Healing Minds PH hosts acudetox parties so that you can enjoy them at home with your friends.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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I love a good out-of-body-experience. Promise me transcendence and I’m in, whatever it is, whether achieved naturally, or err…otherwise. Which is how I found myself doing ear acupuncture in an acudetox party, or sitting on a sofa while someone else stuck needles on my ear. 

They acudetox treatment, which targets five points on each ear, is meant to help one reach a higher level of mind, body, and spirit wellness. Each needle on each point has a function, for example: needle one would be for your all around rest and relaxation, needle two would be to open your heart and release your chakra, then needles three to five would be for your kidney, liver, and lungs. But it also reflects psychoemotionally—so that somehow you also benefit in behaviorally, as it frees deep-rooted feelings like fear and anger.

The first needle goes. And you feel it going in, like a large red ant has greedily chomped on your ear. But also,  just as instantaneously, the pain subsides.

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So I’m propped up on a sofa, calm as a butterfly, when the first needle goes. And you feel it going in, like a large red ant has greedily chomped on your ear. But also,  just as instantaneously, the pain subsides. “How does that feel,” Gisa asks, and I want to say painful, but now the pain is gone. The lady with the needles is Gisa Paredes of Healing Minds PH, who started practicing acupuncture after she herself underwent its treatment.

She tells us about one of her patients, who suffered from anxiety, and whose first session had her crying for 45 minutes, a cathartic release. And then, after continues progress with acudetox, it allowed her to slowly become less dependent on medicine.

My body refuses to do any work in this moment, it just wants to shut up, and sign off.

As we go through each needle, Gisa is gentle with her hands. Some points hurt more than others. For example, my lung point hurt the most, she says the needle even had a hard time going in, which was a surprise for me because I personally think my liver is more out of shape. And then, when we are done with all ten points on both ears, I lay my head back and relax.

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It’s amusing that there are needles pointing out of my ears from all directions, and at first I have the energy to hastily document it. But later on—it’s not that I’m tired, or sleepy—but my body just surrenders to complete relaxation. I am slumped on the couch, and even willing it, every joint and muscle in my body is slackened off, like I’m cast into some wonderful spell. The girl who was administered after me is also entering this zen state of mind and body, and we’re both in disbelief that it feels so good.

“Wow, I am so relaxed,” she says out loud. “How long does it stay on?” Gisa responds, “About 30 minutes,” and the girl replies, “Pwede bang 24 hours?” I try to laugh in agreement but it’s such an effort to get my mouth to even move. My body refuses to do any work in this moment, it just wants to shut up, and sign off.

Some points hurt more than others. For example, my lung point hurt the most, she says the needle even had a hard time going in, which was a surprise for me because I personally think my liver is more out of shape.

In the room, as one person after another is getting their ears pierced, the place goes absolutely quiet. Even when someone tries to speak, they do so in a drawl, putting effort into figuring sentences together. It must be quite a sight, I  think, all these catatonic bodies in a living room.

The acudetox treatment originated in the Bronx, and was used initially to treat substance abuse and addiction. But practitioners later discovered that it had other benefits too, including treating depression as well as trauma. It also works for hypertension, muscle soreness, shortness of breath, high cholesterol, and overall low mood.

When my 30 minutes are up and its time for the needles to come off, it feels like my body was asleep for hours, and a stretch feels really good.

Healing Minds PH is now making it more accessible to people, by hosting acudetox parties, so that you can do this with your friends at the comfort of your home. Gisa partners with Karla Reyes of The Plaza, who spins a menu of healthy food: tuna on couscous, tortilla with salsa and tatziki, vegetable sticks over humus, or fresh spring rolls. There’s also a detox juice bar that presses fresh fruits and vegetables on the spot.

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When my 30 minutes are up and its time for the needles to come off, it feels like my body was asleep for hours, and a stretch feels really good. Overall, Gisa recommends doing acudetox for a minimum of four sessions, and if coupled with a healthy lifestyle is geared to make you better all around. Consistent acupuncture also allows the body to adjust. But if you’re going to do it for the first time, or if needles make you break out in cold sweat, this acudetox party is a great way to ease into it with friends…you might as well make it fun.

 

Acudetox parties cost P20,000 for 10 people, and it includes the home service treatment plus a juice bar setup with healthy snacks. For more information, visit www.HealingMindsPH.com.

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Kara Ortiga
Kara Ortiga is a writer and the editor in chief of Supreme.
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