Acupuncture sessions offered to patients at IMH

People with addiction woes may now turn to acupuncture for extra help under a new service offered by the Institute of Mental Health. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR
People with addiction woes may now turn to acupuncture for extra help under a new service offered by the Institute of Mental Health. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR

People with addiction woes may now turn to acupuncture for extra help under a new service offered by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Acupuncture is said to help ease addiction cravings, withdrawal symptoms and anxiety. The pilot service, which is backed by the Health Ministry, is offered on top of patients' regular Western-based treatment and IMH will also conduct its own study on the treatment's effectiveness.

A typical patient needs at least 10 sessions, each lasting around half an hour.

Said associate professor Wong Kim Eng, clinical director of the National Addictions Management Service which runs the new service: "Some patients may be inclined towards acupuncture as a drug-free, reasonably-priced supplementary treatment with possible benefits and low side effects."