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Jodi Sta. Maria on ACUDETOX: An Adjunct Treatment to Psychotherapy/Counseling

Jodi Sta. Maria on ACUDETOX: An Adjunct Treatment to Psychotherapy/Counseling


Southville Psychology Dean’s Lister and Acupuncture Detox Specialist, Ms. Jodi Sta. Maria facilitated a discussion on ACUDETOX: An Adjunct Treatment to Psychotherapy/Counseling. The talk is one of the series of activities comprising Southville’s annual celebration of Psychology Week. Ms. Sta Maria shared her gained knowledge, personal experiences, and general insights on ACUDETOX which now plays a major part in her venture as a mental health practitioner.

ACUDETOX, a nonverbal treatment pioneered by Dr. Michael Smith in 1985 aims to primarily aid addiction. It also treats psycho emotional issues and physical pains such as muscle sores and migraine. Yet, Ms. Sta. Maria explained that ACUDETOX is not a stand alone treatment, “It is not an alternative. It is best when combined with counseling and other treatment modalities”. In her talk she also shared that she was introduced to the treatment through experiencing it firsthand, “I was a patient before I became a specialist” she said. Few months after, she decided to undergo a formal training which took place in Dumaguete.

ACUDETOX is applied through the use of needles or magnets in the patient’s ear. It aims to target major ear points – Sympathetic Point for relaxation, Kidney Point for psychological fear, Liver Point for physiological functions, and Lung Point for letting go. Currently, there are around 200 Acupuncture Detox Specialists in the Philippines. Aspiring specialists are made up of people from the church, social workers, and educators. No prerequisites are required to becoming an Acupuncture Detox Specialist, “All you need to have is a heart of COMPASSION, a heart that genuinely wants to help people.”

Ms. Sta Maria has always dreamed of becoming a doctor hence she thought taking up Psychology would be the best pre-medical course to venture on. She also said that in the process of studying the field, she ended up understanding herself primarily, “I have worked with people from all walks of life and I want to be able to understand people so I can relate to them better”. She further elaborated how ACUDETOX and other psychological treatments functioned in her role as a mother, a psychology major, and as an actor:

As a mother…

“I have become more connected to him (Thirdy), understanding that keeping communication lines open will be beneficial in our relationship because of what I have learned in Psychology.”

As a Psychology Student…

“The increasing number of depression cases prompted me to do something about it. How? By gaining the tools, the knowledge, and the skills that I will be able to use later on.”

As an Actor…

“It is my duty to be able to create something from the past that will explain existing behaviors of today and in the future so that they can be justified. Psychology helped me to create backstories as I study and understand my roles.

After the discussion, Ms. Sta. Maria spearheaded the outreach program of the College of Psychology. She collaborated with the parents of CAA Daycare Center who are the beneficiaries of the outreach event. She also conducted the ACUDETOX treatment with the faculty members of SISC-College of Psychology hoping that it will spread awareness to those who may find it beneficial for both their physical and mental stability. The College of Psychology actively engages its students with informative seminars, engaging events, and challenging competitions that will prepare and hone them holistically.

For the full coverage of the talk, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMnh2eVcn9Q&t=1322s