In substance abuse recovery, there’s a remarkable tool gaining recognition for its effectiveness and holistic approach – acupuncture.
This ancient practice, deeply rooted in traditional Asian medicine, has proven to be an invaluable ally in modern, science-based treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.
If you’re curious, let’s dive into the fascinating world of acupuncture in recovery!
Understanding Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture, a practice that dates back thousands of years, involves the gentle insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, energy meridians.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, these meridians are like channels through which ‘Qi’ or life energy flows.
By stimulating these points, acupuncture aims to restore balance, promote healing, and enhance overall well-being.
The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol is widely used in addiction treatment.
This technique targets five specific points in the ear, each of which corresponds to the following:
- Nervous system
By addressing emotional instability, restlessness, and cravings, the NADA protocol effectively tackles common challenges experienced by individuals in recovery.
Types of Acupuncture Therapy
When it comes to addiction treatment, acupuncture is commonly categorized into two types: auricular acupuncture and body acupuncture.
Auricular or ear acupuncture involves strategically inserting needles into specific points on the external ear.
This technique is often used to curb cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms.
In body acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted into specific parts of the body according to the principles of Chinese medicine.
This form of acupuncture is commonly practiced to alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression.
What are Typical Acupuncture Points?
Acupuncture focuses on specific energy meridians related to addiction, such as those connected to the liver, lungs, and kidneys.
By stimulating these areas, it triggers the release of endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.
This helps with pain management, promotes calmness and joy, and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The Benefits of Acupuncture in Recovery
Reduces Withdrawal Symptoms
Acupuncture alleviates physical withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, headaches, and muscle pain.
Dealing with cravings can be incredibly challenging throughout addiction recovery.
Luckily, acupuncture has shown promising results in reducing these cravings by explicitly addressing the addiction-related areas of the brain.
Moreover, it can help alleviate anxiety and those overwhelming cravings accompanying the journey.
Recovering from alcohol and drug misuse is a challenging and emotional journey.
Acupuncture helps soothe clients to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and support overall well-being by calming the nervous system.
Aids in Pain Management
For centuries, acupuncture has been a powerful tool to alleviate chronic pain.
Acupuncture effectively reduces and manages acute and chronic pain through its influence on neurotransmitters in the brain.
This proves to be particularly crucial for individuals in recovery from physical trauma or injury, which might have played a role in their addiction.
Withdrawal often leads to mood swings, a common side effect. Moreover, they can be an indication of addiction.
Thankfully, acupuncture relieves anxiety, depression, and other negative moods often accompanying recovery.
Additionally, it helps restore balance to the neuroendocrine system, responsible for regulating our emotions, resulting in a sense of calmness and inner peace.
Enhances Immune System
During withdrawal and addiction recovery, the immune system is weakened due to the stress of detox.
Acupuncture can significantly boost the immune system by improving circulation and eliminating toxins from the body.
This, in turn, helps protect against infections and illnesses, facilitating a successful recovery.
Clients are encouraged to stay still during acupuncture sessions and concentrate on breathing.
This promotes mindfulness and self-awareness, allowing recovery individuals to understand better their thoughts and emotions, which ultimately supports the healing process.
What Happens During an Acupuncture Session?
After the needles are attached to the patient, they typically remain in place for approximately 30 minutes.
During this time, the patient may experience different sensations, such as warmth or tingling, and even achieve a state of relaxation.
When the session concludes, the needles are removed, and the patient feels relaxed and revitalized.
Alternatives to Using Needles
If you’re afraid of needles, don’t worry!
These methods stimulate the same meridians without using needles, providing a comfortable option for those with needle phobia.
Acupressure involves applying targeted pressure to specific points on the body, while laser acupuncture uses low-level laser therapy.
Both techniques offer a gentle and non-invasive way to experience the benefits of traditional acupuncture.
So, if you’re looking for alternative therapies, these options are accessible to a broader range of people.
Centric Behavioral Health: Your Partner for Acupuncture in Recovery
Centric Behavioral Health is committed to providing comprehensive addiction rehab across multiple facilities in the USA.
Our focus goes beyond addressing the symptoms of addiction.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us.
Let’s explore together how acupuncture, a practice deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and confirmed by modern science, can be an integral part of your recovery.