The practice of acupuncture was first recorded in ancient Chinese medicine, but it is believed to have been used as far back as the stone age to heal injuries and illness. The practice of acupuncture expanded to the United States in the early 1970s. Today, acupuncture is used in various settings, including addiction treatment centers, to treat chronic pain, multiple medical conditions, and symptoms related to detox and withdrawal.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a process in which very thin needles are inserted through your skin at strategic points in your body. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique used for balancing one’s “life force” or Chi, which is believed to flow through pathways in the body. By inserting needles into specific points along these pathways, or meridians, practitioners trained in the practice of acupuncture help to re-balance your positive energy flows.
In contrast, Western medicine views acupuncture points as places where the nerves, muscles, and connective tissue can be directly stimulated. Some believe this type of pinpoint stimulation may help to boost your body’s production of natural painkillers alleviating or reducing the need for prescription medications.
How Does Acupuncture Help with Addiction?
Overcoming addiction is an incredibly difficult journey. It often requires a variety of different approaches and methods to ensure success. However, an increasing number of studies show that acupuncture could potentially be a useful tool in treating addiction and helping you ease the unpleasant symptoms that often accompany detox. When used in conjunction with traditional mental health treatments such as counseling and group therapy, acupuncture can help you find relief from your cravings and provide you opportunities for increased success in sustaining a life of sobriety after completing addiction treatment.
Acupuncture is rapidly becoming a popular alternative method for treating many ailments, including addiction. Acupuncture treatments help to subdue cravings and provide relief for withdrawal symptoms that you may be struggling with. Although it is not entirely understood how acupuncture is effective in treating addiction, some research shows that acupuncture increases the level of endorphin in the nervous system. Endorphins act as the body’s natural painkiller. Therefore by increasing endorphin levels, acupuncture may help ease cravings and the physical and emotional pain you may experience during the early stages of rehab.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is not a cure for addiction, and it should not be the only treatment you use when attempting to achieve sobriety. However, it can be used as part of the many tools provided during addiction treatment. Acupuncture can be a highly valuable, holistic part of your relapse prevention plan. Not only can acupuncture help to reduce cravings and manage the chronic or acute pain that may come as part of treatment and recovery, but you can also use acupuncture to alleviate the mental health symptoms that come along with detox and recovery. Stress is one of the most common relapse triggers, and therefore, relapse prevention requires finding healthy ways to manage and relieve stress.
Researchers suggest that acupuncture can provide stress and anxiety relief when integrated as part of an overall stress management routine during your recovery. Acupuncture can also help treat depression. As substance use in depression often occurs, it is ideal when they are treated together. Using acupuncture to manage any underlying disorders you may have is essential in maintaining your long-term recovery.
Taking care of the body and getting proper sleep is crucial to relapse prevention. Unfortunately, sleep problems may threaten your addiction recovery. Several clinical studies support using acupuncture to treat insomnia, allowing for a holistic approach to disturbed sleep without using potentially addictive medication.
Rise in Malibu Is Here for Your Recovery Journey
Mental health providers, addiction treatment professionals, and many in the medical community agree that acupuncture is a low-risk alternative therapy that can significantly benefit you during your recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, contact our caring and compassionate team at Rise in Malibu today.