Acupuncture for addiction is becoming an increasingly popular therapy. It is not a cure for addiction, but it does help to reduce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which in turn makes it more likely that someone will successfully get through the first few days of addiction treatment without turning back to their substance of choice.
What Is Acupuncture and How Does It Work?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries in Asia. An acupuncturist uses very thin, sterile needles to stimulate certain points on the body. According to the tradition of Chinese medicine, certain points on the body are connected to each other, and also to different organ systems. Energy flows from one point to the next like a channel. If any point is blocked, the energy will also be blocked, and problems can occur. To open up healing, the points must all be opened. In so-called “Western medicine,” terms like “energy flow” to describe what is happening during acupuncture are not widely accepted, though it does seem that acupuncture needles stimulate the neurological system and prompt a positive chain reaction. Blood flow to the area may increase, and the entire immune system could be alerted to the stimulus in the area of the needle, which further increases healing. Many people recovering from addiction report that acupuncture is a beneficial treatment option. Acupuncture therapy does not take a long time, and any risks associated with it are practically non-existent, making it a very safe treatment option. Many people who have received acupuncture for addiction also report that they barely feel the needles; however, acupressure (applying pressure instead of needles to certain points for stimulation) is a viable alternative for those who are needle phobic.
Who Benefits Most From Acupuncture for Addiction?
Withdrawal symptoms for substances like heroin can be very uncomfortable. Acupuncture can help relieve these symptoms, which can mimic the flu and include digestive upset and extreme muscle and joint pain. Drugs like heroin naturally relieve pain, so muscle pain is just one way that your body tries to communicate its craving for the drug. In order to successfully quit drugs, you have to fight these withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture for addiction is one way to manage them. Quitting is not pleasant, but acupuncture can help relieve symptoms experienced during withdrawal. Many people try unsuccessfully to quit substance addiction on their own, only to give in when the pain becomes too much. When you are surrounded by people who are there to support you through your withdrawal symptoms, you have the best chance of kicking the habit and entering recovery. Acupuncture can be used to relieve virtually any ailment, including digestive problems, headaches, and muscle and joint pain. It is useful when used in conjunction with over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms, along with hot baths, exercise and good nutrition. Acupuncture is also a good way to relax and “tune up” your body every now and then and to naturally release a small amount of endorphins as a simple way to pamper yourself throughout your recovery journey.