Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese holistic healing practice based on the belief that all living beings have a life force known as “qi” or “chi” that flows through the body’s pathways or meridians. During acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted into specific points along these meridians. The process is believed to rebalance the flow of energy throughout the body.
Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 2,500 and as much as 5,000 years, dating back to ancient Chinese medicine. It’s an alternative therapy that has grown in popularity in recent years and has proven effective as an adjunct therapy to traditional treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders.
How Acupuncture Helps
A natural procedure with no side effects, acupuncture is sometimes used as a complementary therapy in substance abuse and mental health treatment.
Acupuncture can help reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms during drug detox by stabilizing the body’s nervous and endocrine systems and restoring its natural balance. Western medicine primarily attributes this to the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemical messages that produce feelings of calm and well-being and may reduce cravings. Eastern medicine, on the other hand, holds that an imbalance in the body’s energy is the source of illness, and that restoring free and balanced energy, “chi,” is the path to health.
Three main characteristics of acupuncture enhance overall functioning:
- As a non-verbal intervention, acupuncture helps reach clients who need complementary approaches to talk therapy.
- Acupuncture helps reduce agitation and anxiety while promoting a sense of calmness and receptivity.
- Acupuncture can help develop an inner meditative core, even among the most resistant or fearful client.
Since many clients who come to Promises for treatment for addiction and mental health disorders also suffer from stress and pain, offering acupuncture in conjunction with traditional drug rehab treatment is useful.
How Acupuncture Works
During an acupuncture session with an experienced acupuncture provider, clients lie on a table and the acupuncturist inserts tiny, hair-thin sterilized needles at various acupuncture points on the body. These tiny needles are then manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation — painlessly — to help rebalance the flow of chi in the body.
- Stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins in the body
- Influences the body’s autonomic nervous system
- Influences the release of substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain (neurotransmitters)
- Influences the body’s electrical currents
- Stimulates circulation in the body
Conditions Acupuncture May Be Useful For
During drug detox, acupuncture may help alleviate withdrawal symptoms as well as physical pain to help clients overcome insomnia and assist in easing certain emotional problems. In addition to alcohol and drug addiction, acupuncture can be useful as an adjunct treatment for:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Common cold
- Dental pain
- Labor pain
- Low back pain
- Myofascial pain, caused by spasms in the muscles
- Nausea due to post-surgical pain, chemotherapy or pregnancy
- Tension headaches
- Quitting smoking
To learn more about Acupuncture, call 844-876-5568