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Acupuncture for Addiction: How It Can Help You Recover

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Acupuncture has played a medicinal role for thousands of years. It originated in Chinese medicine and is still used to cure diseases, relieve pain, and improve overall health.

But it wasn’t until the late 20th century that acupuncture made its way to many other areas of the world.

Addiction has been around just as long as acupuncture. But the United States inaugurated the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse less than 30 years ago.

There is a myriad of non-traditional therapies available to help you recover from your addiction.

In particular, acupuncture for addiction will help your mind, body, and spirit during recovery from addiction.

Keep reading to learn more about acupuncture and how it helps during recovery from addiction.

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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical practice. It consists of stimulating specific points on the body, usually with a needle (or needles) penetrating the skin. 

It is used to alleviate pain and nausea and help with a variety of health conditions.

There are many specific target areas where a professional acupuncturist will insert needles. Here some of the commonly-used points of entry.

Liver Point

The liver point curbs aggression and removes toxins from the blood and the liver.

Lung Point

Acupuncture on the lung point alleviates feelings of grief and improves lung function.

Shen Men

Shen Men is often referred to as the “spirit gate,” as it decreases anxiety.

Kidney Point

Acupuncture treatment on the kidney point eases fears and repairs vital organs.

The Sympathetic (or Autonomic) Point

The autonomic point soothes the nervous system and promotes relaxation.

The Spleen Channel

This channel treats hormonal disorders like digestion, irregular menstruation, and immune disorders.

The Bladder Channel

There are many points along the bladder channel. One, in particular, B14, helps conditions relating to the pericardium. That includes anxiety and stress, depression, panic attacks, and palpitations.

Acupuncture as medical science is based around the idea that the human body has meridians spread throughout it. When these meridians get stimulated, they increase the flow of life energy (Qi). 

How Can Acupuncture Help with Addiction?

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Acupuncture for alcoholism and other drug addictions is mentally and physically beneficial. Addiction is a disease, and must always be treated with great care.

That’s why acupuncture should be combined with other forms of treatment. Group counseling, support groups, and individual therapy are great additions to acupuncture. It is both cost-effective and safe and is an excellent addition to any substance abuse treatment plan. 

Some of the ways acupuncture can help are:

  • Increase patient retention in rehab
  • East physical pain
  • East withdrawal symptoms
  • Help regulate sleep
  • Help reduce cravings
  • Decrease anxiety and stress
  • Help people regulate emotions

Withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and stress are some of the many reasons why people feel the need to relapse. 

With a safe and effective way to treat those intense emotions, cravings, and physical discomfort, an addict in recovery has a much better chance of success.

Concerning Drug Use

The dopaminergic system in your brain contains dopaminergic pathways. Those pathways are the sets of projection neurons in your mind. They synthesize and release the neurotransmitter, dopamine.

These pathways are involved in many functions of the brain, like learning, and reward. They’re also involved with motivation, executive function, and neuroendocrine control.

When people use drugs, those drugs positively reinforce continued use. They do so by inducing feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Alternatively, those same drugs suppress withdrawal symptoms, like dysphoria. 

Acupuncturists use their practice to decrease negative and positive reinforcements attained by drugs. Acupuncture, therefore, can reduce drug use by reducing the amount of dopamine released when a particular drug is used. That results in a diminished “high,” which only turns users off from using the medicine again.

Plus, acupuncture can help decrease the withdrawal properties of distress and dysphoria. Those withdrawal symptoms are strong reasons why people continue to use drugs again and again.

Some acupuncturists believe that the treatment increases the release of dopamine. As a result, it improves mood and alleviates withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for an individual to continue with recovery.

Either way, it’s safe to say that acupuncture provides help with drug addiction. It does so by alleviating feelings like stress, depression, and anxiety, decreasing the severity of withdrawal symptoms, and repairing the body.

The Whole Person

Any professional center for addiction treatment will look at the whole person of every individual. The idea is to look at all aspects of a person and their life to plan and implement the best treatment going forward.

Recovery centers treat the whole person. They do so by improving mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Holistic centers provide safe and beneficial alternatives to medication and individual counseling.

Acupuncture can be part of a fantastic treatment plan that addresses a person’s specific needs for mental health and recovery. While it’s not a standalone treatment for addiction, acupuncture is an excellent addition to complete any full recovery strategy.

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Acupuncture for Addiction

Facing your addiction head-on and making a choice to overcome it is both challenging and admirable. 

The treatment that you seek should coincide with the new life you want to lead by supporting you in all of the many aspects of your life.

When it comes to overcoming addiction, the greatest environment you can become a part of is one that is judgment-free, supportive, and full of trained and experienced care providers. 

In addition to acupuncture for addiction, we offer guided meditation, yoga, creative arts therapies, fitness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a handful of other essential addiction treatment services that will help you on your journey to recovery.

Are you ready to get your life back? Contact us today so that we can hold your hand down an empowering path to recovery!