Engaging in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol can mean trying a lot of approaches. Often a combination of ways to help achieve and maintain sobriety proves to be helpful. Looking into holistic alternatives can help center a person’s mind when they begin recovery. It can also jumpstart their recovery when they are running low on steam.
One popular holistic approach to recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol involves using acupuncture. While the connection between this practice and recovery from addiction might not seem obvious, the two have a long history of working hand-in-hand.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced since 2500 B.C. It involves lying on a comfortable table while the practitioner inserts very thin needles into the body at strategic points. Typically five to twenty needles are used per session. They stay inserted for about ten to twenty minutes while the person lies still on the table.
For someone new to acupuncture, they may associate needles with painful shots at a doctor’s office. Acupuncture needles are a different breed. Their size and the skillful way they are inserted means most people feel either little or no discomfort. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.
Sometimes people experiencing acupuncture listen to soothing music while the procedure takes place. They may be asked to focus on a positive thought or picture a peaceful image while the needles are in place. Often having the mind focused on something positive or a goal the person has in mind helps accompany the effects of holistic treatments such as acupuncture.
What Medical Conditions Is Acupuncture Used For?
Practitioners use acupuncture to treat a variety of medical conditions, including:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Respiratory disorders
- Nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and post-operative conditions
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Effects of a stroke
- Morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms
A person who developed an addiction to pain pills due to experiencing chronic pain may be particularly interested in trying acupuncture. Its known ability to help with pain allows the person to have assistance in combating their pain while working simultaneously to maintain their sobriety.
How Does Acupuncture Assist with Addiction Treatment?
In 1972, a doctor in Hong Kong observed that using acupuncture to treat opiate addiction could be quite effective. Dr. Wen combined the electrical stimulation of four body points and two ear points, resulting in relief of opioid withdrawal symptoms in those who suffered from opiate addiction. By 1985, many Western countries began using this same approach.
In 1996, the World Health Organization cited 64 different medical problems that can be treated with acupuncture. This list includes treatment for drug abuse. As the treatment community became more open to holistic approaches, acupuncture addiction recovery has become more common these days.
Currently, over 250 hospitals located in the U.S. and U.K. include acupuncture addiction recovery as part of their approach to treatment. They typically use an adapted version of Dr. Wen’s instructions. The current method often involves inserting five needles. Patients report relief from withdrawal symptoms and are less likely to experience drug cravings. In addition, those receiving acupuncture treatments have a higher rate of sticking with their long-term treatment programs.
Acupuncture Addiction Recovery Advantages
Some of the advantages to using acupuncture to assist in treating addiction include the fact that it helps prevent opiate relapse. Acupuncture is a simple procedure that can be done in a treatment provider’s office. There are no side effects. The fact that no potentially dangerous medication is utilized as a part of the procedure also means that the practice is safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Life proves stressful enough. When you factor in a person trying to manage their sobriety on top of it, stress management becomes paramount. Many patients report a reduction in their stress levels when they use acupuncture addiction recovery sessions. The high number of people dealing with anxiety on a daily basis makes this benefit of acupuncture a real plus.
Acupuncture Addiction Recovery Treatments — How Often Do I Receive Them?
The amount of treatments varies according to the client. The practitioner typically does an assessment of the person’s needs and treatment goals. This may include taking your medical history, taking your pulse, examining your tongue, and taking stock of other physical and medical traits of the client.
The practitioner will then formulate an assessment of your needs and discuss how best to approach your individualized plan. The treatments may take place once or twice a week and may continue for several weeks or months.
Acupuncture in Phoenix
Continuum Recovery Center understands that the number of different approaches to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can seem overwhelming. We believe a person should explore many options for their recovery treatment. Our deep understanding of holistic approaches means we can answer any questions you have about using acupuncture to jumpstart or maintain your sobriety.
If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you, please contact us today. Our expert clinicians are happy to explain your options and help you in your well-deserved recovery journey. Let us help you get started moving forward today.