Acupuncture is a form of alternative therapy that involves the insertion of very thin, sterile needles into specific pressure points throughout the body. Acupuncture is an ancient method of Chinese medicine, and has been utilized for centuries to treat a multitude of physical and psychological issues, including chronic pain and stress management. According to an article published by Mayo Clinic on the subject, “Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.” Western practitioners, on the other hand, view acupuncture points as areas that can stimulate muscle tissue and nerve endings, working to effectively eliminate pain.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery
There have been numerous studies conducted on the benefits of acupuncture as part of an integrated model of addiction treatment. One study, published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, highlights clinical trials in which this alternative treatment method proved effective for individuals who were struggling with nicotine, alcohol, opiate or cocaine addiction. The study found that acupuncture helped reduce psychological drug cravings, ultimately making the overall treatment experience more effective. Another article, published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and titled, “Acupuncture treatment for opiate addiction: A systematic review,” found that 33 years of accumulated literature focused on the efficacy of acupuncture as part of an integrated heroin addiction treatment plan pointed towards the undeniable benefit of this holistic methodology. Years of research point to the fact that acupuncture is effective as part of a comprehensive continuum of care, and that individuals who had access to this specific treatment method while in inpatient or residential rehab had higher long-term success rates when it came to maintaining their sobriety.
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There are many proven benefits when it comes to acupuncture, though the ways in which acupuncture positively impacts the individual will vary on a person-to-person basis.
Common associated benefits of acupuncture therapy include:
Stress reduction – Individuals who are new to sobriety often deal with extremely high stress levels for a number of reasons. Perhaps they are attempting to sort through the wreckage left behind while they were active in their addiction. Whatever the case may be, acupuncture has proven effective in significantly lowering stress levels by affecting the amount of stress hormones present in the system and moderating mood to increase feelings of happiness while reducing anxiety.
Headache relief – Persistent headaches are a common symptom of post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Acupuncture has been known to relieve tension headaches quickly, without the use of traditional pain medications. This non-invasive treatment option has also been shown to reduce migraine days, and might have long-term effects when utilized consistently.
An improved immune system – Of course, active addiction severely compromises the functionality of the physical body. Individuals who are new to sobriety are more prone to getting sick because their immune systems have been weakened so significantly. Acupuncture helps the body effectively fight off pathogens by bolstering immune system functionality. Some studies even show that acupuncture can help reduce the duration of an already existing cold (or any other illness).
Reduced drug cravings – Not only does acupuncture help reduce the overwhelming and disruptive psychological drug cravings that often lead to relapse, but this alternative form of treatment also facilitates detoxification, removing impurities from the system more quickly. Acupuncture also promotes tissue repair, expediting the overall healing process.
Increased focus and heightened energy levels – Many acupuncture patients report feeling more awake and energized, while experiencing a noticeable improvement in mental clarity. On the other hand, acupuncture can also be used to help individuals feel more relaxed and has been effective for those experiencing sleep-related issues like insomnia (which is another common symptom of post-acute withdrawal).
Relief from certain gastrointestinal or digestive issues – Many individuals who struggled with active addiction for an extended period of time experience digestive problems – problems that might be effectively remedied with acupuncture. There is an undeniable link between digestive health and overall well-being.
Pain relief – When it comes to long-term sobriety, non-invasive pain relief is absolutely essential. Individuals who participated in regular acupuncture therapy sessions reported a noticeable decrease in joint and muscle pain, as well as general feelings of physical discomfort.
Our Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Include
Acupuncture & Pain Management
At Immersion Recovery Center we put an emphasis on effective and non-invasive pain management techniques. Many of our clients come to us with pre-existing pain-related issues. Many individuals who are currently suffering at the hands of an opioid abuse disorder were initially prescribed a potent narcotic painkiller by a medical professional – one they took exactly as prescribed for an extended period of time. However, because opioid painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine are so extremely habit-forming, even taking these medications as prescribed can result in a substance dependency disorder that develops in a shockingly short period of time. Sadly, those who suffer from chronic pain and have developed an opioid addiction are essentially left in the lurch. They might try to cut back or quit on their own, only to find that the pain is overwhelming when it is not being “treated.” Constantly experiencing physical pain can also severely disrupt the recovery process.
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Immersion Recovery Center – Holistic Services
We offer a wide range of holistic services as part of our comprehensive and highly integrated addiction treatment plan.
Other holistic services that we provide include:
Massage therapy – Massage therapy involves a manipulation of the soft tissues throughout the body, and is a proven pain management technique.
Physical therapy – Some individuals who suffer from chronic, injury-based pain will require physical therapy. We have licensed physical therapists on staff.
Nutritional therapy – The food we eat has a lot to do with the way we feel – and heal. Our licensed nutrition therapists help clients learn what to eat and how to prepare nutritious and healing meals on their own.
Yoga therapy – Stretching helps immensely with pain management. Clients have the opportunity to participate in professionally led yoga classes at least several times every week.
Mindfulness meditation – Learning to stay present in the moment and stay grounded in the midst of pain is extremely beneficial. We offer mindfulness meditation courses to all of our clients.
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If you have been suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder of any severity, we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a fully integrated and carefully developed program of therapeutic and holistic addiction treatment, serving men and women of all ages in Southern Florida and all surrounding areas. For more information on our unique program, or to begin your own personal journey of healing today simply give us a call 24/7 at (888) 693-1604.