THE BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR ADDICTION RECOVERY: A CASE STUDY
Addiction usually results from long term and excessive consumption of what the person considers to be pleasurable substances and/or engagement in activities which affect the overall functioning of an individual. According to a medical dictionary, addiction refers to the physiological or psychological dependence on certain practices or substances that has gone beyond one’s control. Some people would consider that addiction occurs when the substance or activity controls the person and not the other way around.
Addiction is classified into two types depending on the item which is being addicted to. It can either be substance addition or behavioural addiction. While substance addition refers to addiction towards harmful substances like cocaine, nicotine and alcohol, behavioural addiction meanwhile refers to extreme obsession towards engaging in activities like gambling, internet browsing, exercise to the extreme and sex.
At some point in time, users may not be aware that their behaviours are getting out of control and it already causes problems to other people. Aside from their inability to control their consumption or usage of certain substances, and incapacity to control themselves from engaging in certain activities, addicts have become so highly dependent on these substances to cope with their daily lives. When a person is addicted to a certain substance, they continue using it regardless of its adverse impacts on themselves and others around them.
According to research, frequent use of certain substances or undertaking certain substances provides pleasure to the brain. As time passes by, the user realises that the higher dose he takes, the greater pleasure he derives. Consequently, his tolerance with the substance increases also. According to experts, the higher the tolerance level is, the higher is the risk for addiction. In the long run, the user no longer finds pleasure in taking substances. More often than not, users are taking substances to prevent suffering from its withdrawal symptoms. Intake of substances can help them feel normal.
To treat addiction, the user must first acknowledge that he is actually suffering from addiction. Treatment normally involves joining in self-help groups, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotherapy. Through time, acupuncture has emerged to be one of the most effective complementary treatments for addiction.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Explains Addiction
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine, whereby the insertion of special needles into the acupuncture points of the body, which lie along the meridians (pathways of energy) is considered to adjust the energy or qi of the body. Stimulating the flow of energy or qi alters many aspects of physical and mental functioning. In fact, it helps in promoting a natural process of detoxifying from substance abuse and addiction.
Those who practice and believe in the system of traditional Chinese medicine have different explanations with regards to the occurrence of addiction. The explanation is solely based on the concept of balancing the yin and the yang. Addicts are said to have yin deficiency. This imbalance of energy results to the feelings desperation and emptiness which drive addicts to use, consume and abuse. However, it only results to yin depletion which leads to further desperation.
Acupuncture Deals With Addiction
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which most often uses acupuncture, as well as specific herbs, is believed to be effective in reducing cravings and in promoting calmness and relaxation. Research shows that acupuncture actually helps in alleviating anxiety as well as in reducing the frequency of occurrence and intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Whether you are addicted to your morning coffee or you cannot control your use of heroine, acupuncture promises effective and natural process of detoxifying your body from substances.
According to research, auricular acupuncture is beneficial in treating various forms of addiction which include alcohol, heroin, morphine, cocaine, crack, methadone, caffeine, coffee, tea and even the use of pain medications such as oxycotin, hydrocodone and vicoden.
The NADA Protocol
According to the NADA Protocol, there are five acupuncture points which can be managed to treat addiction. These are the sympathetic point, kidney point, liver point, lung point and shenmen point.
Stimulating the sympathetic points creates a strong analgesic effect and it helps in restoring the balance of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. Stimulating the shenmen points induces a relaxing and calming effect which helps in alleviating nervousness and anxiety that usually come as withdrawal symptoms.
When the liver point is stimulated, it resolves aggression and anger and repairs the liver from alcohol and drug abuse. Aside from accelerating the process of detoxification, the stimulation of the lung point helps in strengthening the immune system which is important when dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. Lastly, stimulating the kidney point is beneficial in restoring the essence and source of energy which are usually damaged during substance abuse. It also increases the willpower to overcome addiction and resolves fear.
Acupuncture is usually preferred by many in dealing with addiction because it doesn’t generally have any side effects. The treatment is normally given until a person becomes clean from their addiction. Once you cease taking substances, you can reduce your acupuncture treatments but experts suggest that you continue taking acupuncture treatments at least once a month to ensure long term recovery. In fact many ex-addicts learn the benefits along the way and enjoy to come for regular treatments, knowing that it helps their feeling of balance and well-being.
Holistic treatment for addiction has become increasingly popular these days due to its multi-faceted rehabilitation approach. In fact, many rehab facilities are now turning to holistic treatments because they efficiently address the different issues that surround the addiction problem. Additionally, holistic rehab care does not only treat the addiction symptoms but also the entire well-being of the addict.
According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, about 98.3 percent of rehabilitation centers are now offering holistic treatments. The numerous benefits that holistic care provides to the addicts are mainly the reason why rehab facilities have already embraced and adapted the unconventional treatment methods. Some of the most common alternative treatments being offered in many holistic drug rehab centers include the following:
These treatments are accompanied by other forms of therapies and counseling to ensure that patients will be given a full spectrum of programs that will effectively address physical, social, mental and emotional issues. The types of services that are typically combined with alternative treatments are as follows:
• Recreational and Art Therapy
• Individual, Group, or Family Therapy
• Drug Detox
• Nutritional, Spiritual, and Emotional Counseling
• Medication Management
• Behavioral Therapies
True to their claim, holistic rehabilitation treatments really offer progressive and comprehensive techniques that aid addicts to cope with all the aspects of addiction. With the help of the different approaches used in holistic treatments, the patients learn to develop acceptance, find lasting peace, and form a more positive state of well-being. Aside from that, most holistic rehab centers also provide tons of other services that are designed to complement their holistic treatments. Some even offer special counseling, one-on-one therapies, and spiritual guidance which significantly help patients to gain an insightful recovery.
Overall, the holistic treatment for addiction allows patients to understand themselves better as they embark in a deep, affirming and rewarding journey towards a drug-free life!
Although there is still much debate about acupuncture, there are many benefits to getting such a procedure. It’s good to do a bit of research and figure out how it can help you.
For many years, more and more people have begun to take a second look at the advantages of getting acupuncture. So many people are tired of being under-diagnosed and overmedicated that they’re looking for an alternative. Discover how this natural technique can help you with an array of issues.
Helps Get Your Emotions in Check
There are a lot of things you have to address and deal with each day. From family, work, friendships and more, there’s a much on your mind. If you cannot seem to cope, one of your first thoughts may be to simply go to a doctor and get some pills to help you calm down and ease your frustrations. However, these pills may not have the effect you expect and can end up making you feel worse. The good thing is that many people are starting to check out acupuncture to help them deal with their emotions. This is a more natural solution to help you cope. It’s said to be effective in helping you redirect the energy in your body from negative to positive. This way, you can have better control over your emotions. In fact, it has been said that this procedure has helped countless people, including those with drug addiction, anorexia, bulimia, phobias and more.
Although no two people are alike, many people have experienced many benefits as it relates to acupuncture and healing. For instance, if you’re someone that suffers with colds, allergies or other issues, this procedure may help you get well faster. The body has a natural flow of energy and when it is believed to be blocked, many people experience sickness, among other issues. By getting this natural form of healing with needles, the body will be unblocked and the result is faster healing. Although all doctors do not agree with such practices, many are beginning to see and believe the advantages of acupuncture for a host of other issues, including asthma, sinus issues and other respiratory problems.
If you’re like most people, you do not want to be in pain. While you could take medication for certain issues, such as broken bones, toothaches, eye pain, pulled muscles and more, it is believed that acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in helping you feel better and relieve pain. The best part is that it’s natural and you don’t have to worry about whether or not the procedure will interact negatively with other medications you may be taking for other ailments. In addition, getting this procedure can help with the overall circulation in your body, which can result in less stress and tension.
Reduce Side Effects From Surgery
When you have to have a medical procedure, depending on your condition, it may take you a while to heal. Also, you could experience a number of side effects as a result of the surgery. For some people the side effects can be as minor as an upset stomach to intense vomiting. Yet, when people get acupuncture, some of them experience fewer side effects and simply feel better overall than if they took prescription medication prescribed by their doctor.