The Use of Acupuncture in Recovery from Addiction

Acupuncture | Lakehouse Recovery Center

It is becoming more and more apparent that in order for recovery from addiction to be successful, it needs to be holistic. It needs to address all facets of a person’s life. And for this reason, more addiction treatment centers are including services like meditation, yoga, and acupuncture in their treatment regime. And it’s not only treatment centers, but recovering addicts are also trying to realize the importance of holistic care.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Specifically, the use of acupuncture can bring many physical and psychological benefits, especially for someone who is healing from addiction. Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, which are intended to relieve pain and/or treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

Acupuncture dates back to more than 2,000 years. For a period of time when Western medicine was making advances and encroaching into other countries, the use of acupuncture declined around the world. However, it made a resurgence in the 20th century and has become more and more popular ever since.

Acupuncture is meant to balance the flow of energy in a person’s body. By puncturing a person’s skin in certain strategic places, the acupuncturist is aiming to heal a person’s of his or her symptoms. Benefits include pain relief, relaxation, stability of moods and emotions, and a release of endorphins.

Specifically, the release of endorphins and the relaxing effects of acupuncturists can help recovering addicts with cravings to use. It’s common that a person will turn to drugs and alcohol when they feel stressed or tense. However, with a regular practice of acupuncture, a person might experience less and less cravings. He or she might also feel more capable to face cravings when they come. In addition to these benefits, as mentioned above, a person might also experience physical health benefits.

Holistic Practices in Addiction Treatment

It’s clear that holistic practices, such as acupuncture, are becoming more and more accepted. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has recently published a guide based on research that provides the 13 principles of effective drug addiction treatment – of which holistic care is one of them. If you’re already someone who recognizes the value of holistic health care, here are some additional forms of alternative treatment modalities you might consider using as a part of your recovery:

  • expressive arts
  • psychodrama
  • music
  • dance
  • poetry
  • meditation
  • biofeedback
  • aromatherapy
  • deep breathing
  • yoga
  • exercise
  • guided imagery
  • herbal therapy
  • homeopathy
  • hypnosis
  • ideal model imagery
  • journaling
  • pet therapy

In fact, a combination of two or more of the above practices can bring even greater benefits. For instance, meditation can help ease the mind while journaling can give someone insights into why they are behaving the way they are. With those insights, a person might then be able to choose to behave differently and choose to respond to life’s stresses in a new way.

Keep in mind that although holistic practices have immense value, it’s also important to stay in communication with your medical doctor while experimenting with complimentary medical modalities.


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