How Can Acupuncture Help with Addiction Recovery?

Recent trends in healthcare over the past few years include a shift toward more holistic healing and treating the person as a whole – body, mind, and spirit. Addiction treatment is no exception. More facilities like Crossroads are integrating a variety of approaches to care that complement one another such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and equine therapy. These activities are done in conjunction with more traditional approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Acupuncture is a form of therapy that many people have never tried before and may not fully understand. The thought of being poked by needles is not always appealing; however, the needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin and can barely be felt but often lead to very positive results. Everyone responds to acupuncture differently, but many clients experience noticeable changes in how they feel.

Supporting Addiction Recovery

Acupuncture can be helpful for individuals in addiction recovery because it can help reduce anxiety, curb cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, improve focus, decrease pain, and promote relaxation – and it does all of this naturally using the body’s own abilities. This ancient Chinese form of medicine has been used for centuries and is found to have few if any negative effects when done properly.

This practice is based on the belief that there is life energy (or Qi) that flows through 14 meridians throughout the body. When these pathways become blocked, the flow is disrupted. There are also specific points throughout the body that correlate with different organs or symptoms. Where the needles are placed can be tailored to each person’s unique needs. Triggering certain points can stimulate energy flow and blood flow. It may take more than one session to feel the full effects, but many people can sense the changes in their body and mind as they feel more relaxed, cravings become less intense, and pain is eased.

It is important to note that acupuncture is not a standalone treatment for addiction. It is a technique that should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program. Approaches such as individual and group therapy are still an integral and necessary part of care as they address underlying factors of addiction and help clients to work through challenges faced throughout different areas of their life.

Keeping an open mind during addiction treatment is essential because one never knows what may resonate with them and their recovery. Some people may be skeptical about acupuncture but then find that experience a very positive response. The same goes for strategies such as meditation, mindfulness, or equine therapy. Having multiple resources and tools to turn to can help promote lasting recovery and reduce risk for relapse. Acupuncture can be one of these tools.

At Crossroads, clients are exposed to a wide range of treatment modalities to address physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual healing. Substance use is not the sole issue that is treated; care focuses on all of the elements that addiction impacts as well. This allows for more personalized and effective recovery so that clients can remember who they wanted to be and build a brighter future free from substance use.

[cta]Have you tried acupuncture as part of your recovery? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.[/cta]