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Preventing Relapse with Acupuncture

In treating addiction or any other health condition, boosting an individual’s immune system and psychological resilience while decreasing their stress is the ultimate goal. This helps the body heal faster and maintain its overall health. The use of a holistic approach encourages patients to include strategies that support both physical and mental well-being.


Taking a Holistic Approach

Many healing modalities offer particular benefits with a connection to preventing withdrawal and relapse. When using these holistic models they can help with the reduction of anxiety, depression and insomnia, along with the improvement of mental cognition, reduction of tension, and greater spiritual and physical well-being. These methods also provide tools for helping individuals take control of their behavior in many positive ways.


What is Acupuncture?

According to LiveScience, “Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.” For example, in holistic medicine, a practitioner may focus on the ear. This concept works on the basis that certain points in the ear have an association with particular areas of an individual’s body. Therefore, when acupuncture needles are inserted in the ear, a therapeutic effect can occur any place in the body.


The efficacy of acupuncture is explained by Chinese medicine differently, however. It is described as a way of creating a balance between the yin and yang energies. Through the use of acupuncture treatments, an individual who is struggling with addiction can nourish their yin energy, thus bringing balance back into their natural energies.


The Use of Acupuncture

Patients can actively take control of their relapse-prevention using acupuncture therapy. Paper-thin needles are inserted into five different points of the ear during the session. Insertion of the needles only takes between 1-2 minutes for the practitioner to perform. Following insertion, the practitioner dims the lights and lets the patient sit for approximately 30-45 minutes in silence. When doing so, they create a peaceful environment for the patient to focus on their well-being.


Following treatment, those who are currently dealing with drug withdrawal symptoms typically report feeling a modicum of relief. The use of acupuncture is often included in treatment plans to help with the reduction of symptoms associated with detoxification and withdrawal. Acupuncture has also been shown to have an active role in relapse prevention through the reduction of craving, distraction, irritability, and muscle aches.


Looking at the Statistics

In a study conducted in 1989 in The Lancet (Bullock, et. al., “Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Severe Recidivist Alcoholism“), 80 alcoholics were treated, 40 of which were treated with non-specific acupuncture and the other 40 receiving correct-point acupuncture. Twenty-one of the correct-point subjects completed a two-month program in contrast to only one from the non-specific acupuncture control group. Twice as many relapses and twice as many admissions to detox centers within a six-month period were reported within the control group as well.


The Bottom Line

Taking a holistic approach to prevent relapse is multi-faceted. The use of acupuncture is part of a larger picture and will help you achieve greater success.