The biggest struggle addicts face isn’t usually getting clean, it’s staying clean. If you have anyone in your life that was or is addicted to one thing or another, they can most probably attest to that. Acupuncture treatments have been found to be useful in fending off cravings and overcoming relapse.

Despite the wide use of acupuncture to aid recovering addicts, opinions on its effectiveness vary, with a number of well recognized institutions continuing to explore its role in the world of modern medicine.

There are two main forms of acupuncture practiced; the traditional form, which involves the insertion of needles into the skin at traditionally recommended energy points, which lie on 12 energy pathways (12 main channels), so as to balance your qi (pronounced “chee”), otherwise known as your life force which flows through the body and provides blood flow, energy and a feeling of wellness. By so doing, the traditional acupuncturist aims to balance your natural energy. Depending on the state the patient is in, a traditional acupuncturist might incorporate the use of tradition Chinese herbs in the acupuncture treatment, incorporating Moxibustion, which is the burning of the herbs nears the acupuncture points. And then there’s the westernised method which leans a little more to the scientific aspect of medicine. Some specialists believe that puncturing specific points in the body stimulates nerves, muscles and other tissue. The light stimulus boosts blood flow and results in a disproportionate release of natural pain killers in the body. Many acupuncturists practice a combination of these two forms with some sticking to either one for their treatments.

Auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) is also popular among practitioners that treat patients struggling with substance abuse. Thin needles are positioned on points in the ear as the patients relax. It is recommended that needles be placed on traditional points corresponding with the liver, kidney, lungs, stomach, and heart meridians in order to balance the patient’s system.

The release of these natural pain killers and endorphins are what could be potentially helpful for alcoholics, helping them to resist the urge to relapse. Their cravings are less severe and their withdrawal symptoms are weakened. Acupuncture is also believed to possibly reduce, maybe even eliminate the toxin build up that comes with substance abuse. And the best part? It’s all without the aid of synthetic drugs or treatments. Because of this, acupuncture is considered the ideal parallel treatment for rehabilitation. Some rehab centres staff acupuncturists and if they don’t, some are willing to make referrals on a client’s request.

Although acupuncture has been successful in the treatment of substance abuse, if you’re looking for acupuncture rehabilitation treatment, it necessary that you don’t go into it with moderate expectations and keep an open mind as results may vary from person to person. Incorporated with group therapy and substance abuse counselling, it is effective in treating alcohol and drug users, cultivating in then a calm yet alert feeling, reducing withdrawal symptoms and reducing the strength and frequency of future cravings.

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