Complementary and integrative therapies, including acupuncture, help individuals recover from substance use disorder (SUD). The treatment reduces stress, improves mood and emotion regulation, and decreases the symptoms of withdrawal. According to Hindawi, “Auricular acupuncture is the most common form of acupuncture treatment for substance addiction in both the USA and the UK.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses acupuncture and other complementary, holistic therapies to help clients heal from substance abuse.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient practice developed in China thousands of years ago. Many modern medical professionals use the treatment to reduce stress and symptoms related to some health conditions, including SUD. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “Acupuncture is a procedure involving stimulation of targeted points on the body using thin, solid, metal needles that are manipulated by hand or using electrical stimulation.” Although needles are generally used, not all forms of acupuncture require needles or other instruments.

The most common forms of acupuncture include:

  • Acupressure: pressure is applied to acupuncture points without the use of needles
  • Trigger Point Acupuncture: needles are placed at strategic trigger points to address specific muscle pain or body aches
  • Auricular Acupuncture: pressure on particular points around the ears addresses discomfort in other areas of the body
  • Traditional Chinese Acupuncture: needles are used to stimulate pressure points along the meridian

Studies have shown acupuncture effectively reduces anxiety and some types of chronic pain or body discomfort. People recovering from substance abuse often have multiple health issues, including muscle tension and body aches. Acupuncture helps clients manage some symptoms of SUD and improves stress tolerance.

Combining Evidence-Based and Complementary Treatments

Acupuncture is a complementary treatment incorporated into care plans alongside evidence-based therapies. The combination provides people with more holistic care.

Incorporating alternative and evidence-based therapies does the following:

  • Optimizes health and wellness
  • Acknowledges the connections between mental, emotional, and physical health
  • Encourages collaboration between clients and clinicians
  • Empowers clients to choose from a range of treatment options
  • Harnesses the benefits of both types of treatment more effectively
  • Allows for a tailored approach to care

Acupuncture is an excellent alternative therapy for individuals who struggle with general anxiety or chronic stress. The sessions provide clients with relief for weeks or even months. According to Pain, acupuncture research has shown that clients “can generally be reassured that treatment effects are likely to persist.” Some effects, including pain reduction, last up to a year. Other health benefits of acupuncture may last for weeks or months after treatment.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Health Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system. Biochemical changes caused by putting pressure on specific areas of the body impact multiple body systems, including the brain. The effects of acupuncture reduce some symptoms of SUD, including depression. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “A 2018 review of 64 studies (7,104 participants) of acupuncture for depression indicated that acupuncture may result in a moderate reduction in the severity of depression when compared with treatment as usual or no treatment.”

Some of the other potential health benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Reduced symptoms of substance abuse, including cravings and intrusive thoughts
  • Lower stress levels and decreased risk of health complications
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and other mental health symptoms
  • Enhanced mood and emotion regulation
  • Reduced risk of sleep disturbances, including insomnia

In addition to physical health benefits, acupuncture also helps people feel more calm during treatment and may improve focus. Clients often feel more engaged in their treatment and recovery when they take advantage of alternative holistic therapies, including acupuncture. The pressure points help people feel more aware of their bodies, improving mindfulness.

How Does Acupuncture Reduce the Risk of Relapse?

Acupuncture improves the effectiveness of treatment and reduces the risk of relapse. According to Chinese Medicine, researchers found in some studies that “[b]y regulating neuronal activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, acupuncture reduced stress-induced relapse.” The positive effects of acupuncture may last for weeks or months for some individuals.

Individuals who use acupuncture during treatment may still feel the effects during aftercare, significantly decreasing symptoms related to relapse, including:

  • Emotional stress
  • Physical discomfort
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

According to the previously mentioned article in Chinese Medicine, “Prominent effects of acupuncture are increases in the levels of enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the central nervous system and plasma that might mediate substance abuse.” Serotonin plays an active role in mood regulation, endorphins lower stress, epinephrine improves heart health, and dopamine contributes to motivation and feelings of positivity. Acupuncture stimulates these different parts of the central nervous system (CNS) simultaneously, causing physical relaxation and emotional calm.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Alternative Holistic Therapies at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Science has repeatedly shown the benefits of combining evidence-based psychotherapies with complementary treatments, including acupuncture. Clients are encouraged to take advantage of the physical and mental health benefits of acupuncture and other holistic health therapies. Clinicians offer clients a choice between different types of acupuncture to ensure the method aligns with their needs, preferences, and treatment goals.

Every person has different interests and beliefs. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab offers personalized treatment with a whole-person approach to care. Clients are given essential information and guidance to ensure they make well-informed decisions about their treatment and recovery, including whether to incorporate complementary therapies into their care plan.