What Is Acupuncture and How Can It Help My Recovery?

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Addiction recovery is a complex journey that is open to new therapeutic approaches and modalities. Doing so can help develop a comprehensive and holistic plan for maintaining prolonged sobriety. 

Acupuncture is one such therapy that can be incredibly beneficial throughout one’s recovery journey. Understanding the purpose behind acupuncture, its intended effects for addiction recovery, and what a session may look like can ease one’s anxiety around trying this new practice. This can help to potentially incorporate this proven and effective technique into one’s recovery.  

What Is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a therapeutic practice that uses extremely thin needles inserted into specific points on one’s body to stimulate the nerves and promote the proper flow of blood or energy. This practice is used for anything from helping an individual address chronic pains, such as lower back and neck pains, to helping relieve headaches. 

The increase in blood flow can also aid in the relief of the physical and emotional strains of stress. The therapeutic use of needles can be intimidating. However, having a certified and practiced specialist administering the procedure can ensure that there is little discomfort involved and minimal risks with engaging in acupuncture. 

As the practice of acupuncture has developed, it has birthed a unique fusion of Eastern and Western styles of medicine. As a result, each acupuncture practitioner may have their own unique approach to the process. This can help an individual find a practitioner who can understand and address one’s unique perspective to their healing. They may also blend proven scientific approaches with spiritual elements that support recovery

How Acupuncture Can Help With Addiction

Acupuncture is often used in order to relieve pain. However, it can have just as many benefits for those navigating their recovery from an addictive substance as those addressing physical aches and pains. Acupuncture’s ability to help relieve muscle tension can be a great way to address the physical effects of one’s newfound sobriety. 

While withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly intense at the beginning of one’s recovery, persistent headaches and hypertension can all be present throughout many stages of recovery. One’s anxiety or stress can also have several physical effects, including muscle pain or abdominal cramps. 

Acupuncture can also provide emotional relief, as the increased blood flow, relaxing atmosphere, and focus on breathing can help relieve emotional stress. Guidance through the process of relieving this physical and emotional tension can help a person better relax and process feelings of anxiety, paranoia, or fear. Having this support can help make acupuncture both an exercise in healing and a method of self-care that continues to promote a healthy outlook in one’s sobriety. 

Acupuncture and Mindfulness

Acupuncture is also closely intertwined with mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is a powerful technique used in many different therapies. Acupuncture can be another way for an individual to focus on the tension and flow within their own body. Mindfulness can help to guide their acupuncture sessions and gauge the effectiveness as well. 

The relaxation, mindfulness, and ability to process and release tension and stress can all help an individual better navigate urges and cravings while remaining focused on their sobriety. Along with a serene atmosphere to process stress, acupuncture can be a great way to address many physical and emotional hurdles while maintaining one’s adherence to their sober goals. 

What to Expect During an Acupuncture Session

Acupuncture can feel enigmatic, but knowing what to expect beforehand can ease some of the uncertainties for those looking to try it for the first time. A typical first session may include some time to sit down with a practitioner to go over the process, answer any questions, and get a better idea of one’s needs and expectations. 

This also helps the practitioner better understand the physical or emotional stresses that may be present and need to be addressed during the session. This initial intake can take up to an hour, depending on the practitioner and client as they get to know each other.

Subsequent acupuncture sessions may only take around half an hour. During this time an individual will lay still and relaxed on a comfortable table in a curated, calming atmosphere. While the practice of acupuncture is the administration of needles for therapeutic effects, the space in which these sessions take place also aids in relieving tension and stress. 

The soft scents, imagery, or sounds can greatly help a person relax during the session. The administration of the needles, focus on mindfulness, soothing atmosphere, and subsequent removal of the needles after they have stimulated blood flow marks the successful conclusion of a session. This process can leave an individual feeling more relaxed and their bodies in a more complete, balanced homeostasis. 

Finding the right collection of personalized therapeutic approaches is essential for a sustained recovery, and Everlast Recovery Centers is ready to help you explore all of your options in your recovery journey. Your time in our detox and residential facilities, as well as our continued outpatient care, can all help you continue to explore the plethora of therapy options available to you. Whether you are addressing addiction to drugs or alcohol, moving through mental health disorders, navigating trauma, or are alumni looking to expand your own coping toolkit, acupuncture is just one way in which you can continue to personalize your recovery journey. Our individual and family therapies, coupled with our psychoeducational approach, parenting classes, relapse prevention, and smoking cessation programs can all help you create a robust and effective personal plan for healing. For more information on how we can help you, call (866) 388-6925 to speak to a caring, trained staff member today.

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