How can Complementary Therapies help with Addiction?
Support for people with addictions may come under the following categories:
- therapy to help reduce craving sensations.
- therapy to support the person going through strong side effects of withdrawal.
- therapy to aid with relaxation and stress management which in turn reduces the desire for the addictive substance.
- therapy to look at the underlying causes of the addictive behaviour.
- therapy which analyzes and works to balance pathological physiological processes which may be contributing to the addictive behaviour (eg nutritional deficiencies).
- therapy which works to rectify the underlying energetic imbalance of a person with an addiction which may create further energetic imbalances.
Which Therapies can help?
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when helping a person to reduce craving sensations (eg for cigarettes or sugar):
Acupuncture – a specific protocol using ear acupuncture has been established for helping people with drug addiction by reducing the craving sensations. Body acupuncture is also beneficial.
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when supporting someone going through strong side effects of withdrawal:
In this case any holistic therapy would be beneficial as the support required may be emotional as well as physical and the relationship between patient and practitioner is of great significance. It is important to find a practitioner that you trust. You may wish to search for therapies relevant to the specific conditions (side effects) that you are experiencing, or you may wish to search under practitioners. Virginia Compton has a lot of experience supporting people with Addictions.
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when helping a person to relax and cope with stress and lifestyle factors which may be contributing to the desire for the addictive substance:
Any form of bodywork, eg Massage, Acupuncture or Reflexology is very useful when addressing any situation which brings about anxiety and feelings of stress.
Massage and Alcohol Addiction: One reason massage can be particularly helpful in the treatment of alcohol addiction is that the body reacts to massage in a similar way to alcohol and drugs. Massage is pleasurable for most people, and triggers the release of so-called happiness hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Thus, massage can play a unique and important part in reawakening these reward and pleasure pathways in the nervous system and swaying them away from alcohol use. One of the key initial steps for recovering addicts is to find that there are other sources of pleasure available.
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when the person is willing to look at the underlying causes of the addictive behaviour:
With therapies such as Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine a certain amount of discussion and analysis of the underlying causes form part of the treatment.
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when the person desires to look at any possible physiological processes which may be contributing to the person’s addictive behaviour:
Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs work to rebalance diagnosed physiological imbalances according to each respective system of medicine.
- The following therapies are considered beneficial when the person wishes to work to rectify the underlying energetic imbalance contributing to the addictive habits which may create further energetic imbalances:
To some degree all holistic therapies work to balance underlying energetic imbalances. The following therapies work specifically in this way: Acupuncture & Reflexology.