Acupuncture for Treating Addiction

Man getting acupuncture in back

Struggling with Addiction? Acupuncture Can Help

Ending an addiction is never an easy process, no matter how much you want to quit using drugs or alcohol. If your attempts to stop using have been unsuccessful, acupuncture may offer the extra help you need to lead a drug- or alcohol-free life.

Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment for Addiction

Acupuncture treatments balance yin and yang. The two opposing forces can cause physical or mental health issues if one of them becomes stronger than the other. This may happen if Qi, an energy flow that travels through the body via a system of meridians, becomes blocked at some point.

Acupuncture needles inserted at a key spot in the meridian remove blockages and restore the normal flow of qi. Once the blockage is gone, yin and yang become balanced once again.

Treatments are frequently used to treat pain and inflammation naturally. They're also helpful in relieving the symptoms of chronic conditions, including arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, and others.

Acupuncture treatment also offers hope for people who have addictions. Treatments can:

  • Keep Cravings at Bay. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to resist the urge to use drugs or take a drink. Fortunately, regular acupuncture treatments can reduce cravings and make it easier to avoid temptation.
  • Make Withdrawal More Tolerable. Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol will never be an enjoyable experience, but it can be easier to handle with acupuncture. Treatments may help you deal with common withdrawal symptoms, like chills, sweating, shaking, fatigue and irritability.
  • Decrease Pain. Muscle cramps and joint pain may make it difficult to get through withdrawal. Acupuncture treatments prompt your body to release endorphins, your body's natural pain killers. If you originally took drugs due to a painful injury, treatment can also help you treat your pain naturally.
  • Improve Sleep. When you're experiencing withdrawal symptoms, sleeping may be extremely difficult. Acupuncture treatments reduce stress, help you relax, and increase the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle and helps you feel sleepy at night. If you're having a hard time sleeping, schedule a late afternoon visit at the acupuncturist's office.
  • Keep Your Emotions Under Control. It's only natural to experience strong emotions when you're trying to end an addiction. After all, quitting drugs or alcohol is one of the most difficult things you'll ever do. Acupuncture can help you balance your emotions and reduce stress and anxiety. Continuing treatments even after you've beaten your addiction can help you manage anxiety and stress naturally.
  • Help Make Your Rehab Experience a Positive One. When you're not in pain or dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms, you may benefit more from rehab. Combining acupuncture with rehab may offer the extra help you need to put your addiction behind you.

Treatments can be very beneficial in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture affects the way your brain uses dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical involved in mood and feelings of pleasure. Acupuncture may lower the amount of dopamine you produce, making the thought of using drugs or drinking alcohol less appealing. As more research is completed, we'll learn more about the specific ways acupuncture works to treat addiction.

Are you tired of living with your addiction? Starting acupuncture treatments may help you successfully overcome your addiction. Contact us if you'd like to make an appointment.


Medscape: A Possible Mechanism Underlying the Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Drug Addiction

American Psychiatric Association: What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Acupuncture: In Depth


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