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Addiction itself has turned into a disease that affects a person’s entirety. It affects their mental, physical, social, and economic standing. There are studies made to figure out what medications and therapies can work effectively against addiction, but what about alternative medicine? One such question is if acupuncture works.
Acupuncture is a process where needles are inserted into strategic parts of a person. The process stimulates a person’s “Qi”, the life energy that flows naturally inside us. Physically, it’s been seen to stimulate nerves and other cells, creating a unique effect on the body. This alternative style of medicine originated in ancient China and has grown popular across the world.
Can Acupuncture Help with Drug Addiction?
Acupuncture allows stimulation of nerves, so in effect, it could stimulate the regulation of our brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters. There are several kinds, but of the most affected ones is the chemical called Dopamine. Dopamine can be called the “reward chemical,” because it provides a sense of pleasure and satisfaction after doing a certain task. The chemical also provides that mental state of good well-being, something that drug users feel when they are under the influence. Without Dopamine, life feels bleak and horrible.
Several studies narrowed that acupuncture can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine. When used on a patient that’s suffering from withdrawal, it can return the sense of well-being to that person due to the influence of dopamine. The effect is minuscule compared to the drug itself, but for patients whose brains have stopped producing dopamine completely, stimulating the natural release of dopamine helped them cope.
Helping patients endure the psychological effects of withdrawal gave them a crutch to stand on. Apart from stimulating Dopamine release, it helped patients reduce their anxiety and stimulated areas of the body responsible for detoxification such as the liver and kidneys.
Does it Work with Ongoing Addiction?
Acupuncture has a therapeutic effect that helps people recover from addiction. However, it’s only for people who have started their process. How about the people who still have trouble quitting, and have ongoing addictions? Can acupuncture help them quit?
Yes. Addiction is due to the dependence of the drug, but it’s just physical dependence. Addicts often have unresolved personal issues that drive them to seek the drug. Strategic Acupuncture can help relieve the tension, anxiety, insomnia, and aggression caused by these personal problems.
It also helps by stimulating specific organs to do their jobs better. By helping the body function better and rid of toxins faster, a person would feel healthier, which can impact their perspective about taking their substance. One thing has to be understood though, acupuncture’s effect doesn’t happen overnight. Like an addiction, it develops over time, stacking little by little until it’s large enough to be noticed.
Basically, acupuncture can remove some of the reasons or drivers for a person to take drugs. It’s a form of holistic care, addressing not just the physical but the mental aspects. This is why acupuncture is effective because it’s a procedure that affects you as a whole, against a disease that affects you as a whole.
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