Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of treating the body as a whole. It looks at how each organ system functions with each other and how much qi and blood are flowing through each of those systems. In essence, acupuncture sees the body as an ecosystem – a complex network or interconnected system – where every single thing has an effect on another. Acupuncture is used for many different dis-eases. One area that it is specifically effective in is addiction recovery. Recovery from drugs and alcohol not only encompasses the physical aspect of the body but the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. Healing from all of these allows one to have a better chance of staying sober. Acupuncture is able to assist with many of the symptoms of addiction recovery such as detoxing the body, decreasing physical pain without medication, regulating digestion caused by abuse of drugs, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and also increasing alertness and focus. This is done through the balancing of the organ systems in the body (the ecosystem).
There are 12 meridians or pathways in the body that contain qi (life energy) that connect to an organ and 2 meridians that run up and down the body. This qi needs to be abundant and needs to flow smoothly. When the acupoints on these meridians are stimulated with a needle, balance can be obtained within the body. For example, to detox the body of toxins, the liver meridian is stimulated to release the negative, excess qi. To help with decreasing any pain in the body, acupuncture increases the flow of qi and blood to the area of the body in pain. This can disperse stagnant energy and relieve any tension or tightness in the body. For obvious reasons, pain relief without the use of medication is particularly important in addiction recovery. Another symptom that can occur with recovery from drugs and alcohol can be severe digestive issues such as constipation. Acupuncture can stimulate intestinal movement through the flow of qi and blood in the digestive organ. Another side effect of recovery can be depression, insomnia or anxiety. These emotional aspects are addressed through the smoothing of liver qi, heart qi and calming the spirit with specific acupoints used. Many feel much relief as their body returns to balance – resulting in less physical pain, relaxation in the body and also peace in the mind. Acupuncture is an effective holistic therapy that is used to help recovering addicts and alcoholics achieve and maintain their sobriety.