The Healing Power of Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of treating the body as a whole. It looks at how each organ system functions and how much qi and blood are flowing through each of those systems. In essence, acupuncture therapy for addiction and mental health recovery sees the body as an ecosystem – a complex network or interconnected system – where everything influences another. Acupuncture therapy is used for many different diseases.

One area that it is specifically effective in is addiction recovery. Recovery from drugs and alcohol encompasses the physical aspect of the body and the mental, emotional, and spiritual as well. Healing from all of these allows one to have a better chance of staying sober. Acupuncture therapy can 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, depressionanxiety, and increases 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 toxins’ body, the liver meridian is stimulated to release the negative, excess qi.

To decrease any pain in the body, acupuncture therapy 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 therapy can stimulate intestinal movement through qi and blood flow in the digestive organ.

Another side effect of recovery can be depression, insomnia, or anxiety. These emotional aspects are addressed by smoothing liver qi, heart qi, and calming the spirit with specific acupoints. Many feel much relief as their body returns to balance – resulting in less physical pain, relaxation in the body, and peace in mind. Acupuncture therapy during addiction and mental health recovery is an effective holistic therapy used to help women recover and achieve and maintain their sobriety.

What is Acupuncture?

Villa Kali Ma offers acupuncture as part of our holistic health program for recovering from trauma, addictions, and/or mental health struggles.

Acupuncture is a valuable asset when it comes to restoring the body, mind, and spirit. Acupuncture promotes the self-healing force that’s already inside of us, without incurring side effects.

Acupuncture comes from the ancient traditions of Chinese medicine, and involves stimulating specific energy points on the body, through the painless insertion of small, thin needles.

Acupuncture effectively treats many mental and physical health conditions, and shines especially when it comes to pain management. Acupuncture is one of the most efficient natural ways to release pain out of the body, and does so without risk of addiction, dependency, or tolerance.

Acupuncture aims to heal dysfunctional patterns at their root by making amendments to patterns of flow in the body’s natural circulation of vital life force energies. When we understand that any pain, be it psychological or somatic, is connected to blockages in the natural flow of our vitality, we can understand the value of a method that effectively restores healthy flow patterns inside us.

For people with addiction, trauma, and mental health problems, acupuncture can be a powerful, non-invasive solution that does not require the expense, side effects, or complications of some aspects of the Western medical model.

How does Acupuncture work for addiction?

Acupuncture works through the conscious, deliberate stimulation of chi, or vital life force, throughout the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine interprets any disease pattern or symptom, including those associated with addiction, mental health, and trauma, to be surface indicators of a deeper blockage in the body’s ability to circulate chi.

Acupuncture and other treatments that rely on removing blockages to vital life force (such as Reiki), are effective with mental health, addiction, and trauma because each of these problems arise from constriction of energy.

Wisdom and research from other traditions lend credence to this model for understanding how and why acupuncture is effective for psychological problems, as well.

Psychological problems are connected to the physical body in complex ways. Changes to physical health, such as those introduced through healthy diet and exercise, have enormous benefits to the psyche. Addiction, mental health problems, and trauma are not able to linger or create problems in a physiology that is appropriately circulating blood, oxygen, electromagnetic impulses, hormones, and chemical messengers.

Further, the way that trauma, mental health imbalances, and addiction are reflected in the nervous system, stiffened musculature, and breath restriction indicate blockages.

Trauma creates areas within the brain and nervous system that become isolated, stuck in stereotyped patterns, repeating and looping, very much like water that’s become separated from the main energy and caught in an eddy.

When acupuncture stimulates the body to dissolve blockages and promotes the electromagnetic information being conveyed from cell to cell to flow in the same ways that a naturally healthy body does, the body has a chance to dissolve and release the materials comprising these blockages.

This means emotional releases, untangling of negative cognitions, reprocessing of traumatic memories, and restoration of unity inside the body’s system.

The Benefits of Acupuncture during recovery

Acupuncture has many benefits for people who are working on their recovery from trauma, mental health problems, and/or addiction.

First of all, any modality that has no side effects and does not require engaging with pharmaceutical products is an asset for people who have a history with substances. Many substances prescribed to treat physical or emotional pain have significant side effects for women with trauma or who are otherwise prone to developing addictive responses to chemicals.

Acupuncture is one of the strongest available holistic solutions for physical and emotional pain. Physical and emotional pain tend to be a relapse trigger for people with trauma, mental health problems and addiction, so anything that works relatively swiftly to modulate and reduce the intensity of pain is a good modality to keep in the toolkit of options.

Acupuncture is very calming, and it can help with the emotional turmoil that attends the beginning stages of recovery, helping women repattern their nervous systems to more stable states of peace and basic safety.

Many women with a history of trauma, mental health problems and substance use are unfamiliar with what a relaxed, safe body state is, due to the length of time they have experienced life from the lens of an over-activated or mood-altered nervous system.

Acupuncture helps the body understand what relaxed, safe, alert ways of processing life stimuli feels like, which reminds the body how to be. The human body learns and adapts when we give it a chance to, and acupuncture can help the body entrain to states that are better for physical and psychological health.

Borrowing the eastern concept of chi, we can consider that trauma, addiction, and mental health are all deeply connected to the body, as well as to the ways that we circulate, or do not circulate, vital life forces throughout the entirety of our human energy field. Healthy thoughts, healthy emotions, and healthy bodies all require free-flow and for restrictions, blockages, and obstacles to be cleared.

Trauma can be viewed in places in the body, mind, and spirit that are held in ways that restrict flow. This is reflected in the body as muscle rigidity, and restriction of movement and stereotyped patterns. This means also a limited range of emotional and cognitive options.

By contrast, when we are in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit, we experience more flow in all domains. Our bodies have fluidity and range of motion, we breathe deeply, eliminate toxins appropriately, and are able to take in beneficial nutrients and positive electromagnetic energies from our environment.

Emotional health also relies on good circulation of our emotional energies, as does cognitive health.

So acupuncture’s promise of restoring flow of chi in all levels and layers of our being is just what the doctor ordered if we struggle with trauma, mental health problems and/or addiction.

Why use acupuncture to treat addiction?

Villa Kali Ma uses acupuncture to treat addiction, mental health problems, and trauma. We use acupuncture as an integral part of our multi-modal approach to healing women and helping them go on to live fulfilling lives of freedom, joy, and personal purpose.

Acupuncture is used more and more in holistic treatment centers. This is because addiction is a disease which affects many layers of a person, and it responds very well to modalities like acupuncture, which treat the whole of a person rather than a specific part or symptom.

Acupuncture used in addiction treatment centers has been reported to reduce the experience of difficult cravings, assist in detoxifying the body of chemical residues, ease pain, lessen withdrawal symptoms, and support better rest.

Acupuncture is also a valuable asset for clearing negative emotions and healing the thought patterns that create depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological torment.
Acupuncture is believed to create these positive results through its ability to stimulate different pathways inside the body, including the immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems, all of which have deep connections to not only physical but also emotional and mental resilience.

At the level of neurochemistry, acupuncture appears to help interact with several hormonal and neurotransmitter pathways. The creation, circulation, and appropriate regulation of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins globally throughout the body are positively affected by acupuncture. All of these molecules are important when it comes to maintaining physical health, and they are also deeply implicated in addiction, recovery, pain management, emotion, cognition, memory, and trauma.

The use of acupuncture within addiction recovery settings has been linked to promising outcomes related to restoring the pleasure and reward system, reducing anhedonia. Anhedonia is the phenomenon of being unable to take pleasure or experience enjoyment anymore after the use of drugs, due to impairments in the body’s ability to enjoy natural, healthy pleasures like creative expression, emotional connection with other people, sex, and hobbies or activities one used to enjoy.

Finally, since acupuncture is a natural pain treatment, it can be used safely to address physical pain without creating addiction.

Acupuncture therapy options

Here at Villa Kali Ma, acupuncture is offered in tandem with our multi-modal treatment programs for women.

We provide acupuncture treatments that are integrated with our holistic offerings for women recovering from addiction, mental health struggles, trauma, and any combination of these. Acupuncture services are available as a part of our residential treatment, or Inpatient Programs, as well as our Outpatient Programs.

If your reason for seeking support through acupuncture is that you are struggling with your mental health, trying to restore your happiness and freedom in spite of the impacts of traumatic stress, or you are grappling with dependency on a chemical substance, we highly recommend that you also seek psychotherapeutic help for your struggles.

Acupuncture works best when integrated with programs that directly address cognitive, emotional, and soul/spirit struggles, so that the experiencer of these troubles can better understand and regain command over her own life choices and agency.

If treatment with us isn’t possible for you, acupuncture’s popularity is ever on the rise throughout the West, so you can likely find a practitioner or Traditional Chinese Medicine center in your area.

Keep in mind that acupuncture must be administered in person. Also, if you do not like the idea of working with needles, acupressure can be a viable alternative for you, in which energy meridians are stimulated with manual pressure rather than insertion of small needles.

I don't believe it to be an exaggeration to say that Villa Kali Ma saved my life.
I couldn't have asked for a better environment to heal and redirect onto a path towards true living.


This place completely changed my life. I needed a drastic change from the typical recovery environment in order to stay sober long-term. I can honestly say that I love who I am today and I am forever grateful for Villa Kali Ma!


I am so grateful I found Villa Kali Ma, it has truly changed my life. Kay is awesome and the entire team who works there is absolutely amazing. If you need treatment, I highly recommend making this the start to your recovery.


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