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January 2017

Can Chiropractor Help the Recovery Process of Physical Therapy?

Can Chiropractors Help the Recovery Process?

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Addiction is a complex and difficult condition. It affects the body mentally, emotionally, and physically.

When someone is recovering from addiction, it causes a deficiency of well-being neurotransmitters in their brains, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and physical cravings for mood-altering substances.

These neurotransmitters are directly connected to the alignment of your spinal cord. So when your spine has misalignments (or subluxations) the proper delivery and function of the neurotransmitters are interrupted, making these withdrawal symptoms worse.

Though addiction recovery is a long and difficult process requiring determination and willpower, finding a good chiropractor to align your back can be a massive aid to the recovery of a former addict.

So if your treatment center is looking for new cost-effective ways to keep patients sober for the long haul, a trained chiropractor might just be the answer you’re looking for.

How Does a Chiropractor Help Addiction Recovery?

Trying to overcome addiction is an extremely stressful ordeal to go through, complete with a variety of symptoms. And because drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances are often used as a way to counter stress for addicts, it prevents the body and brain from being able to handle and control stress without the aid of substances.

Emotional stress builds tension in the neck and back, which can then lead to actual physical pain.

Spinal adjustments and chiropractic care can be used to release these buildups of tension, aiding in both the physical symptoms and emotional symptoms of withdrawal.

The Symptoms of Withdrawal

When a former addict enters into a recovery program, the first 30 days are often the hardest.

Withdrawal from drug use can lead to physical symptoms such as:

  • Sweating
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle tension
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremor
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Withdrawal can also lead to emotional symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Social isolation

However, in severe cases, withdrawal can lead to medically dangerous or even life-threatening conditions such as:

  • Grand mal seizures
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens

Many of these symptoms require a supervised detox with a medical professional, but a chiropractor can perform adjustments on the spinal cord that will lessen physical pain, headaches, muscle tension, and anxiety.

Preventing Self-Medication

One issue that recovering addicts often have to overcome when trying to complete a recovery program is self-medication to lessen the symptoms of their withdrawal.

Though physical pain is often an issue, anxiety and depression can often lead to the urge to use painkillers, alcohol, or narcotics to “take the edge off” and make it easier to continue through the anxiety.

Chiropractic spinal adjustments do not have the negative side effects of drugs and alcohol, nor do they lead back to addictive tendencies, but they do provide enough of a calming effect that patients can overcome the more difficult side-effects of recovery.

The Scientific Evidence

Dr. Jay Holder, a chiropractor from Florida has recently published a study in Molecular Psychiatry on the connection between spinal alignment and drug recovery.

In the study of 100 participants, part of the group received treatment involving chiropractic adjustments, while the another part of the group received only traditional non-chiropractic treatment methods. The third portion of the group received “fake” chiropractic spinal adjustments.

The study found that during a 30-day program, when specified chiropractic spinal adjustments were given in addition to traditional addiction recovery methods, patients had a 100% completion rate of the recovery program.

These patients also reported that the treatment helped lessen their emotional withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

Meanwhile, the groups who received no chiropractic care or “fake” spinal adjustments had just a 55% rate of completing the program. This rate is typical among typical drug recovery patients in traditional programs.

Torque Release Technique

The method of spinal adjustment Dr. Holder focused on in the study was the “Torque Release Technique” which releases pinched tissue trapped between the vertebrates of the spinal cord and tailbone area.

When these tissues are pinched in the spinal cord, it limits the release of certain endorphins from releasing into the limbic system. It also affects the release of neurotransmitters to the set of brain systems believed to be responsible for emotions, preventing them from performing properly.

An Enhancement, Not a Replacement

Spinal adjustments from a chiropractor alone are not an all-encompassing cure for addiction and recovery. It still requires willpower, supervision, behavioral therapy, and possibly supervised detox recovery.

Chiropractic adjustments should instead be viewed as a complement to existing recovery methods and programs to aid in the completion of the programs, and to lessen painful physical and emotional symptoms.

Conclusion

The early stages of addiction recovery are often the hardest part, because it is a time of uncertainty, unmedicated stress, anxiety, and even physical discomfort and pain. Without finding a way to relax, patients in recovery will just become more and more stressed and anxious, which often leads to a relapse.

Patients recovering from an addiction are also usually dealing with a range of overwhelming emotions that they have been using the drugs or alcohol to numb or avoid for a long period of time. Part of which will be the effects that their addiction has had on their lives and the lives of the people around them.

Chiropractic spinal adjustments can bring about an inner stillness and a clear mind, so the patient can properly deal with these overwhelming emotions in a way that is positive and healthy.

Finally, the use of some addictive substances can cause physical pain, either psychosomatic or related to other conditions. Chiropractic therapy helps align the spine in a way that allows stress-relief neurotransmitters and pain-relief endorphins to be released into the emotional centers of the brain.

This means that the chiropractic spinal adjustments take the place of the patient’s former stress and pain relief methods.

So if you’re looking for ways to cut costs for your addiction recovery center, and if you want to aid your patients in completing the recovery program and staying clean and sober for life, then a chiropractor could be the aid to addiction recovery that you’ve been looking for.

Contact us today for questions on our portfolio of addiction services for treatment centers.

Acupuncture for Addiction: A Natural Path to Recovery

Acupuncture for Addiction: A Natural Path to Recovery

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Acupuncture for addiction can help reduce cravings, ease physical pain, and decrease anxiety and stress. Can this holistic treatment help you?

There is more than one way to treat addiction.

So, if you’re suffering from addiction, you may have more options than you know. These can include things like exercise, psychological therapy, and detox.

But, one of the oldest and most effective treatments for addiction is acupuncture. Now, you might be scoffing right now. How could anyone expect poking needles into their body could help with addiction?

But it does. And that’s why we’re going to talk about why acupuncture for addiction works.

1. Acupuncture For Addiction: What Is It Anyway?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical art performed for centuries by natural physicians.

In The Matrix, when Morpheus and Trinity pull Neo from The Matrix, his body goes through an extreme withdrawal from virtual reality. This is not unlike addiction withdrawal. And in one montage scene, Morpheus is shown pulling very large needles out Neo’s body.

Now, the needles in acupuncture are not nearly as large as they are in The Matrix. In fact, they are smaller than most anything your doctor uses to administer shots.

In acupuncture, the doctor inserts very small gauge three-inch needles into your skin. These needles stimulate very specific points on your body.

The needles are so small, they don’t hurt. They are typically made of sterile surgical steel and are never re-used.

2. How Does It Work?

Acupuncture for addiction usually involves a special kind of acupuncture called auricular acupuncture. This is acupuncture on the earlobe.

This kind of acupuncture was invented by a Canadian Neuroscientist named Dr. Penfield. His theory was that the sensory parts of the brain are mapped to different parts of the body, especially the ear.

If you stimulate those particular points on the body, you will change how the brain feels, and how you feel.

He found that the practice of inserting a needle only a millimeter into the skin, a practice Chinese physicians have performed for ages, helped alleviate various neurological symptoms in patients. Among these symptoms were the symptoms of addiction. Cravings. Withdrawl. Profuse sweating. Nervousness. Irritation. Etc.

If you notice, the ear resembles an inverted fetus. And, according to acupuncturists, this is how you can tell, minimally, which part of the ear will treat which part of the body.

Another interesting correlation between acupuncture and the body’s reaction is the change in a person’s pulse. They discovered that certain parts of your ear directly affect your heart.

3. Can It Really Treat Addiction?

It really can! In 2002, a team of researchers conducted a study on six hundred and twenty cocain-dependent adults in four different clinics.

They found through urinalysis of the users that there was a significant reduction in cocaine use. The same reduction as in patients who attended counseling sessions.

So, acupuncture for addiction is really just as effective as counseling and you don’t have to spill your guts to a therapist to do it.

Of course, acupuncture is not a stand alone treatment. It should be done in conjunction with other forms of therapy. You should always seek a holistic approach to treatment.

4. You’ve Said Acupuncture Works For Addiction, But How Does it Specifically Work?

When you are addicted to something, two things are happening. You are filling a void in your life, and you are falling out of balance with reality. Your body, specifically, is out of wack.

Counseling will help you with the first thing, but acupuncture for addiction helps you with the second.

How does this work?

It works by decreasing withdrawal symptoms. Managing cravings. Relaxing your mind and body. Balancing the chemicals in your brain. Enhancing your mental functions.

The chemical most likely affected is dopamine. Dopamine is the natural substance in your body you are most likely craving when you’re addicted. This is a feel good hormone responsible for keeping your attention on tasks and making life interesting.

If you don’t have a naturally high amount of dopamine in your system, you will probably self-treat your problem with drugs.

Acupuncture for addiction replaces drugs by stimulating dopamine production in the brain.

5. What Is It Like?

As we mentioned above, it’s a painless procedure. The doctor will assess your overall health. Check your pulse. Check your tongue. Ask you questions about your addiction. How long you have been addicted. What your symptoms are. What other health problems you might be experiencing.

You may not even realize what aspects of your health are compounded with your addiction. This is why it’s imperative you are honest with the doctor about your health and habits.

They will have you lay in a relaxed, seated, and reclined position. Relaxation is key when it comes to acupuncture for addiction. In order for your body to respond properly, you need to be comfortable.

This is why some acupuncturists will include a mild massage with ointments to the skin before performing their work.

The sessions usually last anywhere between ten to thirty minutes. Some therapists will twirl the needles or heat them to increase effectiveness.

Many people report a sense of well-being while going through acupuncture for addiction. A sense of peacefulness and some positive physical effects. Others report a renewed energy in their daily lives.

This is a completely safe and effective procedure. There is no need to be nervous or worried. If you don’t like the sight of needles, just close your eyes and relax.

Conclusion:

More people complete acupuncture for addiction sessions than they do counseling sessions. While we still recommend doing acupuncture in conjunction with other forms of treatment, you can continue to benefit from acupuncture for many years afterward. That is if you find it helpful and relaxing.

If you are suffering from addiction, find a physician who can help you. You really have nothing to lose by trying. The regret always comes in not trying something you know would have pulled you out of a bad situation.

If you’ve used acupuncture before, we’d love to hear about your experience. And, if you have any questions, please get in touch with us. We’re here to help you.

 

Contact us today for any questions you may have on our selection of addiction recovery services.