Massage Can Be Used to Help Recovering Addicts

Massage Can Be Used to Help Recovering Addicts -Substance addiction recovery can be very difficult. Addiction treatment helps make that struggle a little easier. Addiction therapy can be coupled with massage therapy to help ease patients through withdrawal symptoms.

Because of the complicated nature of addiction a variety of techniques are used in the treatment. The physical symptoms of withdrawal must be addressed along with the emotional aspects of addiction-recovery.

Drug therapy to help wean the patient off of addictive substances is often coupled with counseling. The type of medication used to ease addiction depends on which type of drug the person is addicted to. For example, if someone is addicted to opiates like opium or heroine, the drugs methadone or buprenorphine are used in the recovery process. If someone is addicted to alcohol, drugs like disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate can be used in treatment. Medications used in addiction recovery help ease symptoms of withdrawal and prevent relapse.

Counseling can be done in groups or individually. Counseling can help get to the root cause of the addiction. People become addicted to substances for a variety of reasons. They could feel a need to escape from something in their everyday life. They could be the victim of some type of abuse. They could have an underlying undiagnosed medical condition that they are trying to self-medicate. Some people start out just experimenting with drugs for fun and end up getting sucked into an addiction. Knowing the reason for the drug abuse will help the person on the path to recovery.


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A high quality addiction recovery program will use a combination of different techniques to treat a patient. Because all people are different individuals may need to have programs tweaked to meet their needs.

Massage for Addiction

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Addiction changes brain chemistry. Normally, your brain produces a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a key to pleasure. It is used by your brain to encourage you to continue to do something that is required for survival. Eating and sex are two activities that naturally trigger large dopamine releases in our brains. When dopamine is released we feel good so we want to continue to do that thing so we can continue to feel good.

When you use drugs they get into the brain and trigger a release of dopamine. This release is much higher than what the body can do naturally. Because of the high amount of dopamine produced by the drug you are driven to consume more and more. Overtime you become dependent on the drug to release dopamine.

When you’re going through the withdrawal process your dopamine levels are lower than the average person. Activities that would normally release an adequate amount of dopamine into your brain no longer give you the pleasure your brain requires. This causes you to have incredibly strong cravings for the drug that caused the larger dopamine release. You can get to a point where you need that large release of dopamine to feel normal.

Some studies have shown that massage helps increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. The Touch Institute has done studies that show that massage decreases the stress hormon cortisol and increases dopamine. When given consistently over an extended period of time it causes dopamine levels to increase steadily. It can be used to help normalize the production of dopamine in a person going through the withdrawal process.

Massage also decreases stress. Recovering from an addiction puts the body through a tremendous amount of stress. Massage decreases the production of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. It also triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which helps slow breathing and heart rate relaxing the body.





Massage on its own cannot help someone completely recover from addiction, but combined with the right other therapies, it can made the recovery process a easier.