Addiction Therapy Profile: Massage & Bodywork

Addiction is a chronic and progressive illness that has devastating ramifications on an individual’s physical and mental health. Over time, the long-term use of substances substantially changes the brain’s chemistry, as it becomes rewired for further drug and alcohol abuse. For those who are looking to stop the vicious cycle of drug addiction, attempting to quit substances can bring forth serious health consequences that potentially can be life-threatening if experienced professional medical assistance is not sought out. Drug addiction therapy alternatives like massage and bodywork offers a holistic method to help beat addiction.

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While undergoing drug treatment gives addicts the best possible opportunity to finally get clean and sober in the long run, drug treatment is neither a catch-all or cure-all for addiction. Every addict has their own unique needs, and ideally, drug treatment facilities should have a wide variety of traditional and holistic healing practices, and treatment approaches that will allow each addict to experience the breakthrough they need to overcome their substance abuse. One of the most unique therapies that rehabilitation centers offer is massage therapy for addiction recovery. Massage therapy for addiction recovery is quickly becoming a very popular therapy option among many treatment centers and for good reason. It has been shown to not only help with the overall sense of well being that newly recovering addicts and alcoholics experience, but it also can be a tremendous help in aiding the recovery of people who are just starting out on the journey of recovery.

What is Massage Therapy for Addiction Recovery?

Massage therapy for addiction recovery is a complementary holistic treatment approach that incorporates various bodywork techniques to help relieve body tension and to calm the mind. In a massage session, experienced massage therapists will press, knead and gently manipulate the muscles, tissues, and trigger points of clients. Depending on the addict or alcoholics’ unique and specific needs, massage therapy for drug addiction therapy can include a wide array of massage techniques including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, or other types of massage therapy. The use of oils or lotions is also common in this form of therapy.

This form of touch therapy is one of the oldest healing traditions in existence with many cultures throughout history using some form of massage therapy as part of their healthcare practices. In countries such as China, Germany and Russia, massage and bodywork therapy remains an integral part of the healing practice. In the United States, the use of this form of therapy diminished with the advent of surgical and pharmaceutical medicine in the early part of the 20th century, however, massage and bodywork therapy began to experience a renewed interest in the 1960’s and by the 1990’s massage therapy and other similar treatments found their way into substance abuse rehabilitation.

Massage therapy for drug addiction therapy can be incorporated into any phase of the drug treatment process, but it’s most effective during the medical detoxification phase. When experienced massage therapists rub and knead the patient, they are in reality stimulating the largest sensory organ of the body. These relaxing and pleasurable sensations send messages to the central nervous system, and the brain automatically begins releasing dopamine, producing feelings of euphoria. Typically, massage and bodywork sessions generally take place several times a week for 20 to 60 minutes per session.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy For Addiction Recovery

For those who undergo massage and bodywork therapy during drug addiction therapy, they will experience a wide variety of physical and mental health benefits that will provide a solid foundation for long-term recovery. First and foremost, massage and bodywork therapy help improve blood circulation and that improved circulation will help flush out toxic substances more quickly. Massage and other forms of bodywork will also lower the production of the stress hormone cortisol which helps clients relax in their breathing and slows their heart rate. Additionally, by manipulating certain trigger points on the body, massage and bodywork therapy can also ease muscle pain and enhance the lymph system to produce lymphatic fluid which furthers assists the body is flushing out waste and toxins.

Another tremendous benefit of massage and bodywork therapy is that it helps those in recovery temper the wide mood swings that are prevalent in the early stages of recovery. Through massage, the brain can produce higher levels of dopamine and serotonin which helps to restore proper chemical balance to the brain. After a massage and bodywork therapy session patients often report feeling happier, calmer and more confident. Massages can help invigorate addicts with energy during the day to improve sleep at night. It enables patients to reconnect with their mind and body for better self-awareness.

What to Look For in a Massage Therapist 

When you are considering a massage and bodywork therapy program, there are some guidelines you need to keep in mind before you commit to a program. First and foremost, the practitioner must be both honest and respectful and have a clear working knowledge in the field of massage therapy and other related disciplines. Additionally, those who practice this form of therapy need to conduct their practice in an environment which is comfortable, clean and professional.

Every client has different needs, and much like drug treatment itself, massage therapy cannot employ a one size fits all approach. The massage practitioner you are looking at must be well-versed in a variety of massage techniques and have enough practical training and knowledge in working with people with different needs. Whether a practitioner is employed by the drug treatment facility or operates a separate business, it is always wise to get referrals.

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Freedom From Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, understand that you are not alone in your struggles! If you are ready to change your life and finally be free of your addiction, then can help. We can give you the jump start you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted. Our holistic programs are unique in that they don’t just treat the addiction, but rather they treat the whole person, so if you are interested in finding out more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at 1-877-959-7271.

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