Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a common medical problem affecting over 250 million people worldwide. Acupuncture has risen as a popular alternative therapy and effective treatment for AUD. Studies suggest acupuncture can effectively reduce alcohol intake, reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and contribute to long-lasting alcohol abuse recovery. Read on to learn more about how acupuncture can help with alcoholism.
6 Ways Acupuncture Can Help Overcome Alcoholism
There are two ways that acupuncture helps in the fight against alcoholism. First, it helps to process alcohol more efficiently by strengthening your liver and the way it filters out toxins. Second, acupuncture reduces the effect that alcohol has on your brain, ultimately reducing cravings and the desire to drink more. Let’s deep dive into the many ways acupuncture can support alcohol recovery.
1. Reduces Cravings for Alcohol
In some cases, specialists recommend acupuncture for alcohol detox. Acupuncture has been proven to treat both physiological and psychological dependence on alcohol effectively. Acupuncture points help reduce cravings for various substances, including cigarettes and even heroin. This makes them a practical part of both acute detoxification from alcohol and long-term recovery efforts.
2. Improves Energy Levels
Acupuncture works by stimulating the central nervous system. The stimulation of the central nervous system helps relieve stress and anxiety and helps to increase energy levels, improve sleep patterns, and enhance mood and motivation levels in recovering alcoholics.
Acupuncture is also known to increase endorphin levels in the body, the natural painkillers that our bodies produce. It has also been observed that acupuncture may help improve circulation, improve the body’s overall health, and enhance immunity.
3. Helps With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Acupuncture is an excellent alternative for those who need help overcoming their alcohol addiction and those looking to acquire a long-term remedy from drinking. Acupuncture can help treat both acute alcohol withdrawal and the long-term effects of chronic drinking. This is because acupuncture treats both physiological and psychological dependence on alcohol.
Acupuncture can also help with long-term withdrawal symptoms from chronic drinking (like anxiety, depression, insomnia). This is why acupuncture is often recommended as an aftercare relapse-prevention therapy to maintain sobriety.
4. Improves Digestion
While there are many different schools of thought in traditional Chinese medicine, the practice of acupuncture is primarily based on the idea that energy follows blood. If you have an unhealthy stomach and slow-moving blood and don’t take care of it, it can continue to be a problem for your entire life and affect everything else.
Acupuncture helps boost the stomach’s digestive ability to perform its normal functions—eating food, breaking down food, releasing hormones, etc.—and thus helps with alcohol addiction because it improves liver function, which helps break down alcohol.
5. Helps With Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Besides easing the psychological side effects of alcohol abuse, acupuncture can help suppress the physical signs of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. With acupuncture, tremors, hypermobility, and rigidity can be lessened.
In addition, it can help with hyperalgesia and increased sensitivity to pain that often occurs when people are withdrawing from alcohol and other substances. This is why acupuncture is a sought-after remedy for chronic pain.
6. Helps Memory Impairment and Cognitive Abilities
One of the many side effects of alcohol use disorder is impaired memory. Acupuncture can decrease damage to the brain and successfully reduce the damage alcohol has on a person’s cognitive abilities. While acupuncture won’t reverse permanent brain damage, it can help ease some symptoms and promote recovery.
Acupuncture for Alcohol Abuse Recovery
While acupuncture is not considered a treatment for alcohol use disorder, it’s an excellent alternative and complementary therapy for treatment. While more studies need to be completed to fully understand the effects of acupuncture on alcohol abuse recovery, many rehab facilities choose it as a complementary treatment offer. Acupuncture can help treat the many psychological and physical effects of substance abuse and help patients find a healthier way to maintain long-lasting recovery without resorting to drugs or other medications.
Nonetheless, if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, seek professional help. An addiction specialist can help you find the best treatment program to match your needs and help you find the right road towards addiction recovery and sobriety.