Addiction, in its simplest form, is a term used to describe any habitual, psychological and physiological dependence on any substance beyond one’s voluntary control. It can turn us into drugs addicts, neurotics, alcoholics and workaholics, just to name a few. There are many complementary therapies that may be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment to relieve symptoms of addiction withdrawal. Massage is one of these therapies. Please read on for more information.
Massage can be helpful in the withdrawal, detoxification, and abstinence stages of quitting an addiction. Dopamine levels are lower in the withdrawal stage, and massage can help to naturally increase the levels of dopamine within this stage, until brain chemistry normalises. Massage also promotes the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, allowing toxins and other waste products to be more rapidly eliminated. Mentally, massage provides a sense of comfort, and safety. It is also very relaxing.
Massage alleviates the pain associated with addiction
Many addicts avoid quitting their habit in anticipation of pain they may potentially experience whilst withdrawing. Massage functions to relieve acute and chronic pain issues and thus is effective in treating post-acute withdrawal pain (PAWS).
(NB: PAWS is the period of time the body takes to adjust to normal functioning without the addictive substance/behavior)
Massage reduces the addiction-related anxiety and depression
Massage has been shown by science to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety. These two conditions may either surface when quitting an addiction, or may in fact be the original causes of the addiction itself.
Addicts may also have been relying on their addiction as a coping mechanism. When quitting, they often find they have no other coping mechanisms in place, which can result depression and anxiety that massage works to alleviate on physical and emotional levels.
Massage reduces cravings
Recent studies out of the Touch Research Institute has demonstrated massage to physically reduce the cravings that may result from quitting any given addiction.
Massage therapy also encourages recovering addicts to look after themselves. It is generally more effective when undertaken regularly, but if that is not possible even one treatment will help.
Find out about other effective natural treatments for addiction.