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Alternative Medicines for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

Acupuncture for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

The ancient Chinese science of acupuncture has earned widespread regard in America as an effective treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. Success rates can be as high as 50 percent of patients treated.

Acupuncture looks at addiction as an imbalance in the flow of the body's vital life energy, or qi, particularly on the kidney, liver, or nervous system meridians (channels). Using tiny needles inserted in particular acupuncture points on the body, this therapy works to correct the qi imbalances. Not only does this ease or eliminate withdrawal symptoms, but the patient's mind is then prepared to tackle some of the factors that led to the addiction.

Auriculotherapy, a form of acupuncture that treats the entire body through points on the ears, is particularly recommended for addiction treatment. Treatment usually consists of several months of acupuncture sessions coupled with counseling and lifestyle modifications.

One clinical study done in Minneapolis tested acupuncture therapy on the ear of people with severe alcoholism. Patients who received fake acupuncture therapy had more than twice the number of relapses into drinking than those who received real acupuncture therapy.

Acupuncturists, traditional Chinese physicians, some naturopathic and osteopathic physicians, and even a few medical doctors are trained to give acupuncture treatments.

Guided Imagery and Creative Visualization for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

Guided Imagery and Creative Visualization for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

Many people who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs started using these substances as a way to relax, ease tension, or improve self-esteem and confidence. Guided imagery and creative visualization can teach people to reach these ideals without the assistance of harmful toxins.

For example, a treatment session can consist of a patient picturing the positive results of a drug-free state (from the concrete, such as clear, shiny, pink, breathing airways, to the abstract, such as beams of light radiating from the lungs), as well as the negative aspects of a drug-induced state.

Breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques are used to clear the mind as a way to maximize these imagery exercises. The mental exercises can also give the mind negative suggestions about the particular alcohol or drug so that the next time the substance is consumed the body produces unpleasant effects. (This is similar to conventional medicine's drugs that produce unwanted side effects whenever alcohol is consumed.)

Progressive muscle relaxation is often performed before a guided imagery exercise as a way of "warming up." It involves letting go of tension in small, isolated steps until you are relaxed.

After you're relaxed, imagine and revel in the positive aspects of sobriety -- healthy liver, clear mind, proud loved ones -- and picture the degrading, unhealthy aspects of addiction. These exercises, which can be scripted more precisely by a practitioner, can reinforce the will to sobriety.

Other Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Therapies

Other Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Therapies

  • Biofeedback Training for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction -- The training, together with relaxation techniques, can help bring relaxation and reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Chiropractic Therapy for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction -- Adjustments and manipulations can correct any disturbances that may be contributing to physical withdrawal symptoms.
  • Homeopathy for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction -- There are several common remedies for different addictions and different types of addicts.
  • Hypnotherapy for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction -- Hypnotic trances can give the subconscious mind suggestions of new ways to behave -- important in maintaining abstinence.
  • Meditation for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction -- Regular meditation can encourage relaxation and lessen some withdrawal symptoms.

For more information on alcoholism, drug addiction, and alternative medicine, see:

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