For general information about addictions please follow the following link from nhsdirect.nhs.uk
"Addiction is not having control over doing, taking or using something, to the point that it may be harmful to you. Common addictions are to alcohol or drugs, but it's possible to become addicted to anything - from gambling to chocolate. Whatever the addiction may be, the person cannot control how they use it, or become dependant on it to get through daily life.”
Addictions Treatment and Rehab Centre in Exeter:
How can Complementary Therapies help with Addiction?
Support for people with addictions may come under the following categories:
A - therapy to help reduce craving sensations.
B - therapy to support the person going through strong side effects of withdrawal.
C - therapy to aid with relaxation and stress management which in turn reduces the desire for the addictive substance.
D - therapy to look at the underlying causes of the addictive behaviour.
E - therapy which analyzes and works to balance pathological physiological processes which may be contributing to the addictive behaviour (eg nutritional deficiencies).
F - therapy which works to rectify the underlying energetic imbalance of a person with an addiction which may create further energetic imbalances.
A - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when helping a person to reduce craving sensations (eg for cigarettes
Acupuncture– a specific protocol using ear acupuncture has been established for helping people with drug addiction by reducing the craving sensations. Body acupuncture is also beneficial.
B - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when supporting someone going through strong side effects of withdrawal:
In this case any holistic therapy would be beneficial as the support required may be emotional as well as physical and the relationship between patient and practitioner is of great significance. It is important to find a practitioner that you trust. You may wish to search for therapies relevant to the specific conditions (side effects) that you are experiencing, or you may wish to search under ‘practitioners’.
C - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when helping a person to relax and cope with stress and lifestyle
factors which may be contributing to the desire for the addictive
Any form of bodywork, eg Massage, Shiatsu or Reflexology is very useful when addressing any situation which brings about anxiety and feelings of stress. Learning self-hypnosis is an invaluable tool to use regularly to deal with the added stresses related to overcoming addiction.
Massage and Alcohol Addiction: One reason massage can be particularly helpful in the treatment of alcohol addiction is that the body reacts to massage in a similar way to alcohol and drugs. Massage is pleasurable for most people, and triggers the release of so-called happiness hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Thus, massage can play a unique and important part in reawakening these reward and pleasure pathways in the nervous system and swaying them away from alcohol use. One of the key initial steps for recovering addicts is to find that there are other sources of pleasure available.
D - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when the person is willing to look at the underlying causes of the
Core Process Psychotherapy, Kinesiology, and with therapies such as Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine a certain amount of discussion and analysis of the underlying causes form part of the treatment.
E - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when the person desires to look at any possible physiological processes
which may be contributing to the person’s addictive behaviour:
Allergy testing with Kinesiology can be used to assess any allergic responses upsetting the person’s natural balance. Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Western Herbal Medicine and Shiatsu all work to rebalance diagnosed physiological imbalances according to each respective system of medicine.
F - The following therapies are considered beneficial
when the person wishes to work to rectify the underlying energetic
imbalance contributing to the addictive habits which may create
further energetic imbalances:
To some degree all holistic therapies work to balance underlying energetic imbalances. The following therapies work specifically in this way: Shiatsu and Acupuncture.