There are a number of ways that alcohol rehab centers help their clients manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they are admitted for detox. In addition to the use of medications, there are alternative and evidence-based therapies used to ease discomfort and improve outcomes associated with alcohol detox. One therapy offered through some treatment centers that focus on a holistic approach is acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
An ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine, the theory behind acupuncture is that the human body has over 2,000 acupuncture points and each one is connected by pathways that they refer to as “meridians”. Acupuncturists insert very thin metal acupuncture needles into these meridians and use specific movements or electrical stimulations to activate them. This practice is used to create a flow of energy throughout the human body.
It is believed that the flow of energy is responsible for overall health and well being and when the flow is improved, so is one’s overall health. One’s energy flow is more commonly referred to as their Qi.
Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal
If you have an alcohol use disorder and you cease drinking after an extended period of heavy consumption, the likelihood of experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms is high. Symptoms can range from аnxіеtу, insomnia, and nаuѕеа to ѕеіzurеѕ, hallucinations, and tremors. One of the main functions of an alcohol detox program is to create a safe space where these symptoms are best managed. Alcohol detox is one of the most dangerous substances to detox from and subsequently it is important that a range of evidence-based treatments are available to those who need it.
Multiple studies, including one published in the International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology, express that acupuncture has been shown to help both psychological and physical symptoms caused by alcohol detox. Two of the symptoms that have been studied and are mentioned in the aforementioned publication include tremors and anxiety. According to this study, acupuncture can help reduce “anxiety-like behavior” and suppress tremors by targetting specific pathways.
Most of the in-depth studies have only been conducted on rats, but the studies that have been conducted on human subjects support these finds and the theory that acupuncture for addiction treatment can also be helpful for human subjects.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture has been shown to provide positive effects for a number of afflictions, including alcohol use disorders, but it is important to consider your unique, individual circumstances.
Some individuals are wary of acupuncture because of safety issues, but this is a regulated practice. Acupuncture needles are considered medical devices in the United States and therefore a regulated by the FDA. This means that any licensed acupuncturist is required to used needled that meet certain standards. In the state of Florida, we also have the Florida Board of Acupuncture, which “was established to ensure that every acupuncturist practicing in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice”. If you are interested in acupuncture, we always advise referring to your physician to determine if it is safe for you and locate an acupuncturist with adequate training and a state license.
Access to Acupuncture During Detox
At Level Up Lake Worth, we are proud to offer acupuncture to clients as a part of our treatment program. We work with each individual to determine if this practice is a good option for their treatment plan and only employ highly trained and certified acupuncturists. If you have additional questions or if you are interested in incorporating acupuncture to your alcohol detox experience, contact our admissions office.