The disease of addiction has far reaching aspects that impact the physical, psychological and spiritual health of those who struggle with addiction. When we take a look at the physical aspects of an individual’s substance abuse, one of the most tell-tale signs of chronic substance abuse it that it creates a severe deficiency of important neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are absolutely essential in maintaining our emotional and psychological well-being. Drugs and alcohol take over production of these neurotransmitters, and over time the addict will experience illness of both the body and mind.
In a drug treatment setting, treatment staff will create an individualized treatment plan that will target an addict’s specific and unique needs in regards to restoring an addict’s physical, psychological and spiritual health. While medical detoxification, therapy and relapse prevention education all play an important role in helping the addict overcome addiction, those who struggle with addiction may need other forms of therapy and treatment to help restore their health and vitality. Among these therapies are holistic-based interventions such as chiropractic care.
Understanding Chiropractic Care in Addiction Recovery
For those of you who may not be familiar with this therapeutic practice, chiropractic medicine focuses on the relationship between the main structures of the body which includes the skeleton, the nerves and all of the muscle groups. Chiropractors believe that misalignments within these systems called subluxations can cause poor health throughout the body. Subluxations simply are alterations of vertebrae that occur over a period of time. These misalignments can reduce the ability of the body to function properly.
While chiropractic care focuses on the entire skeletal structure, the primary focus of the work of a chiropractor is the spine area, and chiropractic care in addiction recovery focuses on the flow of neurotransmitters. When the spine and its’ corresponding nerve structure are properly aligned, neurotransmitters can be released in a specific sequence which will allow people to experience balance. When people experience subluxations in the spinal area, it can cause pressure and tension on the surrounding tissue and this added pressure can significantly disrupt the sequence of neurotransmitter flow.
In order for an addict to regain proper neurotransmitter balance, chiropractors utilize a variety of techniques to manipulate the spine and other important skeletal, muscular and nerve features to restore perfect alignment. Once these areas are in alignment, neurotransmitters can start to flow normally and activate in the correct sequences. When used in conjunction with other essential treatment services, chiropractic care in addiction recovery be of tremendous benefit in re-establishing total body harmony.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Therapy in Addiction Recovery
Chiropractic therapy in drug treatment is able to provide those who are recovering from substance abuse tremendous benefits that will help them build a solid foundation of recovery. First and foremost, chiropractic care in addiction recovery can provide stress relief-especially at the beginning of treatment. The beginning of one’s recovery is often filled with overwhelming feeling of uncertainty, anxiety and even physical discomfort and pain. During those critical first stages of treatment, clients must find ways to relax and let go of the high levels of stress they are feeling. Chiropractic treatment is a way those new in recovery can achieve the stress relief they need as they start treatment in earnest.
Another great benefit of chiropractic care in addiction treatment is that it can help restore emotional equilibrium. In the early stages of recovery, newly recovering addicts may be experiencing a wide range of overwhelming emotions that may be difficult to navigate without the familiar crutch of substances. Chiropractic therapy can help to bring about an inner sense of calm and can help the addict achieve clarity of mind. This, in turn, can allow them to process their thoughts and emotions in a healthier and positive manner. Ultimately, chiropractic therapy in addiction treatment can help strengthen and nurture one’s emotional sobriety, which is equally if not more important that achieving physical sobriety.
Perhaps the most important aspect of chiropractic care in drug treatment is that it can help alleviate the physical pain and discomfort newly recovering addicts feel–especially in the medical detoxification process. There are those instances where physical pain is the primary cause individuals begin using substances and further develop an addiction to those substances. Chiropractic therapy in addiction recovery can help to identify and relieve that pain. Additionally, undergoing chiropractic therapy can offer benefits such as decreased cravings for drugs and alcohol, decreased depression and anxiety, improved mental performance, lower cortisol levels, improved blood circulation and increased oxygen levels among others.
What Do You Look For in a Chiropractor?
If you are looking to incorporate chiropractic therapy into your individualized program of addiction treatment, there are some basic questions that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, the chiropractor you consider needs to have many years of working experience and knowledge in working with clients with a variety of substance abuse issues, and must have a reputable and licensed practice. When you are searching for a chiropractor for your recovery, you also need to know what types of chiropractic techniques they employ. Additionally, it is helpful to know if the chiropractor uses his or her hands for their work or if they rely on instruments.
In your search for a chiropractor, there are things that you must avoid. First, you want to avoid those chiropractors that claim they are the only one who utilizes special or secret techniques, and you want to avoid those who make claims they can cure drug addiction or other forms of disease. It is important to realize that chiropractic care is meant for the short-term, so those practitioners who recommend long-term treatment or suggest ongoing care should also be avoided. Additionally, another red flag you must be aware of is if the chiropractor is requiring substantial prepayment for treatment. Even if the drug treatment facility you are looking at offers chiropractic care as part of their drug treatment program, it is highly advisable that you keep the above-mentioned points in mind.