When you hear the phrase addiction treatment, many of us don’t think of massage therapy. However, an effective detox treatment that a lot of people might not be aware of is massage therapy for addiction. After rehab treatment, over time you may feel physical pain such as tension and sore muscles. Often, people don’t know why they feel the way they do and that the cause is actually withdrawal symptoms from detoxing.

Massage therapy for addiction can help heal the body after recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. Although it’s not commonly used as part of addiction treatment programs, it works to help you in a variety of ways. This resource will go over the benefits massage therapists can give for long-term recovery from substance abuse.

Supporting Healthy Hormone Balance

According to the National Institute of Health, massage therapy can help treat medical conditions and stress reduction.   

When people recover from alcohol or drug abuse, detox is typically part of the early stages of a treatment program. People experience a significant reduction in dopamine (a hormone that controls moods) in these early steps. Massage therapy for addiction helps increase the body’s dopamine production and minimize physical and mental pain that occurs in the initial phase.

Massage therapy can also decrease the body’s reaction to stressors. Stressors can trigger the release of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates the body’s organs to respond to stress. This therapy helps reduce cortisol production, therefore minimizing feelings of restlessness and anxiety at the beginning of treatment.

massage therapy for addiction

Improving Sleep Quality

Sleep is the cure for virtually everything, like supporting a healthy immune system. Sleep is also another benefit of massage therapy for addiction. Insomnia (a sleep disorder) is common among many people during the recovery process. This therapy can help ease the mind and promote a better quality of sleep.

Reducing Pain and Discomfort

When a person suddenly stops using drugs or alcohol, this might make them “feel” things more. This is because, while a person is on drugs or alcohol, it numbs any aches and pains they have. Moreover, they may feel physical pains from the process of withdrawal. 

Addiction causes physical changes in brain chemistry, which then demands access to those substances. The central nervous system signals the body that it wants drugs or alcohol by responding with pain. Massage therapy for addiction helps ease this recovery-related pain and stimulates blood flow, damaged tissues, and muscles. Increasing blood flow helps minimize cortisol and promotes healing on a cellular level.

Massage therapy for addiction results in less physical pain. A healthy, painless life can enable a person to feel good during their recovery process and accomplish more goals.

Stimulating Relaxation

Massage therapy encourages pressure receptors to the brain, which improves the function of the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve in the brain is stimulated, this helps reduce blood pressure and heart rate, which creates a feeling of relaxation. This also supports reducing stress hormones throughout the body.

If a person has turned to drugs or alcohol in order to relieve stress or pain, a massage allows the body to naturally relax.

massage therapy

Two Forms of Massage

Working with trained professionals during addiction recovery is extremely important. These professionals can provide holistic care treatment options that promote good physical and mental health. There are typically two different types of massage therapy, called rehabilitative massage and relaxation massage.

Rehabilitative Massage: This therapy aims to support the proper movement and function of the body. The massage typically uses a deep tissue technique, strengthening the body’s ability to heal and grow.

Relaxation Massage: As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits of a relaxation massage for those struggling with addiction. This massage technique works well for relieving tension, stimulating blood flow, and reducing stress and anxiety.

Receive Massage Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Massage therapy for addiction can support you at any stage during your recovery process. This holistic care approach is a good way to improve your overall quality of life during recovery. If you or someone you love has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, give us a call today. Our San Diego rehab offers individualized treatment plans to get you started with your journey towards recovery.

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