Can Massage Therapy Help With Recovery From Substance Abuse?

massage therapy in substance abuse recovery

Rehab facilities are experimenting with a variety of therapies to assist former addicts in their recovery from substance abuse. One such therapy ismassages. Massages are popular because they provide a number of benefits to both the mind and body. The sensations which are created by a massage can allow a recovering addict to engage their emotions while becoming better attuned to their bodies.

How Does Massage Affect The Brain During The Recovery From Substance Abuse?

Massages are beneficial because they battle stress and anxiety, and this is done through the reduction of cortisol, which is a stress related hormone. Simultaneously, massages increase the amount of serotonin and dopamine which creates calm and pleasurable sensations. The reason a massage is so effective for recovering addicts is because it enhances the same chemicals in the brain which are enhanced by drugs, but without the negative side effects.

Drug abuse results in a situation where the addict’s brain is unable to create neurotransmitters as a result of standard stimuli. This results in withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, chronic aches and depression. However, because massages cause these neurotransmitters to be released they allow the brain to gradually heal from the damage caused by extensive drug abuse and makes it easier for recovering addicts to deal with withdrawal.

Massages Offer Mindfulness And Unparalleled Relaxation

While it may seem obvious to most people that massages create relaxation, many don’t understand the full benefits that are associated with them, and how they help recovering addicts. An individual who receives massages regularly sleeps better and has a higher sense of mindfulness. Their stress levels are lowered, which allows them to deal with life’s many headaches better than people who don’t receive massages. Other physical benefits associated with massages included a reduced heart rate and blood pressure.

Many people abuse drugs because these substances allow them to escape from reality, at least for a time. The problem is that when they come down from their high the problems are still waiting for them along with the negative effects of abusing the substance. Massages are a superior alternative to drugs because they force recovering addicts to focus on the sensations within the body, and the resulting emotions that come with it. A number of recovering addicts have stated that receiving a good massage allows them to open up in ways that allows them to experience emotions which they have buried.

Most important, massage therapy teaches patients how to maintain these feelings and accept them. It is a beneficial practice both during and after rehab is completed, because it is completely natural and doesn’t come with the negative consequences which are associated with using drugs or alcohol. Put another way, massages come with all the advantages that are commonly associated with using drugs, but with none of the adverse side effects. It is for this reason that it is rapidly growing in popularity among rehab centers around the country, which are employing professionally trained masseuses to assist and treat patients, guiding them on the path to a full recovery.

Related Posts