Fusion Recovery

Improve Your Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture


Acupuncture treatment can help in every stage of recovery, from the initial withdrawals to the cravings you feel years later. It also serves as an alternative treatment for any type of addiction; from sugar and eating disorders to alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex addicts – anyone looking to live, whether it’s a clean or healthier lifestyle.

In short, acupuncture helps balance our Qi (Life Force Energy) manifesting physically, mentally, emotionally and is especially beneficial for those along the road to recovery. While it's not a miracle solution for all, many have reported it to be a very natural treatment method to reduce stress, quiet the mind and thereby reducing or stopping relapse triggers. If you want a fighting chance, and if your goal is to change bad habits and to quit for good, try acupuncture!

Understanding How Acupuncture Helps Substance Abusers

When you depend on an addictive substance of any sort, this means your body loves it so much that it creates a dopamine release effect. However, as the addiction grows stronger, this will begin to deplete your dopamine levels, which can negatively affect your physical, mental and emotional states.

If you want to regain control of your body, you have to convince yourself that everything will be alright. You can quit cold turkey or with supplements, but you won't start moving on until you fix the neurological damage (balance your body’s physiological needs, calm your emotions and tame your mind – all of which can be achieved by acupuncture.)
Acupuncture repairs you on the inside. In fact, it stimulates serotonin, which helps make drug recovery more bearable since your body uses serotonin to regulate your appetite, mood and sleep. It also helps make you feel more content with yourself and not so anxious all the time. The stimulation of serotonin can help you escape drug-induced serotonin syndrome, a leading cause of relapse.

Some key benefits from acupuncture during recovery include:

• Better sleep and more energy leading to a clearer mind and decision making.
• Feeling better, eating better and less stress all help us face emotional struggles
• The ability to stop taking pain pills and manage pain.
• Reducing the risk of relapse in long-term acupuncture treatments.
• Reducing cravings during and after withdrawals.
• Limiting "delirium tremens" (DTs) during alcohol or morphine withdrawal.

Addiction can predispose us to Become Neurologically "Wired to Fail"

When you get high, your limbic system receives an oversupply of dopamine, as much as five to 10 times more than standard levels. Your brain eventually begins viewing the excessive levels as standard. When this happens, the original effects of the drug diminish and you're stuck "chasing that first high."

It can make you feel empty, which will increase your cravings. Trying to quit without handling this imbalance is dangerous and, as studies involving smoking and methamphetamine have shown, can lead to relapse. Your body learned how great the toxins were at mimicking a rich dopamine release. You found reward in something, whether you realized or not.

Acupuncture, however, helps reset and balance chemicals within our neurological pathways and clear our mental blockages, which can lead to cravings. The thought of turning to a drug will diminish and disappear. In time, as your body becomes alive again and your neuro-pathways reprogrammed you can start building a new and healthy lifestyle.

Is Acupuncture a Long-Term Solution?

Acupuncture will always be valuable to you in one way or another, since it serves as a long-term solution for pain and internal homeostasis across all systems. In individuals recovering from medical-related addictions, it can regulate your cognition and coherence levels. This means the cravings will go away and you will feel more like yourself.

However, all treatments have a lasting effect (including acupuncture), and our energetic pathways eventually begin to fall into old patterns. When this happens, all you can do is teach your body to get its "fix" a healthy way. Replacing your addiction with something new -- such as yoga -- can do you immeasurable good. Because acupuncture primarily helps you regulate your body and mind while you "return to the drawing board," the rest depends on you. Try to follow a healthy lifestyle and seek new hobbies that will fuel your emotions. As part of the healing crisis, we generally take one step backwards for every two steps forward, so it’s important to remember that we need backup plans, such as yoga.

Time for a new mantra! “Tame the Mind, Train the Mind….Yoga!!!!”

Taking on a Yoga Addiction

Yoga won't make withdrawals painless, but it will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle post-recovery. In particular, it can help with minor pain and discomfort. You'll just need to get through the cold chills, hot flashes and DTs before taking yoga seriously.

Fortunately, your cravings will subside with time. In fact, it's chemically provable! Your GABA levels go up after every workout. This natural increase mimics what a person feels when taking an anti-depressant. Since depression can cause cravings and dopamine depletion, yoga gives you a better chance to stay clean.

But a jump in GABA means dopamine suppression, too. It's okay, your body is known to increase dopamine transporters during withdrawal. A pent-up demand for dopamine puts pressure on your body to get what it wants. Yoga will help to suppress cravings and keep your new healthy lifestyle in order.


You want to quit, but the stories of serious withdrawals make it hard to try, and most addicts lose hope fast. However, acupuncture gives you more than a placebo effect. It resets and boosts all your systems, thereby empowering you to make better decisions and ultimately alleviating thoughts that lead you to substance use. From there, you can condition your brain to benefit yourself and others around you as you rebuild a new life of hope and happiness for all.

Once you're on your path, check out the Fusion Recovery's 12-step yoga program, regardless of your fitness level. Pairing acupuncture, yoga and addiction treatment together can provide results like no other. If you're committed, nothing can beat cleaning yourself up through the outpatient services offered with 12-week Fusion Recovery yoga program.

Recovery Yoga Classes are held every Monday starting in March from 4:30PM to 6:00PM. Individual Recovery Yoga appointments are available by appointment.

Recovery Qigong Classes are held every Saturday starting in March from 10:00AM to 11:30AM

Fusion Recovery’s acupuncture clinic is held every Saturday from 11:30AM to 3:00PM, group acupuncture is available on a walk-in basis, private sessions are encouraged to make an appointment.

Written by Michael O’Brien, CATC, SAP, CSC and Loki Doan of Communi-Qi


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