Swedish, Thai, Hot Stone, Deep Tissue, and Shiatsu… these are just some of the most popular types of massage styles people prefer. Different techniques, pressure strengths, and hand movements are utilized to deliver a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Having a massage is usually a means for people to unwind and relieve many of the day’s stresses.
But do you know that having a massage can also be beneficial for people who are in addiction recovery? Numerous studies that have linked massage therapy with real psychological and physical benefits. These benefits are very helpful for people who are trying to recover from substance abuse. Here are five ways massage therapy can benefit people in addiction recovery.
Serves as a natural healing method for body pains
One of the reasons why America is experiencing an opioid crisis is because people have become dependent on painkillers. Many years back, opioids were thought to be non-addictive but later on, it was proven that even users who take opioids for legitimate purposes can be dependent and addicted to these prescription drugs. This is the reason why even good people get addicted to opioids.
For people dealing with pain, applying reflexology, a type of massage therapy, can be a non-drug alternative. According to a UK study, reflexology can be as effective as painkillers. The research revealed that participants felt 40% less pain and could stand pain 45 % longer when reflexology was used as a method of pain relief. While reflexology may not be applicable to all types of pain, it can be a great option for people who are trying to get off opioids.
Helps release feel-good hormones naturally
When you take drugs, your brain releases hormones, dopamine and serotonin, that make you feel good. This is the reason why you continuously crave these drugs even if you know that they are bad for you.
What you may not realize is that there are natural ways that you can also increase these feel-good hormones. Examples of these activities include exercise and massage therapy. There are studies suggesting that having a massage increases dopamine and serotonin levels by roughly 30%. Massage therapy can also lower cortisol levels related to stress by as much as 35%.
Provides an overall feeling of calm and relaxation
One of the primary benefits of massage therapy is how it makes a person relaxed. It can ease the tension and stress from the body. This is why many people who are stressed from work indulge in massages to relieve themselves of tension and recharge themselves.
For people in recovery, having a sense of calmness can be very helpful. It is common for people who are in recovery to feel agitated and restless, especially if they are still experiencing cravings. Using massage therapy can help in managing these cravings and also promote overall calmness.
Relieves anxiety and sleep problems
Many people who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction experience mental struggles such as anxiety and panic disorder. Anxiety is also often the reason why people take anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax. As an alternative to taking these drugs, one way to relieve anxiety is through massage therapy.
Massage therapy has been shown to lower the body’s fight or flight response. Having an overactive fight or flight response can create an imbalance and also cause fearful thoughts. This is prevalent in people who have anxiety disorders.
Another benefit of massage therapy is by improving a person’s quality of sleep. When your body is relaxed and your thoughts are clear, it is easier to let go and sleep more deeply.
Promotes healthy circulation
Do you know that massage therapy can also be good for your blood circulation? Having a massage is considered a physical form of therapy because it stimulates and triggers the parasympathetic nervous system of the body. When this happens, it can promote better circulation as well as increase the effectiveness of the lymph system. The function of the lymph system is to help relieve pain symptoms. It is also responsible for the removal of metabolic waste build-up of the body.
Using massage therapy in addiction recovery
If you are experiencing tension, anxiety, and stress, consider having a massage once or twice a week. Regular massages can be helpful until your stress decreases. Once you are feeling better, then you can go for a monthly maintenance massage.
However, in the United States, a massage session can be considered an indulgence because of the costly price tag. If your finances are tight, you can also purchase affordable massage balls, foam rollers, and other massage tools that you can use at home.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.