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The power of massage is undeniable. In fact, it’s become a powerful tool for many health and wellness programs. It’s no longer just offered in spas, but in hospitals, businesses, and clinics, including drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Massage therapy is a proven holistic approach to helping patients progress through their addiction recovery.

Reduction of Symptoms

In the early stages of recovery, during detoxification, or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, patients can experience an array of physical symptoms or pain. Massage therapy can help to reduce not only the physical signs but the wide range of emotions as well. But it’s not just the light pressure and human touch that benefits the patient. Massage therapy is part of a whole-person approach to wellness that brings balance to the mind, body, and spirit.

Patient-Therapist Bond

Massage therapy in a clinical setting requires therapists to be excellent communicators, great listeners, and compassionate confidantes. For many patients in recovery, human touch is difficult at first because it can sometimes be the root cause of their addiction. Massage therapy helps create a safe haven where the patient feels comfortable and can start to accept the kindness of another person. And with more frequent sessions than a typical spa, patients in a clinical setting can more easily begin to trust their massage therapist with their most vulnerable emotions.

With an estimated 3.5 million U.S. adults eighteen years of age or older receiving treatment for substance abuse – 2.3 million of those individuals were treated at specialty facilities, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. With this in mind, the need for compassionate, licensed therapists offering massage for addiction recovery patients is great.

Beneficial Effects

For patients who make massage therapy part of their long-term recovery plan, they get a natural, alternative method of healing, free of drugs and may experience:

  • Decreased agitation and anxiety
  • Decreased insomnia
  • Lower heart-rate and blood pressure
  • Decreased cortisol levels
  • Increased serotonin and dopamine levels
  • Reduced stress
  • Eliminated metabolic waste

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Lexington Healing Arts Academy
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