The epidemic of addiction, pervades every crevice of society today. I’m sure we all know of people struggling with some type of addiction, or compulsion.
The days of seeing addiction as a malfunction in our brain chemistry, are in the rear view. We now see that addiction is manifested by lack of connection, or lack of ability to connect to oneself and others.
The power of therapeutic/healing touch is undeniable. Often times those who struggle with addiction, have had negative experiences regarding touch in their early developmental stages. Getting massages can help them to reconnect with their own bodies, knowing that the touch is for their healing not for someone else’s gain.
Some of the traditional methods of rehabilitation are built on the notion that addiction is a disease and it is treated as such. These methods focus primarily on the mind, with the body being a separate afterthought. We are now learning the importance of a holistic, mind, body, and spirit approach and connection.
Massage can be beneficial in every stage of recovery, especially in the withdrawal stage, since it is known reduce levels of stress hormones.
Individuals in recovery who get massage as a part of an integrated wellness plan, which include things like, nutrition, exercise, talk therapy, and meditation. Report getting better sleep, and being able to greatly reduce or eliminate medications for insomnia and/or anxiety. They begin feeling more connected to their own bodies. Having less anxiety and reduced cravings. And greatly reducing chronic pain.
Dr Gabor Mate, a modern pioneer in understanding addiction, says that often time those with addictions have suffered early childhood trauma and emotional loss. With this in mind, it is noted that the tough love approach may not be as effective as we once thought. Mate, advocates for compassionate treatment.
Massage can also help with some basic rewiring of the neurotransmitters. Working closely, while keeping professional boundaries, with those in recovery, and meeting them where they are in their journey, can help to put them on the road to physical and emotional transformation.
By: LMT Lauren Vandergrift