Massage therapy increases the release of dopamine and serotonin while decreasing levels of cortisol in the body. Why is this important? Because replacing toxic substances with massage therapy sessions, as a natural source for dopamine and serotonin, the discomfort of detox in the early stages of withdrawal can be alleviated and in some cases dissipated.
Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters and ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals that flood the brain whenever a person gets a dose of their preferred drug of choice. Overtime and prolonged substance abuse, these neurotransmitters have less of a feel-good effect on a person, while the addiction begins to deteriorate the body. The detox experience becomes challenging as the person is looking for the same feel-good brain chemicals to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, but they cannot be found.
Massage Therapy Reduces Stress
Cortisol is an endogenous hormone that is released by our bodies in response to events and circumstances that cause acute stress. It triggers the ‘fight of flight’ call to action in the body and high levels of it keep the body on edge. High levels of stress and anxiety are a major roadblock to detox because they can tempt clients to seek out their old addictive habits as a way to assuage these uncomfortable feelings.
When going through the detox process, it is important to find ways to reduce stress as much as possible. There are a variety of physiological and emotional issues at work including pain, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, etc.. and massage therapy can be very successful at addressing them by way of its effect on Cortisol and how much of the stress hormones are reduced when being massaged. Stress hormones like cortisol have another negative effect on the immune system which can lead to higher levels of pain and the potential for illnesses.
Not only does massage help to reduce stress, it results in a 16% increase in beta-endorphins which, like dopamine, provide pleasurable sensations. Creating experiences that lead to positive attitude is the goal because this momentum will contribute to the success of other aspects of the detox program.
Massage Therapy Help The Body Detox
Massage therapy is a key component to detoxification. Though a client who is going through the detox process may have ceased ingesting substances, they still have residual toxins lodged in the muscles and tissues which can wreak havoc. In order to achieve full detox, these toxins must be removed and massage therapy is an excellent hands-on method.
A proper therapeutic massage session will loosen muscles leading to increased blood and lymph system circulation. Applied pressure to the tissues and organs allows the body to flush and drain remaining toxic chemicals out of the body while releasing feel-good endorphins. The lymphatic fluid system normally relies upon exercise and breath to properly move toxins out of the body, but the added method of massage applies pressure and physically squeezes the hard to reach nodes that need to be flushed.
Massage therapy can help clients relax, reduce stress, remove toxins and ultimately feel better. It is a therapy that makes the recovery process easier and more efficient, reducing cravings, increasing positive outlooks and ultimately boosting the success rate of a other therapies and long term recovery.
Benefits of Massage Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Detox
The following are the various benefits of Massage Therapy for drug and alcohol detox:
Decreases physical pain
Reduces dependency on detox medication
Stimulates blood circulation
Flushes the lymphatic system of toxins
Promotes tissue regeneration
Reduces muscle spasms and cramps
Improves quality of sleep
Reduces depression and promotes positivity
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