Addiction is a disease that impacts how our brains function. In recovery, we must address the physical components of addiction with detoxification and abstinence along with the choices we make daily.
People who are interested in incorporating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their recovery may want to consider chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is a type of CAM that may help address the effects of addiction and aid in recovery. The holistic health practice of chiropractic care focuses on helping the body heal itself.
What Is Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the main component of chiropractic care. Adjustments are generally made on the spine. However, they can also be made on other joints. There are two main goals for chiropractic adjustment: to improve the mobility and functionality of the joints. Depending on the practitioner and the client, this can be done in multiple ways. These include sustained stretching, quick pressure or a thrust, and/or the use of gravity or an instrument.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care impacts individual joints and the nervous system as a whole. The nervous system can be activated by different stimuli. For example, meditation can help to calm the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. A single chiropractic adjustment of the spine in the neck may be enough to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Thus, a chiropractic adjustment may help our bodies to relax. This activation may also decrease our blood pressure and heart rate and improve sleep.
Another main benefit of chiropractic care is that it can help address chronic pain. Many people attend chiropractic appointments to deal with various types of pain they experience. Chronic pain can happen to anyone, and having the tools to address it is important. Some people use chiropractic care as an alternative to pain medications, which can be addictive and have many negative side effects. People at high risk for stroke may want to avoid chiropractic adjustments, but they are generally safe for most people.
Chiropractic Care and Addiction Recovery
Chiropractic care can be a great addition to addiction treatment. It can improve overall recovery in multiple ways. For example, since the overall goal of chiropractic care is to improve physical and mental health, some chiropractors offer exercise and nutritional counseling in addition to adjustments.
The following four points outline how chiropractic care can help in treatment and in managing long-term sobriety.
#1 Decreased Stress
Stress is a common issue for those recovering from substance use. Events that cause stress are often triggering. It can be challenging to cope with stress positively. As noted above, a chiropractic adjustment can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps our bodies and minds relax. While chiropractic care cannot change the situation we are in, it can provide us with an overall sense of calmness. As we begin to feel calmer in our bodies and minds, it can be easier to make different choices in the moment.
#2 Pain Management
Some of us may have used drugs or alcohol to self-manage pain. Therefore, we may need to avoid prescription drugs in the future when in need of pain management. Chiropractic care is an alternative way to manage pain. Whether you are injured and in pain currently or not, we are all likely to have some type of injury in the future. A chiropractic adjustment may be an option to keep in mind to maintain distance from drugs or alcohol.
#3 Increased Mental and Physical Wellness
Depending on the chiropractor, treatment may include chiropractic adjustment, nutritional counseling, stretching, and more. Overall, it promotes general wellness. This is extremely important in addiction treatment and recovery. Staying in tune with our needs to decrease pain and feel good helps to maintain sobriety and find well-being outside of addiction. Regularly seeing a chiropractor is one way to check in and learn more about how you can make healthy adjustments to your life as well as get a chiropractic adjustment.
Our mental and physical health is tied to our addiction. Many of us let out health slide due to the disease of addiction. As we recover, we must find ways to incorporate healthy habits and improve our overall well-being. Finding ways to do this that work for each of us is important. While more research is needed on chiropractic care for addiction specifically, the research that currently exists is hopeful. Chiropractic care is an option that may be worth considering for your treatment and long-term recovery.
#4 Improved Recovery
When in treatment, we have to deal with a lot of the physical and mental harm that has occurred. There are many reasons we may be injured. It is possible that our addiction was the cause of our injuries. However, it is also likely that addiction occurred after trauma or injuries that haven’t been addressed. Regardless of the reason, a chiropractic adjustment may help to address the injuries we have had. It can help improve physical functioning while decreasing pain. Overall, it is a holistic way to begin or continue to address our injuries.
Integrating holistic care options into your treatment and recovery may be very helpful. At 449 Recovery, we believe in providing our clients with holistic options. We offer chiropractic care as part of our programs as a way for you to address your overall health. The most important part of recovery is finding what works for you, and we are committed to each client who walks through our door. Helping clients meet their treatment goals starts by addressing individual needs. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Call us today at (949) 435-7449 to speak with our staff and learn more about our facility and the programs we offer.
Dr. Warren Taff MD, graduated from the University of Birmingham, England School of Medicine, with a BA from Rutgers University. He then went on to UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles Health and Human Services and received an MPH. He also attended an internship in internal medicine, with the Veterans Administration. Dr. Taff’s residency includes General Psychiatry at USC, with elective residencies at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and Royal College of Psychiatry. Board certifications include American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Taff has extensive experience in both psychiatry and addiction medicine, extending from 1979 to present. He has held professional titles that include Chief of Staff and Medical Directorship in both hospitals and private sectors.