Anyone who is aware of addiction, knows someone who has struggled with it, or has struggled themselves, know that addiction is so much more than just a bad habit. Addiction changes brain chemistry and makes it almost impossible for the addict to kick their issue for good. Whether the addiction is with drugs, alcohol, food or even love, what it does to the brain, and to the chemistry of the human body is essentially the same.
The path to wellness for an addict can be a bumpy road. Especially when the thing that addicts are trying to control is really the thing that keeps us alive. Dopamine is a chemical that is produced by the brain to trigger pleasure. We feel this when we do activities that keep us alive such as eating and procreating. When dopamine is released, we feel good, and when we feel good, we want to keep feeling good!
Addictive behavior is also a trigger that releases dopamine. An addict becomes as addicted to the feeling as the thing that brings them that feeling itself. Over time, the brain is not able to produce the same level of dopamine due to the repeated behavior, causing the addict to continue trying to reach that ‘high’ from the first time, and failing each time. The vicious cycle causes the addict to deplete the dopamine in their brain, and continue their obsessive behavior. Addicts who are going through the withdrawal process will generally have lower dopamine levels than the average person due to the cycle.
Massage helps increase levels of dopamine in the brain, slowly, and consistently. When on a regular massage regimen, the body can create higher dopamine levels and maintain them. This helps ease the withdrawal process, and creates a longer-term ability to maintain sobriety.
Going through withdrawal and living a sober life can be a minute to minute process for many. Living life like this produces a great deal of stress. When an addict is recovering, they can easily buckle to the stress and fall off the wagon. Massage decreases stress, not just from the human touch, but by reducing the production of cortisol in the body. It also helps slow breathing and the heart rate, which tends to be higher due to anxiety and stress during the recovery process.
Detoxifying the body plays an important role in the path to recovery and wellness. Choosing massage modalities that assist in the process is important for an addict to live a life of sobriety.
Recovery is a long journey, yet one that is filled with many benefits. As you become healthier and feel better about yourself as a whole, you will want to, and be encouraged to, change all aspects of your life in a healthy way. Let us know what your overall goal is when you make your appointment and we will provide you with the best modalities for your needs. No addict should have to travel the road of sobriety alone.