Getting to Know Acupuncture and Acupressure

Getting to Know Acupuncture and Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure are both common holistic practices that can have a positive effect on the mind, body, and soul. In fact, records of both acupuncture and acupressure date back to a few hundred years before the common era, making the practices over 2,000 years old.

With roots in ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture was originally developed to help direct the flow of energy in the human body, known as “qi.” Today, acupuncture and acupressure are used to help relieve stress, improve mood, help with chronic pain, treat addiction, and more.

What do Acupuncture and Acupressure Work?

According to the ancient Chinese theory, there are channels in the body where qi flows. When these channels are stimulated, it can help restore balance to the flow of the body’s qi. Western medicine theories are a little different, though.

Most acupuncture and acupressure points stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues. This can cause a release of endorphins as well as a decline in blood pressure, activating the body’s natural “painkillers.”


You may have seen acupuncture depicted in TV shows or movies. The process involves inserting very thin needles at strategic points on the body. Because the needles are so thin, you may not even feel the insertion process.

Needles stay in place for about 10-20 minutes, though the acupuncture specialist may manipulate them after placement.


Acupressure works very similarly to acupuncture, utilizing the same acupuncture points. Instead of needles, though, a specialist will apply pressure to these points. The main benefit of acupressure over acupuncture is that you can practice it at home.

With a little training and information, it’s easy to practice acupressure on your own to help you deal with anxiety and relieve pain.

The Role of Acupressure and Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery

Many times, stress, anxiety, and depression can feed addiction. These mental health issues are called co-occurring disorders and whether they happen as a result of addiction or as the root cause, it is critical to treat them alongside the addiction itself.

Acupuncture and acupressure can help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, they can help reduce the release of dopamine that people with substance use disorders generally experience when they use drugs or alcohol.

Without this rush of dopamine, the drug loses its appeal.

When battling addiction, there are five main acupuncture points that practitioners may target:

  • The kidney point
  • The liver point
  • The lung point
  • The autonomic point
  • The Shen Men point

All of these points are located in the ear and when targeted together, they can result in great anxiety relief and overall relaxation.

While acupuncture and acupressure cannot “cure” addiction, they can help relieve the worst symptoms of it when paired with other holistic and evidence-based treatments.

Addiction Treatment That Pairs with Acupuncture and Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure help with physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal along with some of the chemical changes. To really begin to overcome addiction, it’s critical to also address the mental health side of addiction.

Modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) all help to rewire the brain and create new pathways.

We offer these therapies as well as other holistic treatments at RAIN Recovery in Encino, California. Our approach to addiction recovery is all about whole personal wellness. In order to achieve the best AHA moments, you need to be health in your mind, body, and soul.

If you or a loved one is ready to start the journey to addiction recovery, we can help. Call (818) 208-9446 or contact us online to speak with an admissions counselor today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *