Unique Activities for Recovery
Spa Expansion: Massage Therapy
As promised, WSTC Spa Services continue to expand. Many have asked, “When will I be able to get a massage?” Good news, WSTC Spa is now offering Massage Therapy. After obtaining clearance from our medical staff, patients come to see our new Massage Therapist Fabiana. In the beginning of the session Fabiana consults with the patient to see if there are any injuries or areas of concern for her to work on. As soothing music plays in the background, our patients are treated to a twenty minute massage. Techniques included in the massage consist of stretching, kneading, compression and vibration. Research has proven that Massage Therapy stimulates circulation, strengthens the immune system and helps to heal the brain. Massage combats stress on a physiological level. It has been found to decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. At the same time, it increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure, and which play a role in addiction because using substances causes the brain to produce these chemicals.
After a while, the brains of addicts can no longer produce these neurotransmitters in response to normal stimuli. The result is post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome, which causes symptoms such as depression, insomnia and chronic pain for up to a year after the addict stops using. By stimulating the release of these neurotransmitters, massage helps the brain heal from the effects of long-term substance abuse and can relieve post-acute-withdrawal symptoms.
Massage Therapy also helps recovering addicts re-connect on a couple levels. Recovering addicts often do not feel a mind-body connection. This is because they have typically spent a long time trying to hide from their feelings, and feelings occur in the body. Some recovering addicts have a history of physical abuse and trauma, which only deepens the disconnection between mind and body. By bringing awareness into the body, massage therapy re-establishes that connection. Massage therapy can also help recovering addicts reconnect with others, by helping them connect with the massage therapist. For some, massage may be the first experience they have had with positive touch and it’s a therapy that lends itself to building trust. Through learning to trust a massage therapist, a recovering addict can begin learning to trust others.
WSTC believes in a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Massage Therapy is yet another tool we utilize to help with our patients’ healing process. Despite the rapid growth, WSTC Spa Services are still in their infancy. As we expand our service offering, we will continue to keep you updated. Be well!
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.