Laser Therapy for Addiction
Addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, and cigarettes affects lives—both of the person suffering the addiction, and the family and friends who are be subject to the complications surrounding it. In the cases of drug and alcohol addictions, the consequences can be financially costly, and ultimately life threatening. Addiction to cigarettes can bring long-term health problems, and in an era of anti-smoking laws, isolation for the smoker. Rehabilitation programs abound, using traditional medicine, 12-step programs modeled after the Alcoholics Anonymous concepts, and alternative therapies. Low-level laser therapy is a treatment that offers a possible solution to the cravings that prolongs addiction and the problems that can come with them.
Why use Laser Therapy for Addiction?
The basic principal behind laser therapy in treating addictions is a simple one: the laser sends a signal to the brain to begin the immediate production of endorphins—the chemicals in the brain that help to body to relieve pain or fight cravings. The greater the production of endorphins, the better a person will feel. With nicotine, or even in the cases of drug, food, or alcohol use, removing the substance will deplete the receptor sites and consequently create cravings for whatever substance a person has ceased to ingest.
Under normal circumstances, regular endorphin production is slow. Laser therapy is believed to speed up that process and even create an increase in endorphin production, while also increasing serotonin production, another brain chemical that helps a person relax and maintain calm nerves. When a laser therapist treats a patient suffering from addiction, a pointer-like wand will be placed on pressure points on the hands, face, and ears that have been determined to be beneficial for addiction. The process is an entirely external, non-invasive, drug free, and non-thermal procedure. The sessions generally last 20-30 minutes and are completely painless. The effects of the laser therapy will last several weeks.
How Can Laser Therapy Help Addiction?
With regular treatments, laser therapy can help in the same way traditional acupuncture does in some people. The light used on the designated pressure points can stimulate endorphins—the chemicals necessary to maintain a feeling of well-being, decrease stress, and reduce the need for what an addiction might help supply. If the stimulation of endorphins is consistent, the cravings that are crucial to maintaining an addiction can be eliminated. Despite the doubts expressed among some members of the medical and scientific community, laser therapists have concluded that this therapy has been proven helpful to some clients in eliminating various addictions, especially for smokers.
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy (also known as low-level or cold laser therapy, or as one aspect of energy therapy) employs the use of lasers in specially designed devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various purposes, including pain management and for treating addictions, especially smoking. The basic premise underlying its use is similar to that of acupuncture and the focus on certain pressure points in the human body. Just as is recognized in acupuncture, certain pressure points are acknowledged as receptor sites. Cold laser therapy is used in place of acupuncture needles under the same treatment regimen. Energy therapy might also involve other forms such as magnetic, sound, or other variations.