Are There Any Natural Remedies for Alcohol Abuse?

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With all the modern drug therapies for alcoholism and alcohol abuse, it is legitimate to ask the following question: are there any natural remedies for alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

Complementary Therapy for Addiction: Drumming out Drugs

One natural remedy for drug and alcohol abuse is called "drumming out drugs."

Recent publications citing the experiences of clients and therapists suggest that substance abuse rehab programs employing "drumming" (playing the drums) and related community and shamanic activities can play a key role in treating drug and alcohol dependence.

Known as "Drumming out Drugs," these programs are used in various prisons, community centers, addiction workshops and training programs, and in well-known rehabilitation programs.

Even though reliability and validity studies of the "Drumming out Drug" programs are lacking, evidence suggests that drumming augments substance abuse recovery.

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These observations are corroborated by studies on the therapeutic psycho physiological effects of drumming, mediation, shamanism, and other shamanic practices.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Complementary Approach

All forms of Oriental medicine have their roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is the oldest professional, continually practiced, literate medicine in the world.

TCM is a body of health care that includes acupressure, moxa, nutrition/food therapy, cupping, herbal medicine, acupuncture, tui-na massage, and medical exercises such as qi-gong and tai-chi.

Complementary medicine means that TCM is frequently used in addition to conventional Western medicine. Modern Western conventional medicine and TCM are the two major medical systems in the world today.

TCM is one of the earliest forms of holistic medicine, which addresses the mind, spirit, and the body. In TCM, unlike most conventional medicines, treatment and diagnosis are centered on the patient as a whole person, and less on the symptoms. Unlike most conventional medicines, TCM also uses natural methods in treatment and diagnosis.

People who have a preference for a more holistic and natural method of treatment are candidates for TCM. A good illustration of this natural and holistic approach concerns the treatment of people with drug, alcohol, and eating addictions.

These dependencies have physical and psychological aspects or manifestations. TCM is relevant under such circumstances due to the fact that it simultaneously addresses the mind, body, and spirit in the diagnosis and treatment of the patients' dysfunctions.

Other problems such as chronic pain, sexual dysfunction, depression, incontinence, insomnia, tension headaches, obesity, and anxiety, are examples of medical dysfunctions that TCM can diagnosis and treat due to their underlying physical and psychological aspects.

In addition to the importance of the spirit, TCM views healing the mind as a vital aspect of healing the body. Similar to biofeedback techniques, TCM practitioners can teach patients how to control ordinarily involuntary body functions, such body temperature, muscle tension, and heart rate.

Unlike traditional biofeedback, however, TCM features a type of mind-body treatment biofeedback that does not require hooking up a person to a machine.

Vitamins and Supplement Therapy

Various vitamin and supplement therapies have been proposed as "natural" ways to treat alcohol abuse. For instance, a nutritional product entitled "Neu-Recover" claims to effectively treat alcohol abuse by replenishing the neurotransmitters that were exhausted by repeated alcohol abuse over time.

According to the proponents of Neu-Recover, the following neurotransmitters are interrelated alcohol abuse and alcoholism: serotonin, dopamine, enkephalin, and GABA. When alcoholics use Neu-Recover and eat healthy food, they will experience increased calm as their craving for alcohol subsides.

Some practitioners who advocate a "natural" approach to alcohol abuse point to nutritional supplements and herbs that can be used to counteract alcohol withdrawal after a person stops drinking.

Many natural approach practitioners, however emphasize that natural withdrawal methods should not be employed as substitutes for detox centers or for Alcoholics Anonymous and similar forms of alcohol treatment programs. Such a complementary focus has much in common with the holistic and natural TCM approach discussed above.

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Conclusion: Are There Any Natural Remedies for Alcohol Abuse?

Some people do not view the modern "drug-oriented" medical profession as the final word in health care. As a result, some people have asked the following question: are there any natural remedies for alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

While not as well-known as the various forms of drug therapy, natural remedies such as "drumming out drugs," traditional Chinese medicine, and vitamins and supplement therapies offer hope to individuals who look to natural methods to treat alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

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