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Massage likely therapeutic for drug addicts

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-02-29 11:34

After dinner, hundreds of drug addicts swarmed the yard of a rehab center in Gansu province to begin their daily massage therapy session.

The 90-minute self-applied treatment, which has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, is offered at six rehab centers in the land-locked province.

Accompanied by soft, calming music, the patients methodically press 23 acupuncture points on their heads, torsos and feet.

"The massage helps me achieve a sense of deep peace," said Wang Li, one of the patients.

"When I began this program, I had insomnia and my dreams were always about drugs," Wang said. "This therapy has helped me reconnect with my body and fight my addiction."

Most of China's rehabilitation programs take a cold turkey approach to weaning addicts off drugs, although sometimes supplementary medication, such as methadone, is prescribed.

Alternative therapies including herb medication, acupuncture and massage are often used as adjunct of the treatment.

Gansu started to offer the massage therapy in late 2014, said Han Quanli, director of the provincial rehabilitation management.

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