Massage and Acupuncture: Unique Self-Harm Alternatives

January 23, 2015 Jennifer Aline Graham

When people who self-harms feel the need to harm their bodies, they typically turn to the same coping skills they use on a daily basis to stop the urge. Many people listen to music or use deep breathing to help maintain composure when feeling uneasy. Going for a walk or writing down thoughts can be helpful when handling the urge to self-harm. However, sometimes turning to the same coping skills can be just as frustrating as the urge itself when those coping skills don’t always work. Unique self-harm alternatives like massage and acupuncture can help stop self-harm.

It can be frightening convincing yourself to try something new and different like a unique self-harm alternative. When you make the decision to stop self-harming, that is a new and different change you have decided to make. Along with the decision to stop self-harming could come new and creative coping skills you’ve never really thought of using before and choices could include massage and acupuncture. That may mean another new change, but if it is going to help you successfully stop self-harming, why not?

Professional Massages Can Help Stop Self-Harm

I recently received a gift card for my first ever day at the spa. I’d never gotten a professional massage before and went into the session expecting a relaxing, soothing hour – which it was. Before the session, I had to fill out a sheet about why I had come to the spa and what I wanted to take from the session. When checking off boxes, there were some boxes focusing on mental health: decrease stress, re-energize body, and lower anxiety. I wondered how a simple massage could have the power to touch upon all of these factors because, in reality, it didn’t seem possible. Professional massages and acupuncture may be more expensive and unique self-harm alternatives. Learn about self-harm and massage and acupuncture.

Well, it worked.

I left the massage feeling energized and at ease. I realized how helpful a massage could be for someone struggling with self-harm and how, even though they tend to be expensive, it could be seen as a coping skill. In a way, a massage is a healthy alternative to self-harm and gives the person some of the bodily pain they may have wanted in a less harmful, drastic way.

Acupuncture May Cease Self-Harm Behaviors

In previous blogs, I have mentioned my having to deal with vertigo on a monthly basis (usually every few weeks). This has been going on for almost a year now and when vertigo spells come on, they contain the following: headache, dizziness, eye pulses, nausea/vomiting, body aches, and the inability to focus. After going to many doctors and completing numerous evaluations, the trigger for my vertigo is still unknown.

After hearing about the success acupuncture has had with those struggling with vertigo, I decided to give it a try. Being someone who has overcome self-harm, it wasn’t the pain of the needles that made me nervous, but the idea of them affecting me in such a unique way that made me unsure.

Once my first session was over, I felt extremely dizzy and lightheaded (a common side effect). It would take a few sessions before I could tell if the acupuncture had successfully helped my vertigo, but I was intrigued and willing to continue. I was told that acupuncture could help with many different issues, many including mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

For those struggling with self-harm, acupuncture could be a possible self-injury treatment when deciding which route to take. Some people would rather turn to medicine because it is very medically based. With acupuncture, the focus is on your inner being and your pressure points. Even though some people don’t believe in Chinese medicine – if it works, and you are working with a professional, why not give it a try?

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APA Reference
Aline, J. (2015, January 23). Massage and Acupuncture: Unique Self-Harm Alternatives, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 8 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

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