URUMQI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- A form of traditional therapy has proved helpful for drug rehabilitation, according to a drug rehabilitation center in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
A so-called "sand treatment" has been used by patients after detoxification and has been shown to help the patients recover their physical and mental health, according to Memetjiang Aini, a doctor from a drug rehab center in Turpan prefecture.
The treatment consists of burying patients up to their necks in hot, mineral-rich sand. The heat and pressure from the sand have positive effects on blood circulation and metabolism, helping to negate the effects of drug withdrawal symptoms, Memetjiang said.
The effects of the sand treatment allow doctors to prescribe decreased amounts of medication, helping to mitigate the patients' dependency on drugs, Memetjiang said.
"The sand treatment is the best. It is a completely natural therapy, whereas medication-assisted rehab may lead to new addictions," said one patient who has been receiving the treatment for about one month.
About 100 of the center's patients have received the sand treatment since 2010. In a sample survey of 20 patients who tried the treatment, 18 claimed that their appetite and sleep improved markedly, while their muscle tension and fatigue were effectively eased, according to the drug rehab center.
The sand therapy is still in a testing phase and will likely be used in other rehab centers in Xinjiang in the future, Memetjiang said.