New Addiction Treatment Available to Los Angeles & Orange Counties – The Total Relief Method Hits a Nerve

A 35% – 65% Decrease in Relapse Rates Now Documented

Pressure to improve the relapse rates of addiction treatment facilities are heating up. All over the country addiction is increasingly described as a national and local ‘crisis.’ A big part of this problem is because the relapse rates are so high (90%) that the total number of addicts keeps climbing – tragically so are the mortality rates. Until the relapse rate problem is tackled in a much more statistically significant way – this trend is projected to continue and the treatment facilities and their operators are expected to come under greater pressure to do something about the relapse problem.

One man is doing exactly that – Dr. David Rubenstein, PhD of Southern California – an expert of the nature of Stress and its role in the development of addiction and relapse, has created and tested a new approach. “We have to begin by understanding and perhaps admitting that much of what generates addiction and relapse in the first place is not as well understood as is popularly thought. He goes on to say, “numbers don’t lie, if we really did have adequate understanding then the relapse rates would reflect this in a numerical way: Instead these rates insist that something is missing here. A 90% failure rate is scientifically and morally unacceptable.”

A new treatment model and a specific protocol of practitioner-based manual alternative physical medicine was developed and has been in use since 2013 with a track record that shows at least a 35% reduction in relapse over the first year.

“One of the key understandings uncovered for me happened in 2007 when working with athletes and high-level executives who all had long-term chronic pain issues and who were also addicted or dependent on everything from street drugs to prescription medications. Dozens of my patients ended their drug use seemingly spontaneously. The reason, theoretically speaking, was that their brain and body were being treated to resolve stress reflexes that lead to physical and emotional pain, both are major drivers to drug abuse.”

Defining The Total Relief Method™


The physical treatment is once weekly and an hour long: a ‘one-two punch’ to stress reflexes is deployed in each session. The first component is breathing re-training in stages. The second component is to stress-specific body regions that are responsible for asymmetrical (disproportionate) stress responses and maintaining a constantly present stressed state. One example is the jaw joint or TMJ. During stress human clinch their jaw – even at night causing the brain/body to amplify its stress state, causes muscle tension, and body pain – both of which add to the total stress picture.

The physical component is brain focused but is achieved by specialized, newly invented by Rubenstein, motions called ‘Calibrations,’ which trigger the brain to enter into a hyper-learning state. The motions are gentle and slow but extremely precise. In essence these practitioner-guided movements provide new information to the brain which results in it re-organizing itself. You might call it ‘a brain re-boot.’


Specific education to the staff and clients about the nature of human stress reflexes and trauma are fundamentally necessary components. A 3-part Series of Classes called “How Stress and Anxiety Contributes to Addiction and Relapse,” brings cutting edge science into lay-terms and causes immediate shifts in the mind of the audience that brings realistic hope and clarity about how they got there in the first place and what to do about it.

The key to its success is to trigger the Limbic (lower) Brain to diminish its day-to-day role and thus its negative influences over thinking, emotions, and behavior. The second key is to also trigger the Cortex (higher) Brain to become dominant. The combination changes the landscape of how the addict has direct access to re-gaining self-control.

The educational component enlightens the science of what is happening with the brain and body’s physiological stress reflexes. This reframes the idea and fervent beliefs about the nature of the word ‘choice’ in a scientifically precise manner that empowers hope and encouragement because the addict begins to understand how they can gain control over some of the more perplexing reactions they experience frequently.

What Does It Do?

All of the effects listed below are immediate and long lasting:

  • Oxygenate the brain/body in a manner not achievable by exercise, or other forms of ‘deep breathing’ like Yoga
  • Improved sleep
  • Stress / anxiety / depression reduction by at least 70% with each session
  • Improve focus and concentration (dramatic)
  • Remove brain fog – increase mental clarity
  • Stabilize emotions and improve cognitive function
  • Decrease drama and increase data


How this Impacts Recovery Environments

The previous list causes the structured recovery environment to become more effective and efficient. Specifically, the time spent in group and individual therapy is far more impactful because the addict is now able to pay attention, be in the moment, and therefore get more out of the recovery process. Dramatic behavioral outbursts are not only hard evidence of lower brain dominance as discussed above, but are also negative triggers to fellow addicts’ amounting to a chain-reaction of stress reflexes. This common situation maintains high stress/anxiety/depression triggers. It’s like trying to heal a wound while sitting in a bath of bacteria. Altering this one factor alters the environment toward healthier psychological and physiological functioning for the whole community.

The Bottom Line

The Limbic System in the brain, by far the most powerful driving force in addiction, is put aside for large blocks of time allowing the all-important Cortex to regain control of the addicts thinking, emotions, and behavior. In such a case the addict can process the litany of issues using the right ‘tool’ for the job – the Cortex, where higher cognition and understanding exist. By contrast, as long as the therapeutic time is predominantly spent with the Limbic System doing the thinking, processing, and experiencing failure is likely because we humans can’t reliably recover from using the same system that got us into addiction in the first place.

The Missing Link

A structured schedule and environment coupled with group and individual therapies, yoga, art classes, Bio-feedback, EMDR, and many other important components are the essentials of the Recovery Model today. There is a missing link in this Model: targeted treatment precisely on the physiological aspects of Stress and Anxiety.

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