During your journey of recovery, there will be many techniques that will help you to remain sober; including holistic healing therapies.
In light of the recent crisis surrounding the dangers of becoming addicted to prescription medications, a focus on holistic, non-medicating, healing therapies and methods has become forefront.
What Are Healing Therapies?
Healing therapies are different than traditional treatment in the sense that they focus on the whole. They are a holistic way of treating addiction that focuses on the mind, the body, and the spirit.
These forms of treatment are popular alongside more traditional approaches – such as medical, cognitive, and behavioral therapies – and can offer physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits for the recovering person.
The following information explores some of the more popular forms of holistic healing therapies that help with the journey of recovery.
There are several different types of yoga to explore. Yoga has its roots in India, and began as far back as 5,000 years ago.
Initially designed as a spiritual practice of enlightenment, it has gained popularity in more practical matters, as well.
Yoga practices encourage a symbiotic relationship between mind and body, resulting in benefits such as:
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased mood
- Increased flexibility
- Better digestion
- Improved blood pressure
Within the past decade, it has been discovered that yoga can affect how our genes express themselves.
We are each born with a specific set of biological codes, with the tendencies toward disease being transmitted in our DNA.
It is possible, through behavioral modifications, to turn some of these tendencies on, or off, resulting in less of a chance of developing the conditions which plagued our ancestors.
The genes contributing to the tendency toward abuse of substances will still be present, but it appears that yoga practices can put them to sleep.
2. Tai Chi
Tai Chi was developed, in China, around a thousand years ago.
It began as a highly disciplined form of martial arts, and the words mean, “Supreme Ultimate.”
Some believe that the exercises work to connect the human mind and body to the powerful force of the Universe.
Many believe that this Divine intervention aids in reconnecting us with our origin and purpose as human beings.
On a practical note, the physical benefits of Tai Chi have been reported as ranging from:
- Weight loss
- Improved brain function
- Better balance
- Pain relief
There are also psychological benefits. During an analysis of effectiveness, it was found that,in 87% of cases, those practicing Tai Chi had experienced a reduction in depression, anxiety, anger, and stress.
As many substance users can note, psychological distress is a risk factor for relapse.
Reducing these negative states of mind and emotion can work as a safeguard against the temptation to return to the substance.
Acupuncture is another Chinese practice, even more ancient than the development of Tai Chi.
The mystical aspect of the practice involves the belief that a life-force – or Qi – flows through our physical bodies, and can be stimulated through the insertion of needles at specific points along this flow of energy.
Mystical aspects aside, acupressure may relieve the symptoms of prolonged drug use and withdrawal, and even reduce future drug cravings.
In laboratory studies, acupuncture has been found to restore cells within the brains of recovering addicts, particularly in former heroin users.
With this opiate-based drug, there is often a side effect of loss of brain function.
Repeated exposure to the drug destroys white brain matter, which is thought to aid in the ability to make good decisions and handle stress in appropriate ways.
Heroin also destroys the pathways of transmission of information throughout the nervous system, resulting in a condition called neuropathy.
Acupuncture can provide stimulation for these damaged areas, resulting in physical regeneration of neurological function.
For those not comfortable with the idea of being pricked with pins, there are other viable holistic therapies; including acupressure.
Acupressure is also a Chinese-based technique, with roots in the idea of a flowing life-force within our bodies.
Traditional Chinese medicine (or, TCM) suggests that there are specific points within the body that correspond with certain physical and mental ailments.
Through applying pressure on these related points, the uncomfortable symptoms begin to fade.
Acupressure can assisting in the relief of:
- Back pain
Many of which are also symptoms of drug detoxification and withdrawal.
Though it is not scientifically verified, many also believe that the applying of pressure to specific points along the body can aid in detoxification, which can hasten the expulsion of damaging substances during detox.
The practice of meditation similar to the experience of yoga, but you do not have to do both.
In states of meditation, the individual sets aside devoted time to be free from distractions. Some use chants to aid in producing a state of focus.
During meditation, participants can let go of persistent, anxiety-producing, thoughts, and allow the mind to explore ideas without the problems of daily life interfering.
In the previously mentioned study on Tai Chi, it was also found that there are significant benefits in meditation during recovery.
- Suffered fewer withdrawal symptoms
- Experienced fewer cravings for the substance
- Had a higher rate of completion of their treatment programs
These benefits begin after only two weeks of daily practice.
While meditation requires a specific time, mindfulness is a practice available within your daily routines.
Mindfulness is the discipline of establishing a positive, purposeful, outlook on life.
Those practicing mindfulness develop the ability to savor each experience that they encounter, and to frame the interpretation of events in a way which promotes continued healing and wholeness.
During recovery, it has been suggested that mindfulness practices produce results similar to other cognitive and behavioral therapies.
With the purpose being that of taking the time to acknowledge our experiences, and then re-frame them in ways that we can benefit from, the practice has much in common with cognitive therapy approaches.
When these more positive perspectives are developed, it is easier to follow up on them through applied action, which is the primary focus of behavioral therapy.
Holistic healing therapies offer many benefits to those going through recovery.
By connecting your body and your mind, you can create a stronger connection to sobriety and remain sober.
Because of these therapies, you have more techniques to tackle recovery.
Lakehouse Sober Living offers a sober living home, along with addiction treatment services to those in recovery. If you need help, contact us today.