A holistic approach to detox and treatment has become increasingly popular over the past ten years. These holistic approaches are now commonly being integrated into substance abuse and addiction treatment. A variety of holistic drug detox programs exist throughout the country. Some people disagree with these approaches and think the old way is the best way. When talking about drug or alcohol abuse disorder it is always best to give every client the opportunity to find the path that best fits their individual needs.
Holistic detoxes and holistic treatment centers are a recent addition to the rehab industry. Therefore there isn’t a complete body of research that verifies the effectiveness of these treatments for recovering addicts/alcoholics. A lot of the practices used in holistic detoxes have been around for hundreds of years, they just have never been implemented into rehab centers.
The Journal of Psychiatric Services did some research on the effectiveness of holistic treatments. Their findings showed that facilities that offered a holistic approach had an overall happier group of clients. This demonstrated that a person’s satisfaction with the facility was a huge motivator to stay in the program and complete it. These are some of the main factors for achieving long-term sobriety and clean time. Being happy and comfortable with the facility will help prevent all “walls” from being built, giving clients a much better chance at a better life. Most holistic detox centers and treatment facilities integrate the holistic approach side by side with more traditional addiction treatment therapies.
What is Holistic Detox?
Yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage therapy are commonly part of holistic detoxes and holistic treatment centers. These practices have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices have been proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. If any of those emotions get too overwhelming it can trigger thoughts of using which can result in relapse.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that more than 33% of adults in the United States use some form of holistic medicine. These numbers continue to rise as our country becomes more focused on natural approaches than prescription medications. and the trend seems to be expanding. Holistic detox programs look at recovery from drugs and alcohol from all angles. Getting clean and staying clean is about changing one’s physical, mental and spiritual state. A holistic approach to treating substance abuse and addiction will do this while also combining classic approaches like group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapies and one on one sessions.
These techniques are commonly referred to as alternative medicine or complementary treatments. They are often based on old practices that focus on being close to nature, close with one’s self and derived from classic cultural traditions.
How Can Meditation Help Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics?
When someone is in the first few months of recovery their head is often cloudy and they will find it very hard to concentrate and function on a day to day basis. When someone is dealing with this and they do not work on improving their mental state they are at a higher risk of relapse. Emotions are high in early recovery and can often be hard to control and erratic. Meditation can help one control all of these things, learning meditation early in recovery will help make long-term recovery much easier to obtain. Meditation can be used in all stages of sobriety and is a great tool to use that can help with day to day life.
The practice of meditation goes back thousands of years, some of the earliest written records of meditation date back over 3500 years ago in India. It is defined as “a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.” In simpler terms, it is the practice of quieting the mind and minimizing thoughts.
Breathing exercises are great at lowering one’s heart rate, allowing both the mind and body to relax. There isn’t a certain amount of time that meditation must be practiced on a daily basis. Some people will meditate for a few minutes while others can easily do it for an hour or more. Most people who practice meditation will do so for about 10-20 minutes a day.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
The first few months of recovery can be a challenging time for many recovering addicts and alcoholics. Stress and anxiety levels are high, as they ride an emotional rollercoaster with a minimal ability to focus on daily tasks and situations. If meditation is practiced it will help with controlling and handling emotions. Daily meditation will not only help lower stress levels but it will help clear the mind, allowing one to think more freely and focus on certain tasks with greater ease. Meditation is not religious but it can help with spirituality. A lot of recovering addicts and alcoholics may have problems connecting with a higher power. This can help build that relationship while simultaneously creating inner peace.
There have been countless studies performed that prove meditation is beneficial to everyday life. These benefits are both physical and mental. Recent studies have proven that it can help reduce gray matter in the brain, which basically means it is aging at a slower rate. This helps with both memory and decision making. Having a strong mental standing is very important for a high quality of day to day life. Getting in a good routine with meditation can help with many things; improved brain function and memory, greater inner calm throughout the day, reduced cortisol, normalized blood pressure, reduced insomnia, lower risk of heart attack/stroke and reduced anxiety and depression
Just a few minutes a day can do wonders.“Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, Ph.D., a Chicago health and wellness coach. Daily meditation will help you stay in a positive mood throughout the day. It will help reduce the signs of aging and will help you manage stress much easier. You will notice your concentration getting better and it will also help with cardiovascular health and will improve your immune system.
Is it Hard to Meditate?
Many people think that meditation will take years to learn, that isn’t true. Those who practice meditation will start feeling the benefits after just a few days. One can technically meditate anywhere, but for beginners, it is best to be done in a comfortable area without distractions. Find a place where you can sit or lay down and be comfortable, some people decide to sit on a pillow or use a meditation chair. Some people will choose to meditate in complete silence while others will use soft music or guided imagery. If you are able to dim the lights it can make it easier to meditate.
Once you have found a comfortable spot simply close your eyes. Focus on how you are breathing, try not to control the pattern of your breaths just breathe freely. Now focus your attention on your breathing, notice how your body reacts and moves with each new breath. Focus on each individual part of your body, from your toes, to your shoulders to your head; notice how your breathing affects each part of your body different. You may notice your mind wandering a bit, this is normal. Just simply put your attention back to your breathing. Try and do this for a few minutes, as you get better at it increase the amount of time that you dedicate to meditation.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Some people might cringe at the thought of having needles placed in specific areas of the body, including the face and hands, but this practice is extremely old and relatively painless. Acupuncture refers to the holistic practice of taking tiny needles and inserting them beneath the skin’s surface. This is done to help unclog and arouse the meridians allowing the universal life force energy called qi (chee). Many who have undergone acupuncture therapy report reduced stress, physical pain, nausea and depression.
These feelings and emotions can be very intense during early recovery. When in a holistic detox center not only will clients be in a safe environment, they will also be learning tools and skills designed to help control and minimize these sensations. When someone is able to feel comfortable and safe throughout detox their chances of completing the program will rise significantly. Upon completing and going back into the real world they will have new tools that they can implement in their recovery.
More Information and Finding a Holistic Detox Center
If you or someone you care about are currently struggling with drug or alcohol abuse please contact our toll-free line today. Whether you would like to know more about holistic detoxes or just need someone to talk to. A specialist is standing by ready to help you through this difficult time in any way they can. Calls and consultations are completely confidential and free of charge.
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