Treatment has evolved quite a lot, particularly over the last decade. What is known now is that addiction is even more complex than we know, with no one known cause, and no one solution. Addiction has roots in genetics and environment, and has common characteristics among those who suffer from it.
For example, persons who are addicted are often plagued with depression and anxiety, suffer from impulse control and frequently have a poor body image.
By the time a woman has arrived in treatment, she is also suffering from trauma, possibly PTSD and has extremely low self-esteem.
For women who come to treatment seeking relief from active addiction, there is much work to be done. This is why taking a multi-dimensional, holistic approach to addiction recovery is so important.
Holistic Therapy And Addiction Recovery
Standard addiction treatment consists of a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, psychoeducational groups, a structured environment and behavioral therapy, among other things. In addition, twelve step integration is often a part of drug treatment. When combined with a safe, warm and welcoming environment that puts a focus on community, personal responsibility and cooperation, a great deal of progress is made toward addiction recovery.
It has become increasingly evident, however, that in order for long-term recovery to truly be successful, there needs to be increased emphasis on more holistic approaches. Therapies that address the whole person and that heal the mind, body and spirit.
There are many examples of this. Art therapy, nutrition therapy, animal assisted therapy and newer, more modern therapeutic tools such as EMDR. One of the most successful and accessible examples of holistic treatment in addiction recovery is yoga therapy.
Yoga Therapy And Addiction Recovery
Yoga has been around for over 2,000 years. Its benefits are well-documented throughout time. In the last couple of decades, research and studies have shown us the multitude of benefits associated with a regular yoga practice, confirming what Yogi’s have known all along.
Now, the medical and therapeutic communities embrace yoga as a preventative and therapeutic practice that benefits the mind and body. It is used in a variety of settings with populations ranging from the very young to the very old. Let’s take a look at how yoga can benefit those in addiction recovery.
Physically, yoga is a practice that builds strength, flexibility and balance. Women often arrive in recovery physically depleted. Yoga is a restorative practice that helps the body heal, detoxify and recover. Practicing yoga helps to reduce chronic pain and inflammation. It also aids in circulation, digestion and improves sleep quality.
Where yoga therapy makes the most difference for women in addiction recovery is in the mind. Yoga is a soothing, healing art that makes measurable changes in brain chemistry and boosts cognitive function.
One of the main elements of yoga is awareness of the breath. Breathing is a simple, unconscious activity that is often given little attention. But the breath is incredibly powerful — it keeps us alive! When you become aware of the breath and learn how to use it correctly, you can increase your focus, lessen anxiety, increase your energy and become more aware of your body, mind and feelings.
Practicing yoga has a profound effect on the chemicals in the brain that affect mood, thoughts and behavior. A regular yoga practice can boost mood, lessening depression. It can decrease anxiety and anger and increase patience.
Because of increased body and breath and thought awareness, women who practice yoga become more accepting and compassionate toward their bodies. In addition, the increase in strength, skill and competence helps build self-esteem.
Substance abuse has been thought to often be a form of self-medication. The fact that over 40% of those addicted also struggle with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders and bipolar disorder seems to back that up.
Yoga is a non-invasive, medication-free way to address many of these issues while also building impulse control, which is another problem that many addicts have.
Finding Yoga Therapy For Addiction Recovery
While yoga therapy is becoming a more widespread offering in many addiction recovery facilities, it still isn’t as available as it should be. At Wayside House, we are proud to offer yoga therapy as part of our holistic approach to women’s addiction recovery. In addition, we offer equine therapy, art therapy and horticulture therapy. Our unique therapy offerings are just a part of our overall program.
Wayside House is a complete addiction treatment program for women ages 18 and over. Our program was developed with the unique needs of women in mind, and was created by women. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, contact us at 561-278-0055 to schedule a consultation.