3 Ways Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Use Holistic Practices
The instructor tells you to go into Downward Facing Dog. Although you find it difficult to hold the pose, you find it easier than you did just last week. You look around and see your classmates struggling and sweating just like you.
Are you in a yoga studio or your local gym? Well, you could be in one of the many holistic rehab centers that treat drug and alcohol abuse, centers that incorporate yoga and other practices. A holistic rehab center addresses its patients’ physical, mental, and spiritual needs to treat the whole picture. Here are some ways that holistic treatment can help people recover.
1) Holistic rehab centers can address patients’ physical needs
Those new to yoga are sometimes surprised at the rigorous physical workout it provides. Yoga builds strength. Recovering drug and alcohol abusers sorely need this, because addiction can sap a person’s strength. Addicts might become malnourished, lose a great deal of weight, or avoid physical activity. If you add these factors to the effects of the drugs or alcohol, it’s no wonder that addiction can leave a person weak.
The classes can help build the strength of the patients’ muscles, hearts, and various bodily systems. They can also help patients become more flexible and feel better overall. Both mental and physical weakness can always be strengthened, however, and that’s the exact intent of holistic rehab centers.
Holistic treatment can address patients’ mental needs
People often abuse drugs and alcohol because they’re trying to avoid negative emotions. They think that alcohol or drugs will numb their pain.
The numbness only lasts for so long. People then discover that they need to use more and more drugs and alcohol to produce these numbing effects. Disgusted at their drug and alcohol habits, addicts might experience even more negative emotions and turn to abusing even more drugs and alcohol.
Yoga and meditation are great ways to deal with these emotions. These practices require people to pay attention to what’s occurring in the present, which typically involves focusing and breathing exercises or other techniques. Holistic rehab centers can help former addicts focus on the present, which is especially helpful for former addicts who are accustomed to beating themselves up about the past and are worried about the future.
2) Holistic rehab centers can address patients’ spiritual needs
Practices such as yoga and meditation can also address spiritual aspects of a person’s life. A person doesn’t have to be a member of a certain religion to follow such practices, but the practices do incorporate concepts of different religions.
For example, yoga uses karma, a concept that exists in the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. According to karma, how people act determines whether they will experience good or bad circumstances.
For people recovering from substance abuse, karma can have both spiritual and practical applications. That’s because karma means consequences. Actions lead to reactions. If people have abused drugs or alcohol, they have experienced the consequences of this abuse.
Practitioners at holistic rehab centers can help people remember the concept of karma, which can help people remember such consequences and maybe discourage them from such abuse. This doesn’t have to manifest as a spiritual belief—holistic rehab centers simply introduce these kinds of practices to help recovering addicts find a better way of dealing with the process of recovery and learn to live a new lifestyle.
3) Holistic Practices Can Help Almost Everyone
Yoga, meditation, and other holistic practices are great physical and mental exercises for practically anyone. Due to their focus on the spirit, mind, and body, yoga and meditation can be particularly effective to treat complex conditions such as addiction. Rehab centers use such practices alongside (or instead of) other treatments to care for patients recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
As yoga and meditation are growing in popularity with the general population, it seems likely that such holistic care will also become more popular.
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