A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach to Long-Term Recovery

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Every single person on the planet is unique.  Our DNA, our personal histories and our family histories all work together to create a wholly individual and distinctly unique human being.  Because of our differences based on genetics and life story, people can become dependent on drugs or alcohol for entirely different reasons. As unique as the contributing factors are that might drive an addiction, so, too, are the varied ways an individual will respond to the methods employed to treat the addiction.

For this reason, effective addiction treatment programs do not adhere to a one-size-fits-all model. Rehabs that expect all addicts to neatly fit into their standard treatment protocols fail to address the nuances that make each individual tick.  If a long-term rehab program seeks to engage and rehabilitate their clients they must develop a program that will speak to the whole person—mind, body, and spirit.

How Holistic Treatment Heals the Mind

The bones, or the framework of a successful drug and alcohol rehab program will include scientifically proven evidence-based therapies and interventions.  Such therapies as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical therapy should from the core of the psychological portion of the treatment program.

Through one-on-one therapy sessions, the therapist can guide the individual toward discovering what psychological pain points might be preventing recovery and/or contributing to the addictive behavior. Identifying the underlying pain or past trauma is a crucial step in addiction treatment, because without doing this emotional excavation, processing it, and treating it, the need to use will just continue.  Group therapy sessions are another effective tool for healing the mind, with peer interaction and feedback contributing to the process. In addition to the traditional forms of therapy, adjunct therapies can enhance the healing of the mind, such as:

  • Art and music therapy. Some people find it extremely difficult or painful to express themselves verbally. They may clam up in a therapy session, feeling too self-conscious, embarrassed, or ashamed to verbalize their feelings. Art and music therapy offer alternate avenues for expression, to “paint a picture” of what is going on inside. This can help the therapist provide appropriate counsel to them.

  • Journaling. Some people find that the things they may learn about themselves in therapy take awhile to process. They may need to ponder the session and the things the therapist was suggesting or pointing out.  Journaling provides a safe place to record thoughts and feelings during treatment (and beyond) where the individual can consider what they are learning about their addictive behaviors, triggers, toxic people in their life, etc., and process it on a deeper level through writing.

How Holistic Treatment Heals the Body

It is a fact that drug and alcohol abuse can take a huge toll on the body.  Most people seeking help for an addiction have experienced some degree of nutritional deficiency, have weakened immune systems, and are physically out of shape.  In recovery, not only is the body healing but the brain is also attempting to restore itself to a healthy state. Diet, nutrition, and exercise all play a role in restoring health in recovery, helping to battle depression and anxiety, and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Weight training helps improve overall fitness, but also promotes confidence.  Regular exercise increases the feel-good brain chemicals, endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, improving mood in addition to the many physical health benefits.  Improved sleep quality, better focus and concentration, and a more positive mindset are associated with regular exercise.

Yoga practice enhances muscular strength and body flexibility, promotes and improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, promotes recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improves sleep patterns, and enhances overall well-being and quality of life.
 

Diet should include lean proteins, fresh leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, beans, seeds, and nuts.  Sodas and energy drinks should be discouraged or not offered in rehab, and sweets and caffeine should be minimized.

How Holistic Treatment Heals the Spirit

Regardless of creed, the aspect of spirituality is an important part of our being.  Our spiritual beliefs help guide our actions, help us set boundaries, and teach us to be more disciplined.  Whether a person prefers to talk to God on a hike, to meditate in their bedroom, or to sit in a church and pray is highly individualistic.  But cultivating a spiritual component is a recovery tool that should be utilized.

Some of the activities that can help restore the spirit in recovery include:

  • Yoga, prayer, and meditation.  So much of addictive behavior involves checking out of reality and using the substance to achieve a kind of numb detachment.  Once sober, it is helpful to practice techniques like yoga, prayer, mindfulness, and meditation to redirect consciousness toward both spiritual awareness and living in one’s present reality.

  • The 12-step program.  At the core of the 12-step program is a spiritual journey, acknowledging the need for God or a higher power to give the individual the strength to conquer their addiction.  The actions embedded into each step are designed to incrementally increase the person’s reliance on their higher power in healing their life and overcoming addiction.

Cornerstone Healing Center Provides Both Evidence-Based and Holistic Treatment Elements

Cornerstone Healing Center is an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for men that has built its program around the philosophy that successful, long-term recovery be achieved through therapies and activities that engage all aspects of the individual, mind, body, and spirit.  Cornerstone offers varying levels of intensity in its outpatient programming, which includes medical detox, psychotherapy, group therapy, weight training, nutritional therapy, yoga and meditation, relationship skills, life skills, and 12-step program involvement.  For more information about the program, contact Cornerstone Scottsdale today at (866) 807-8886.

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