Mind and Body: Alternative Treatment Modalities for Recovering Addicts

The complexity of addiction and the sheer difficulty of finding substance abuse solutions have brought many treatments once considered alternative into the mainstream. In many cases, they’re now considered valuable complements to a more traditional form of treatment. However they’re regarded, many of these alternatives are effective at helping recovering addicts steer clear of thoughts and actions that elicit relapse behavior by restoring or strengthening the mind-body connection.

Relaxation for Recovering AddictsIt is this connection that fortifies the individual’s resolve by establishing cognitive patterns that discourage self-destructive actions. The ultimate objective is to maintain sobriety by drawing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual resources.

Alternative therapies can be efficacious when other modalities prove ineffective. Many are so successful that they’re often incorporated in traditional treatment programs. However, an individual in the throes of a particularly persistent and damaging form of addiction may be better off staying with a more medically rigorous program.

Neurofeedback for Recovering Addicts

Neurofeedback is one of the most progressive means of establishing a strong mind-body connection. Electroencephalography sensors are attached to the patient’s head and brainwave readings are fed into a computer where they are displayed. The patient then interacts with the readings in an attempt to change them, the idea being that through biofeedback one can alter behavioral patterns that lead to relapse. This is one of the most widely used of the “alternative” treatments.

Biochemical restoration for Recovering Addicts

One of the hardest things to accomplish through therapy is to quiet or control cravings for drugs and alcohol. Biochemical (or nutrition) restoration seeks to overcome cravings by using nutritional foods to repair biochemical imbalances. It is these imbalances that cause temptation, depression and unpredictable mood swings that problematize the ongoing effort to remain clean and sober. Dietary plans are created based on an assessment of the individual patient’s imbalances. Exercise and other treatment approaches are often added once the balance has been restored in the patient’s body. This is an effective way to help someone suffering from a severely assertive addiction improve mood by following a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, proteins and essential vitamins and minerals.

Yoga for Recovering Addicts

Yoga, a physical and meditative discipline, is one of the most popular “alternative” treatment strategies. It uses focused breathing, flexibility-enhancing moves and meditation to strengthen the mind-body connection. Restoring this connection strengthens one’s ability to achieve inner peace and resist the temptations of addiction through a heightened sense of self-awareness. Yoga is widely used by rehabilitation facilities as a key strategy or a complementary discipline to other approaches.

Exercise for Recovering Addicts

Physical activity aids recovering addicts by increasing neurotransmitter activities in the brain, which improves mood and one’s sense of well-being, and improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen in the body. Regular exercise can replace the body’s cravings for drugs with a natural feeling of euphoria that encourages the individual to repeat it through a dedicated exercise regimen. Coupled with diet, exercise is a powerful supplement to addiction recovery.

Meditation for Recovering Addicts

Regular meditation also improves mood while reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. A recovering addict who learns to meditative effectively develops a mindfulness and self-awareness that aids the body’s physiological efforts to detoxify itself. Practitioners of transcendental meditation claim that it eliminates physical and mental factors that contribute to relapse behavior. Few practices are more directly effective at restoring the mind-body connection than practicing mindfulness through meditation.

Animal therapy for Recovering Addicts

Animal therapy is one of the most promising new alternative addiction therapies. Recovering addicts physically interact with dogs or cats on a regular basis, or help care for horses. This interaction has proven effective at reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing self-confidence and alleviates the most painful symptoms of addiction.

Which treatment to choose for Recovering Addi犀利士

After completion of your treatment at the Philadelphia Addiction Center talk to Dr. Tsan and ask which of the healing methods listed above is the best for you.


Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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