Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program offers several holistic therapies including breathwork, equine therapy, and yoga in order to facilitate recovery and healing of the mind, body and spirit. Holistic means interconnected and whole, and holistic medicine is characterized by the fact that it doesn’t merely address symptoms, it digs deeper to address the underlying problems. It treats the whole person, not only a physical or mental issue, but a spiritual, emotional, whole person approach.
At Guardian, we strongly believe in this practice of holistic therapy. Drug and alcohol use are symptoms of addiction. While addressing practical aspects of addiction are important, effective treatment must address the whole person if true healing and recovery are to take place. This is why therapeutic activities such as yoga practice are so important.
What Is Yoga Practice And Why Is It Important?
Yoga isn’t just a great way to get in shape. Yoga is a practice that has stood the test of time. It was developed over two thousand years ago in the far east and slowly made its way to the west. It is a spiritual, healing art that transforms the body, mind and spirit.
Once seen as an “alternative” practice, yoga is widely accepted as a vital, healthy and therapeutic form of wellness and is backed by research that shows the benefits of yoga for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
Regular yoga practice is shown to increase flexibility and strength, improve posture and relieve aches and pains. It also reduces stress levels and promotes healthy sleep patterns. It reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Other areas of physical benefit include the digestive system and immune system. In addition to all of that, yoga just feels good.
But there is more to it than that. Yoga practice offers many benefits for the mind and boosts emotional well-being.
How Does Yoga Practice Benefit Addiction Treatment?
In recent years, studies have shown that yoga practice benefits people who are struggling with addiction. There are multiple reasons for this.
First of all, the physical benefits are ideal for newly recovering addicts. Drug and alcohol use are physically taxing. Most people arrive in treatment physically depleted. But that is only part of it. Addiction wreaks havoc on the mind as well. Even using drugs for a short period of time can cause cognitive impairment such as confusion, short-term memory loss, lack of focus and “brain fog.” These effects vary from person to person, and for those who used for long periods of time, it can take years for the brain to recover from the damage done.
Not only that, but changes in brain chemistry, particularly among those who have been addicted to stimulants such as methamphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy, can result in feelings of depression, lethargy and lack of interest in everyday activities. This is due to lowered dopamine production. Like other brain function, it can take months or even years to return to normal levels.
Holistic therapies such as yoga can help. The practice of yoga helps produce feelings of calm, reducing stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to increase dopamine production. Increased blood and oxygen flow help to heal not only the body but also the brain, improving cognitive function.
Other benefits include the development of patience and impulse control. For addicts in early recovery, the benefits of a regular yoga practice not only bring short-term relief in the beginning but also promote long-term positive changes that will last years.
What is great about yoga is that you do not have to become an expert or guru to experience the benefits of practicing. From the beginning, with a few simple moves, novice yoga students can begin to reap the benefits of increased strength and flexibility, relaxation and awareness.
Find Out More About Guardian Recovery Network And Holistic Therapy
Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program offers individual and group therapy, family restructuring support, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and more. These therapies work together with 12 step immersion and holistic therapies like yoga to provide a comprehensive recovery experience that leads to success.
If you are struggling with addiction, or if someone you love has a problem, Guardian IOP can help. Our outpatient program can be the turning point in your life. Call today at (877)301-HOPE to find out more or schedule a confidential consultation to find out how our program can help you or a loved one.