Are you suffering from addiction and know it’s time to get treatment? Once you start researching addiction treatment, you may start to feel overwhelmed with all the choices out there. How do you know which type of treatment is right for you?
In short, there is no one “right” option for everyone. While many people find success through traditional approaches, such as in-patient treatment or 12-step programs, others find they benefit from alternative treatment methods. These may be added alongside traditional treatment practices, one may be used on its own, or several methods can be combined to create a holistic wellness regimen. If you’re looking to add one or more alternative treatments to your sobriety plan, here are a few you may wish to consider.
It’s widely recognized that addiction is a brain disorder, much like anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Visiting a chiropractor will not only help keep your spine aligned, but can actually help regulate brain function, including issues that lead to (or continue the cycle of) addiction. How? According to researcher Dr. Jay Holder, “Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain … [and] basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” A chiropractor’s magical touch on your spine and other joints can help give your brain the boost it needs to fight cravings and practice healthy habits. Plus, regular chiropractic visits will help treat chronic pain, which can be a lifesaver for those addicted to substances as a means of treating ongoing pain.
Yoga and meditation
There are similarities between yoga and meditation and the 12-step program found in a traditional recovery center. One similarity is the art of practicing acceptance. Yoga involves moving your body into poses that may at times feel uncomfortable. If they feel uncomfortable, you’re supposed to focus on your breathing and stay in the moment. Yoga can also provide you with the community you need to recover more quickly. Typically, in a yoga studio, all members feel like they’re one, and they breathe as one. When you feel connected to others while you’re going through recovery, this will help you take your mind off the substance you’re craving and focus more on the things that matter in life, like loved ones and staying healthy.
Exercising and a healthy diet
Both exercising and a healthy diet can play an important role in addiction recovery. Recovering from substance abuse takes commitment, and so does exercising and sticking to a healthy diet. Exercising can also create structure in your day, which will take your mind off of your addiction. Whether you decide to take up running, swimming or lifting weights, exercising also releases dopamine in your brain, a natural chemical that will make you feel good. Exercising and eating healthy will make you feel better physically and mentally. You’ll need all the strength you can to get through recovery. When you follow through with your diet and exercise plan, you’ll also rebuild confidence in yourself.
If you have a creative side that you’d like to explore during your recovery, try to take up painting, drawing, sculpting or writing. Any form of art can help take your mind off of your addiction, so you can focus on creating something beautiful and meaningful. Regularly practicing art can help you relieve stress and improve your overall well-being. You can even discover a new side of yourself that you didn’t know existed, which will help you heal both mentally and emotionally. With art, you can also have physical souvenirs to put in your home to remind you of a hard time you overcame, which will help build your confidence back up.
Some say that nature can cure all, and that applies to addiction. Getting outdoors is another form of addiction therapy that you can use to recover from your substance abuse. Some addiction centers even offer wilderness therapy as part of their program, which focuses on building self-confidence and trust by making you survive on your own or in a small group in the wilderness. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, try going outside for a hike or a run on the beach on a regular basis. Reconnecting with nature can help you appreciate the small things in life and take your mind off of your addiction.
Conventional therapy isn’t for everyone, or it may not be enough on its own to help you overcome your addiction. If you’re interested in trying an alternative type of treatment, consider trying one or a few of the above science-backed methods. They all focus on healing your mind, body and spirit so you can learn to love yourself again.