Alternative treatments for addiction have been gaining steam in recent years to support traditional therapies as a supplement. Learn about how to utilize the power of alternative therapies to lower anxiety in a natural way, without the use of drugs or alcohol.
Alternative to Mainstream
What seemed unusual or ‘outside the box’ is now considered part of a toolbox therapists and counselors can use in supporting an individual through recovery. Many treatment facilities offer the following therapies for individuals in treatment:
- Equine therapy
- Biochemical restoration
- Water therapy
- Ropes courses
- Sound therapy
To get started with finding natural ways to incorporate stress reduction into a recovery plan, start with some of the following practices. Many of them can be done on one’s own, outside of a treatment center once a person enters recovery.
- Meditation and mindfulness. Meditation is the art of practicing mindfulness as a way to regulate one’s mood and lower the stress hormone cortisol. The body is better able to detoxify itself of harmful chemicals which can affect neurotransmitter receptors and alter mood when meditation is used.
- Proper nutrition. Proper nutrition and eating habits can lower blood sugar, and inflammation and increase brain function to boost mood and immunity.
- Yoga. The word means ‘union’ in Sanskrit, which combines three aspects: physical postures, breath work and meditation. The philosophy of yoga brings mind, body and spirit together in alignment. A state of inner peace can grow whereby persons with addiction learn body awareness, how to release stress and use less substances to enhance mood. Physical exercise is also good for the body and mind.
- Exercise. Daily exercise is known to boost mood, help fill the void of finding a purpose in recovery and provide myriad health benefits including cardio and endocrine systems. Enhanced memory is also another positive effect of exercise.
- Acupuncture. Though acupuncture has less evidence than meditation, it can be helpful in lowering stress in the body, providing a detoxifying effect and lowering anxiety. It may also be used to control cravings, among other benefits.
- Animal-assisted therapy. Pets are known to lower a person’s anxiety and stress level while also giving a person in recovery someone else to care about. The person learns to nurture another being and cultivate a sense of what it means to give and receive unconditional love.
Other things which may be therapeutic are also water therapy, swimming, creative hobbies like art or writing and horticultural therapy including gardening. The idea is to cultivate something with one’s own hands and watch it grow. This provides a sense of structure, preparation, waiting and then the final product appears. Along the way, a person can release stress, anxiety or worries about what the future holds in recovery and just focus on the present moment.
Addiction is a disease that affects men and women and young people. Finding the right treatment program can be difficult but Hired Power can help. We will assist you with resources and information about what would best suit your individual situation. Call us at 800.910.9299 to get started.