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Which Wellness Practices are Best for Recovery?

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A woman stretches -Yoga Therapy

Eastern influenced wellness practices have gained a great deal of traction in the past decade as high-powered CEO’s, gurus, scientists, and everyday people have embraced the benefits of the various forms of meditation and body practices such as yoga to enhance their wellness and reduce stress levels.

Encore Recovery wholly supports utilizing wellness practices in conjunction with our addiction treatment in VA to help our patients enter and stay in recovery. With all of the extensive coverage of wellness practices, it may be helpful to identify some basic differences between these practices and what they offer, as well as outline what Encore Recovery focuses on.

The Different Types of Meditation for Addiction Treatment

Meditation is often spoken of in broad brush strokes. However, it is actually comprised of many different spiritual practices—all of which are not equally suited to everyone.

Mindfulness Meditation – The most common meditation practice is mindfulness meditation. This is one of the simplest techniques utilized to enhance feelings of wellness. The purpose of mindfulness meditation is in the name: to increase one’s mindfulness of what occurs in their mind. In other words, a person will sit down comfortably (but with alertness—no sleeping!) and observe the thoughts and sensations that arise. This is the basis of all forms of meditation—bringing awareness to that which we often let take control of us subconsciously.

This is an incredible practice for those suffering from addiction because at its heart, addiction is tied to maladaptive coping mechanisms which are faulty responses to stressors that make the person in question turn to unhealthy methods of stress management.

When a person learns to observe their thoughts arising—and all of the feelings associated with them, they can also calmly stay disassociated from them.

Breathing Meditation

Breath meditation is also associated with the term “samatha” which roughly relates to tranquility of the mind. This is achieved, most commonly, through practicing breathwork which can enhance the meditator’s ability to singularly focus their mind.

How does this affect addiction recovery? Simple. We discuss at great length the effects of comorbidity in addiction on this site. A large part of that is discussing mental health conditions that are co-occurring with a substance use disorder. Conditions such as an anxiety or depressive disorder can stem from discordant thoughts that help feed into a person’s addiction.

Breath meditation can bring focus and calm to the mind by learning to consistently refocus away from negative thoughts so that they do not have the opportunity to spiral into anxiety or panic attacks.

CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT, while not a traditional wellness practice, borrows greatly from eastern traditions to provide a framework of therapy which involves identifying thoughts and learning to replace and reframe negative thoughts and experience with more positive ones.

As such, CBT is much more goal-oriented than traditional meditation is. This is due to the fact that, while incredibly healing at times, meditation was not “developed” to be a psychotherapeutic practice, but rather was formed around the idea of obtaining enlightenment as a spiritual practice. However, don’t let that dissuade you—traditional meditation is still a powerful practice at its core that can offer something to virtually anyone.

CBT works to directly address mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and addiction. For those who are a bit more reserved about undertaking a spiritual practice, CBT offers a significantly more secular alternative to traditional meditation.

Trauma Informed Yoga

In our piece about trauma, we discussed at length the effect of trauma on a physical level as opposed to strictly a mental one. It is theorized that this physiological trauma response can become trapped within the nervous system due to being fully expressed.

As such, as part of our addiction treatment in VA, Encore strongly believes that trauma informed yoga can be a highly healing practice for those who have experienced trauma in their lives, which is a great majority of people who suffer from a substance use disorder and one or more co-occurring conditions.

Through this mind-body practice, tranquility and peace of mind can be cultivated, as well as an awareness of the feelings you may experience on a day to day which are habitually and routinely stifled.

Addiction Treatment VA

Encore Recovery strives to provide the very best addiction treatment in Virginia. Our compassionate and highly driven team spend every day considering the best methods and approaches to treating our patients and helping them achieve a lasting recovery.

Wellness practices have grown in popularity due to bevy of scientific research that validates practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation in restructuring and reprogramming the brain towards more healthier states of mind.

Contact Encore Recovery today to find out how we can help you or a loved one who is struggling from a substance use disorder or addiction.

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