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How Can Yoga Help with Addiction?

a diverse group benefits from yoga therapy as part of their holistic addiction treatment plans

Physical and mental health are deeply linked. While western medicine now holds this truth in higher and higher regard, eastern healing has championed it for centuries. Practices like yoga, which originated in India thousands of years ago, help unite body and spirit with lasting benefits.

Thanks to the greater union between the healing styles of the west and east, U.S. healthcare providers now often believe that practices like yoga can help in many situations. One of the most powerful is substance abuse treatment. If you’d like to learn more about yoga therapy and addiction recovery, contact NuLife Behavioral Health today. Our qualified staff is available at 888.568.2057 or by online message, and we look forward to talking with you.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga Therapy in Addiction Recovery?

Yoga therapy can help clients in recovery in many ways. They not only gain physical benefits but mental health advantages as well. Yoga can therefore support treatment for any underlying illness or disorder that may co-occur with substance abuse in various ways.

For example, yoga promotes relaxation and present-moment awareness, both key in working with trauma, anxiety, and depression. In all three conditions, clients often struggle with “time travel.” Hurtful events that happened in the past or projected pain in the future seem to consume them. Yoga directly counters this. It encourages clients to remain in the present during practice and develops skills for returning to it through physical grounding.

On a more strictly substance abuse-related level, yoga’s benefits include:

  • Less stress overall, and thus less reason to use in the first place
  • A gentle and highly customizable strength and flexibility practice to help repair any physical damage done by substance abuse
  • Better sleep during a time when withdrawal symptoms often lead to insomnia or other nighttime disturbance
  • Increased self-awareness and self-confidence
  • A mental focus that helps redirect clients’ energy from cravings and painful thoughts and feelings which often arise during withdrawal
  • Positive social engagement and community based on shared interest
  • Benefits to body chemistry including higher levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol

How Does Yoga Therapy Fit into a Substance Abuse Treatment Plan?

Yoga therapy is a great addition to an addiction treatment protocol. Nonetheless, in almost all cases, lasting recovery requires other components as well. When yoga or another offering like art therapy or nutrition counseling is included within a larger treatment protocol, it’s called “complementary.” This is precisely because these therapies work best when traditional approaches are present as well. The more conventional parts of effective substance abuse treatment programs include:

  • Talk therapy – One-on-one sessions can give clients insight into their addiction, coping skills to avoid relapse, and a healthier outlook. Dialectical behavioral therapy is especially common in addiction recovery. This is because it teaches clients to reframe negative thought patterns, including ones directly related to using. It also provides mindfulness coaching, allowing for self-regulation in moments of stress.
  • Medication-assisted therapy – Withdrawal from some substances like alcohol or narcotics can cause great physical discomfort and even danger. In these cases, pharmaceutical intervention may be supportive or necessary. In a qualified treatment program, clients can benefit from medication under a doctor’s close supervision. This allows them to receive dynamic, personalized care and, consequently, a greatly improved rate of recovery.
  • Support groups – Peer meetings like 12-step programs can greatly support recovery. They offer a nonjudgmental social setting, foster accountability, and often give access to ongoing individual mentorship.

Contact NuLife Behavioral Health for More Information on Yoga Therapy for Addiction Recovery Today

If you’re looking for a substance abuse recovery program in Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, or New Jersey, call NuLife Behavioral Health. We’re standing by to discuss our range of accredited treatments, including yoga therapy. Take the first steps toward better health by calling us at 888.568.2057 or filling out our confidential online contact form.