Even though I realized that I needed help and decided to check into a rehab clinic, I realized I don’t want to be there from the first moment I arrived. In fact, I started to question if I should be there and thought that I’m perfectly capable of handling my addiction all by myself. Frankly, the last thing I wanted was to attend a support meeting or sit down and have a chat with the therapist at a facility.
Luckily, as days went by, the discomfort and withdrawal started to ease – mostly thanks to the alternative therapies available at the rehabilitation clinic. While you may not think much of them now, you should know that the following different therapies can be of great value, especially in the early stages of recovery.
Mindful meditation is commonly employed in treatment programs due to its impressive ability to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and regulate mood. The technique implies focusing on your breathing, while acknowledging your emotions and thoughts. One of the exercises I also practiced is called “urge surfing” where you allow your craving to expand and subside as if it was a passing wave.
- Massage Therapy
Massage is not just a practice that helps you relax, but a technique that helps to repair the communication between mind and body. Patients who underwent massage therapy since the early recovery phase reported less pain, reduced cravings, less intense withdrawal symptoms, an ability to think clearly, and increased awareness. Massage could prove beneficial not only during rehabilitation, but also post-treatment as a means of controlling stress and preventing relapse. In addition, the massage therapy could teach the recovering addict how to respect his/her own body and encourage him/her to do so without the help of alcohol or drugs.
Because its objectives imply restoring and balancing bodily functions, acupuncture can be used as a complementary treatment for addiction. Available in various forms, the auricular acupuncture proved to be the most beneficial alternative therapy to help people dealing with substance abuse issues. Not only did it alleviate pains, cravings, stress, and anxiety, but it also combated insomnia and withdrawal symptoms, the side effects often associated with early recovery.
Neurofeedback refers to a technique of regulating hyper and underactive brain waves with a help of a computer and a few sensors. The practice is one of the most comfortable ways to improve concentration and sleep as well as a safe method to relieve anxiety and depression. Because the patients are taught how engage in neurofeedback, they can utilize it long after they leave the rehab center; it’s overall a simple aspect that could prove invaluable in remaining abstinent.
- Nutritional Therapy
While nutritional deficiency is pretty common among addicts, some of the people struggling with substance abuse are malnourished and experience impaired brain functioning. Learning how to eat healthy doesn’t just help people feel better, but it also does wonders when it comes to mood stabilizing, restoring energy, or improving focus. Besides, by ingesting the foods that stimulate a similar reward system in the brain as drugs and alcohol, you are less likely to suffer a relapse.
Have you tried any of these supplementary therapies in fighting addiction? Share with us here or tell us more in the forum!