Should You Incorporate Yoga Into Your Recovery Plan?

12 Step Addiction Counselor

Creating a personalized and diverse treatment plan to address drug and alcohol dependence has long been considered the gold standard in effective addiction treatment. Numerous types and styles of therapies in different combinations have been tested to find the optimum arrangement. The bottom line, however, is that each patient is different, and what works wonders for one may only be marginally successful for another.

Holistic treatments that address the connection between the mind, body, and spiritual elements of recovery have long been a valued part of treatment. Yoga is one of the most popular of these treatments – but is it an effective part of an overall treatment plan?

According to a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, the answer to that question is “yes.” The study found that participants who incorporated regular yoga practice into their alcohol treatment program were more likely to decrease the amount of alcohol that they drink.

Benefits of Holistic Treatment

When incorporated with intensive psychotherapy and medication when necessary, holistic treatment options like yoga can improve the ability of the patient to avoid relapse. Benefits of yoga specifically include:

  • Lowering overall stress levels
  • Providing a coping mechanism for acutely stressful situations that can replace drug and alcohol use
  • Allowing for spiritual exploration
  • Cultivating flexibility and strength
  • Improving ability to fall asleep at night and sleep soundly

But yoga isn’t the only holistic option. Meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, bodywork, and herbal supplements are all classified as holistic treatment options and can all be tailored to meet the needs of the patient in recovery and improve his ability to withstand the temptation to drink or get high.

It should be noted that use of holistic treatment practices like yoga to address addictive behaviors must be used in addition to psychotherapeutic treatment. Alone, they will not be an effective treatment though patients may still experience some physical and mental health benefits.

What’s Right for You?

Whether or not to include yoga in your recovery plan is a decision that should be based on your comfort level and interest. The best way to answer that question is to give it a solid effort for a period of time and see how it affects you personally.

Learn more about the different options that can be a beneficial part of your overall recovery program when you contact us at Axis today. We’re here to help.