Tai Chi and Addiction Recovery

Tai Chi and Addiction Recovery

When an addict enters into addiction recovery they free up a ton of time that they can use to devote to new and healthy activities. One of these activities is Tai Chi. Tai Chi not only brings physical benefits but can also help to improve mental well-being. There are even people who use Tai Chi as a type of spiritual path. Tai Chi is not enough for addiction recovery alone but it certainly can be a good activity to incorporate for a healthy addiction recovery.

What is tai chi?

Tai Chi originated in China and it can be translated into English as the supreme ultimate fist. Tai Chi was created for personal defense but it has now become more famous as an art that promotes mental health, spiritual health and fitness. It is believed that this kind of soft martial art was originally only made available to those in the Chinese society but these days it is practiced by people of all backgrounds around the globe. Tai Chi has been in existence for at least 700 years. Tai Chi is most famous for its flowing movements that are incorporated into forms. Most classes of Tai Chi will have a number of different elements that include:

  • Special warm up exercises that gently prepare the body for exercises
  • Chi Kung (also written Qigong) exercises that promote physical and mental health. These exercises are based on Chinese medicine and involve promoting the flow of Chi/Qi throughout the body.
  • Pushing hands is a two person technique where people get to experience the combat potential of Tai Chi. This is a type of sparring, and it is possible to enter push hands competitions where contestants attempt to push each other off balance to win.
  • Open hand forms include the flowing sets of movements most associated with this martial art. It can take many months to learn just one form and a lifetime to master it.
  • Weapons forms are sets of movements that also involve using a weapon. The common weapons used in Tai Chi are the sword, the staff and the saber. There are even weapons forms that rely on a fan or walking stick.

So how does tai chi and addiction recovery work together for health benefits?

Tai Chi can be a highly beneficial technique for people in recovery to take up. It will not only help them improve their physical health, but also their mental well-being. The meditative aspects of this art mean that people develop an increased ability to deal with life. This can be particularly beneficial when people are facing the challenges of early recovery. This is an activity that people can practice throughout their recovery, and it will continue to bring them benefits.

These are some of the many potential benefits associated with the practice of Tai Chi:

 

  • This gentle martial art is well-known for its ability to help people deal better with stress. There are many types of mental and physical illness associated with excessive stress, so anything that is able to remedy this is to be welcomed.
  • It is an activity that can bring health benefits to people of all ages. This is why it is now so common to see elderly people practicing this activity in parks around the world.
  • Tai Chi is an effective form of self-defense. The individual will hopefully never have to use the techniques to defend themselves, but knowing that they have this ability increases self-esteem and confidence.
  • It increases muscle strength in all parts of the body.
  • Tai Chi has been shown to improve balance. This is particularly beneficial to people as they get older because it helps to prevent falls.
  • It can be an effective technique for improving pain management caused by various chronic conditions.
  • This activity is often described as a moving meditation. This means that the individual will benefit from many of the benefits of more traditional meditation such as improved mental health.
  • Regular practice can increase energy levels and make people more mentally alert.
  • Although most forms of Tai Chi will be practiced slowly there can still be aerobic benefits from attending this type of class. This martial art is a path to lifelong physical fitness.
  • Tai Chi has been shown to benefit people dealing with several different health conditions including hypertension, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and insomnia.
  • Tai Chi can be a spiritual path. This activity is closely related to the Eastern spiritual traditions of Taoism and Buddhism. It is not necessary for people to embrace these philosophical traditions but some practitioners may choose to do this. Having some type of spiritual practice can be of great benefit to people in recovery from addiction.
  • One of the nice things about Tai Chi is that the emphasis is on technique over strength. This means that practically anyone can become good at this martial art if they are willing to put enough time and effort into the practice.
  • It is a superb activity for increasing upper- and lower-body flexibility. This can be of benefit to people of all ages, as it increases the potential range of movement. Those who practice the activity may still be able to touch their toes when they are in their 80s.

Disconnection Is Necessary For A Healthy Mind

Disconnection Is Necessary For A Healthy Mind

Today we are constantly “plugged in”. Most of us have mini computers in our pockets or purses known as our cellphones – and when we aren’t on our cellphones we are what are recently known as “trolling” the Internet. We have tablets, smart phones, laptops, and desktops; and while the progression of technology is truly astounding it may not be having a positive effect on our minds; especially if we are trying to stay sober.

It seems like more studies are being conducted on the effects the Internet and “connectivity” have on our health. Most of us have forgotten the times when we didn’t have a smart phone, tablet, or laptop with us to check our email, Facebook, or Instagram and this isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact it may just be another addiction. When we enter into recovery we are trying to stay clean and no longer engage in addictive behaviors. Unfortunately, for some this includes checking Facebook, email, etc., in order for the mind to fully heal and be healthy total disconnection is necessary. That is why many rehab facilities including luxury treatment centers will recommend, if not make mandatory, that no electronics be used for the duration of a client’s time in treatment.

It has recently been shown that receiving and answering a notification actually results in dopamine being released in the brain. So not only is disconnection necessary for a healthy mind but it is very important to beginning sobriety. Dopamine is the chemical neurotransmitter that is associated with motivation and reward in the human brain. Dopamine is also released in the brain when someone has sex and uses drugs. This release of dopamine can create an actual “internet addiction.” In order for someone with addiction to heal from it, they must put down everything that could distract them or keep their brain from healing entirely and this means electronics too. Disconnecting is absolutely necessary to a healthy mind and by gaining a healthy mind a person can gain a health spirit and body too.

Many people today come into rehab and the last thing they want to do is disconnect for a little while. Their phone is their contact with the outside world and it also a guaranteed way to feel good. And that’s the whole point of why someone goes to rehab; to stop using outside things, substance, people, and places to make them feel good. Feeling good has to come from the inside naturally and radiate outwards. Disconnecting from the phones, computers, and tablets allows that to happen by giving each person a chance to find their own inner feel good without needing to check their Facebook every five minutes.

Have you ever noticed what you do when you’re bored?

Do you check your Facebook?

Maybe hop on Instagram?

That may be the first sign that you need to disconnect. Disconnecting is key to a healthy mind and a healthy sobriety.

If you or a loved one are in need of luxury drug and alcohol rehab please give our addiction specialist a call 24/7 at 800-845-6827

Practicing Mindfulness in Recovery

Practicing Mindfulness in Recovery

Practicing Mindfulness in Recovery

Mindfulness’ roots are in Buddhism. Mindfulness involves purposeful and nonjudgmental focus on your own feelings, experiences, and internal and external processes in the present moment. Rather than try to escape from a painful feeling, practicing mindfulness means sitting quietly with yourself and paying close attention to the thoughts and feelings without taking action or judging them. Mindfulness is not about becoming apathetic or suppressing feelings. Mindfulness is about the freedom to experience your feelings and strategically responding.

Some mindfulness practices would be things such as yoga, tai chi, and other things related to that. Mindfulness is a skill that anyone can take with them anywhere and it can become a part of anyone’s recovery if they choose to utilize it. It only takes a few minutes to practice mindfulness in recovery and the effects last a long time.

Practicing mindfulness in recovery can really help to leave addiction behind and here is why:

  • Addiction is the automatic behavior to escape difficult feelings or situations whereas mindfulness is conscious and deliberate focus on difficult emotions as a way to take the power away from them.
  • Addiction is trying to find what is missing but has really been there along. Mindfulness in recovery is a way to connect with one’s inner power or higher power and to see how much there is life has to offer.
  • Addiction is characterized by denial and lying to yourself and others. Most of the time without realizing it addicts in addiction are lying to themselves. Mindfulness in recovery means honestly evaluation addictive behaviors and taking responsibility for actions which is empowering and allows you to change your life.
  • Addicts experience shame and self-blame. With mindfulness in recovery, you can begin to develop compassion for yourself and for other people.

Not only is practicing mindfulness in recovery great for leaving the addiction behind but it is also a great tool for relapse prevention. Practicing mindfulness in recovery can give you and addicts everywhere the self-awareness needed in order to take preventative action against relapsing. With mindfulness in recovery an addict in recovery can check in with their thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness in recovery also gives someone a greater sense of self-acceptance and lower stress levels, which puts them in a better spot to fight against and prevent relapse.

Practicing mindfulness in recovery doesn’t have to be great for preventing relapse or helping with recovery though. Mindfulness can be applied in so many ways to a recovering addict’s life. Mindfulness helps with other things such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, physical illnesses, and addiction. Mindfulness can also be applied to things as small and trivial as cleaning the house, taking a walk or eating. Mindfulness is so great for recovery because of its ability to fully invest in all of these things. And that is what recovery from drugs and alcohol is about. Recovery is about being able to enjoy life to the fullest through appreciating the present moment. Practicing mindfulness in recovery can get any person there.

If you or a loved one are in need of luxury drug and alcohol rehab please give our addiction specialist a call 24/7 at 800-845-6827.

Source: http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/mindfulness-meditation-in-recovery/