Healthy Living

Uncovering the Power of Mind-Body Interventions for Addiction Therapy

Living with an addiction is a challenging and frustrating experience both for the person with an addiction and those in their life. Depending on the type of addiction, your lifespan could be shortened by as much as over a decade. In fact, the American Addiction Center offers a lifespan calculator that can be used to see the specific number of years a person could expect to lose.  

Finding therapy treatments for addiction can be a challenge if you don’t know where to start, which is why exploring the mind-body intervention method can be of benefit. 

How Do You Know When You Have an Addiction?

Recognizing addiction is the first step of progress a person can take, which is why knowing the common warning signs of addiction can help. There are four major physical warning signs to be aware of that may indicate a person is living with addiction. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bloodshot eyes or pupils that appear larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and general physical appearance
  • Unusual smells coming from the breath, body, clothing, or other items

Not all addictions are the same. In some cases, an addiction may not present the signs in a physical manner. Considering this, it’s also important to keep an eye out for the common behavioral signs of addiction such as:

  • Decreased socialization such as abandoning commitments
  • Ignorance of risk factors
  • Lack of control or inability to stay away from the cause of the addiction
  • Appearing agitated before quickly disappearing and returning with significantly less agitation 

What is Addiction Therapy?

Put simply, addiction therapy is a form of treatment where a therapist helps a patient heal by using a variety of different strategies. These can include “talk therapy”, behavioral therapy, group therapy, and more. The point is to provide patients with the ability to recognize the problem and its triggers. From there, therapy seeks to provide patients with the tools they need to navigate those tricky situations without relapsing into addiction. 

Common types of addiction therapy include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy 

One type of addiction therapy may work perfectly for one person, but not another. Speak with a professional to determine which type of therapy might be right for you. 

What is a Mind-Body Intervention?

Mind-body intervention focuses on using the mind’s total capacity to influence the body and physiological responses to the environment. For example, rather than an event triggering a flight or fight response, mind-body intervention techniques could be used to reduce the feelings of anxiety and fright by replacing them with calm.

These techniques originate from Eastern healing practices and have started to be adopting by Western practitioners in conjunction with therapeutic strategies. Common examples of mind-body intervention techniques to calm the mind include:

  • Hypnosis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Visualization
  • Imagery
  • Yoga or dance
  • Music and art
  • Meditation

By connecting the mind to the body through using mind-body techniques in therapy, therapists hope to reduce bodily responses to the environment by strengthening one’s mental control over their body. 

Benefits of Mind-Body Intervention Addiction Therapy

With both addiction therapy and mind-body intervention outlined, finding addiction therapy programs incorporating mind-body practices can result in great success if you have tried other forms of therapy that haven’t yielded results. Evidence has suggested that using mind-body intervention techniques in conjunction with therapy can:

  • Regulate a person’s immune response
  • Promote resilience of mind and body
  • Decrease symptoms of depression or anxiety 
  • Reduce risk for certain diseases
  • Improve overall mental health 

There are a variety of causes for addiction and it’s a complex, chronic disease that affects the brain. For addictions that are environmentally stimulated, mind-body techniques can help cut down the likelihood of relapsing into addiction by strengthening the mind to recognize addictive situations and resist temptations by the body. 

While genetic addiction can be more complicated to unravel, mind-body treatment could certainly have an impact as well. 

Change your life by taking the first step

The first step in addiction treatment is recognizing that you have an addiction in the first place. Watch for the common signs in yourself or your loved ones to see if treatment may be necessary. For those who have tried addiction treatment in the past or for someone who is looking for first-time treatment, mind-body interventions can be a unique method to try. Don’t settle for living with an addiction. Seek out professional help today to get the treatment you need. 


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