I am truly excited to announce that today's post comes from Kimberly Hayes of PublicHealthAlert.info. In the following article, she tackles some very effective strategies to assist in addiction recovery.
Photo via Pixabay by SilviaRita
Substance abuse addiction has many causes; therefore, there are many different ways to treat it. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to find the treatment that is best for you and your needs. Some individuals who are battling addiction are parents, some are busy professionals, and some have separate health issues that need to be addressed. Finding the right treatment can take a while, and it can be frustrating if you aren’t open to change.
Fortunately, there are several alternative methods you can try that vary in intensity. Many of these can be adapted to fit your lifestyle, incorporate technology, or will line up with the things you already enjoy doing, such as hiking or spending time outdoors, to ease stress and anxiety. The best part of alternative recovery methods is that you can choose which works best for you, and with the help of your doctor, you can boost your self-confidence and get healthy at the same time.
Read on for some great tips on how to find the right alternative therapy method for your needs.
Art therapy is employed by thousands of people across the US to help ease the effects of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. It works so well as an alternative treatment because it allows the individual to have a creative outlet for negative energy and emotions, many of which feed the issues connected to the disorders named above. You might try drawing, painting, sculpting, scrapbooking, or even cooking -- any activity that allows you to get your creative juices flowing can be beneficial.
Many individuals have found success with holistic therapy, which focuses on the mind, body, and soul and often utilizes both conventional and alternative treatments at the same time. For instance, if your family relationships have suffered as a result of your addiction, you might consider getting everyone together to practice dance therapy, or you can roleplay and act out different scenes with one another in order to see the benefits of different approaches.
For some, the best way to treat substance abuse is to get active. If you love being outside, you might choose to hike, run, mountain bike, surf, or garden. Or if you’re looking for something less rigorous, you can practice yoga or do some moderate stress-relieving stretches. Getting daily exercise can boost your mental health, help you feel strong and in control, and keep you fit, and it can also help you stay social, which can be hard to do when you’re in recovery. It will also help you sleep better.
Think about using tech to enhance your exercise regimen. If you’re starting a yoga practice, there are many helpful apps you can download to your smartphone, including 5 Minute Yoga and Down Dog. If you’re hiking, biking, or running, consider getting a smartwatch or fitness tracker, which can monitor you activity and heart rate. One of the latest models, the Apple Watch Series 5, includes a built-in compass, updated SOS feature, and fall detection. If you prefer a regular fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 3 offers a 24-hour heart rate monitor and extended battery life of up to seven days.
While it could be associated with holistic therapies, practicing mindfulness is actually related to many different forms of addiction treatment. It can be done through meditation alone or through yoga, and many people believe in its healing properties. When done correctly, practicing mindfulness can help you focus, reduce anxiety and stress, and help you learn to cope with those feelings in the moment. This is important for individuals who are battling addiction since stress and anxiety are major causes of substance abuse. If you want to improve your meditation/mindfulness practice, download apps like Calm or Headspace.
There are many different alternative methods for addiction recovery, and it’s important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Try not to be hard on yourself if one method doesn’t do much for you after a friend had success for it; just move on and do what’s right for you. Remember to talk to your doctor before beginning any major new regimen since you need to make your health a priority.
Kimberly Hayes knows firsthand the loneliness and unknowns that addiction brings. After overcoming an eating disorder, she is ready to squash the stigma and help raise awareness about the importance of health, wellness, and self-care as it pertains to addiction, mental health, and so much more. If you like what you read, please check out PublicHealthAlert.info for more great information!
"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change."
It's been a long time since I last posted. A lot has happened. What began as an ankle injury to start my summer, spiraled into limb and life threatening conditions. As an athlete for most of the 35 years of my life, it turned my world upside down.
pulmonary embolism in my right lung (blood clot). I was hospitalized for a week on IV heparin to prevent further clotting and to prevent further complications (See also: death). They determined that Xarelto had failed for me, and that a piece of my clot broke off and went to my lung. I was placed on Warfarin (a very aggressive blood thinner) and Lovenox upon discharge from the hospital. My oxygen would drop into the 80s with activity and with heat. Lightheadedness and lethargy became commonplace.
At the beginning of August, I was diagnosed with post pulmonary embolic pleurisy (inflammation of the linings of the the lung) after waking up with crushing chest pain. Pain that would increase with any activity. It would hurt to laugh, sneeze, talk, and cough. Going up the stairs left me breathless and in agony. At first they thought it was my heart. Two more ER visits, a stress test, and multiple outpatient appointments have ruled out the major players , but the feeling of having a heart attack was constant. Fortunately, it was determined that my heart and lungs are now healthy and that the pain was pleuritic in nature. It's uncomfortable, but not not damaging or life threatening.
4/7/2019 USAPL deadlift 457lbs. 2 months before my injury.
There is still a long way to go. My return to be an athlete is limited by my musculoskeletal issues, as well as my vascular and pulmonary compromises. Today, a 1 mile walk increased my heart rate to over 135 bpm and left me in 6/10 chest pain and a need for a two hour nap (previously that would be a heart rate I could only attain by running 2+ miles at an 8 minute mile pace). In addition, I have lost over 25 lbs of muscle, 8cm of thigh and 6cm of calf circumference. At minimum, I will be out for 2-3 more months due to being on continued anticoagulation therapy.
9/25/2019 BW squats x 6 reps (max effort). ~4 months following initial injury.
This has been truly a challenge. I have had to face identity crises at least once a week. I went from an active, athletic, and social member of society to a Netflix connoisseur. I lost my sense of passion, purpose, and provision. I battled depression and anxiety. I lost who I was, and who I wanted to be. Things could have always been worse. Fortunately, there is a light ahead.
9/27/2019 - Single leg extension with 1 plate. You can appreciate the quadriceps lag and weakness of my right leg.
Now that I am approaching the other side of recovery, I am finding the true value in my experiences this summer. I have learned about compassion for others in similar situations. I have learned patience. I have been able to slow down my life and reflect on who I want to be and how I want to live. I have been able to assess my pre-injury life and determine what factors led to the eventual downward spiral of my health. I have been able to identify what is most important in life...my relationships and the services I can provide for others. With this better perspective, I will aim to improve not only physically, but all facets of my life. I hope to take this arduous journey...learn from it...and come back stronger.
Rob is a Physical Therapist in Boston MA who specializes in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. Rob is SFMA Level 1 Certified and has extensive training in Trigger Point Dry Needling and IASTM. Rob enjoys treating athletes of all levels and of all sports. He has a specific interest in helping in those who like to challenge themselves at any level. He is a certified powerlifting coach through the USAPL, as well as an Obstacle Specialist and SGX Coach through Spartan Race. Rob is currently a Spartan Race Social Media Influencer and recipient of multiple Trifectas, annually. He also is an amateur powerlifter and hockey player.