Yoga Therapy

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Guardian Addiction Treatment
Yoga Therapy

The most effective addiction treatment programs focus on a combination of traditional therapeutic care and proven holistic modalities. One of the most extensively researched and scientifically backed methods of holistic treatment is yoga therapy. At Guardian Recovery, we utilize yoga therapy as part of our holistically-based program, providing clients with regular access to professionally facilitated yoga classes that can easily be customized to meet their unique needs and requirements.

According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine titled, “Role of Yoga in Management of Substance-use Disorders: A Narrative Review,” drug addiction is defined as a cluster of behavioral, physiological and cognitive phenomena during which drug use takes a higher priority than other, more productive behaviors. Substance abuse and dependence affect all areas of life, impacting social, occupational, familial, financial, physical and psychological domains. In order for drug dependence to be adequately treated, all of these domains must be addressed simultaneously. According to the article, the utilization of yoga in an addiction recovery setting can be extremely beneficial in helping clients heal comprehensively and avoid relapse long-term. This Eastern mind-body practice is now considered evidence-based, meaning that its effectiveness has been repeatedly proven by numerous studies.

An article published in a 2017 issue of Social Work Today titled, “Yoga for Addiction – Tapping the Body’s Wisdom” show us that yoga combines breathing exercises, strength exercises, a variety of physical postures (or asanas) and mindfulness, resulting in a wide range of benefits for men and women who are recovering from substance abuse disorders. At Guardian Recovery we have repeatedly seen the benefits of yoga therapy in action. Many of our clients decide to maintain a personal practice once they graduate from our program of clinical care. For more information, call us today.

The Benefits of Yoga Therapy

When it comes to yoga therapy as an adjunct treatment method of substance abuse and dependence, there are innumerable benefits.

The most noteworthy benefits of yoga therapy include:

  • Yoga therapy helps reduce symptoms associated with post-acute withdrawal – Clients who struggled with a severe opioid abuse disorder might experience symptoms of post-acute withdrawal (PAWS) for months after they go through medical detox. These symptoms can include insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, mood swings and general feelings of physical discomfort. Yoga therapy has been proven to alleviate the more disruptive symptoms of PAWS in an extremely non-invasive way.
  • Yoga has been shown to help with stress reduction, and serves as an invaluable stress management technique – Stress is a major relapse trigger, and it is crucial that clients know how to effectively work through stressful situations before transitioning back into independent living. Incorporating roughly an hour of yoga into a daily routine has been shown to dramatically reduce stress.
  • Incorporating yoga into a daily routine helps build structure – In addition to alleviating stress, starting or ending the day with a yoga practice helps build healthy structure.
  • Increased physical stamina and boosted energy levels – People who practice yoga regularly experience higher energy levels than those that don’t, and yoga therapy has been shown to improve physical strength and stamina.
  • Increased self-awareness and an improved ability to engage in self-reflection – Self-awareness is crucial to the recovery process. Clients must be able to identify how they are feeling – this allows them to effectively work through uncomfortable emotions and ultimately avoid relapse.
  • Pain relief and the alleviation of symptoms associated with chronic pain – Yoga therapy is an excellent way to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic pain without the use of potentially habit-forming medications or more invasive techniques.
  • The ability to live in the present moment – Yoga therapy teaches clients how to remain grounded in the present moment, avoiding the anxiety that can go hand-in-hand with focusing on the future, or the grief or depression that can go hand-in-hand with focusing on the past.
  • Effectively working through trauma (trauma-sensitive yoga) – Trauma-sensitive yoga was specially developed to help men and women who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or who have been struggling with some other degree of unresolved trauma. This approach focuses on attachment theory and neuroscience, and emphasizes breathing practices and body-based yoga forms. Some of our on-staff yoga therapists have personal backgrounds in trauma-informed yoga therapy.
  • An overall improvement of health and well-being – Any type of physical activity is good for the body, the mind and the spirit. However, because yoga incorporates mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques, it is far more beneficial to comprehensive healing than simply lifting weights or running on a treadmill.

Yoga is a therapeutic tool, much like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing or art therapy. It is important to note that while this therapeutic method does have extensive benefits, it does not serve as a stand-alone treatment option. In order to be truly effective, yoga therapy must be combined with a range of other evidence-based modalities.

What to Expect From Our Yoga Therapy Program

Clients have access to regular yoga therapy sessions, which are all facilitated by a licensed professional instructor. The instructor walks throughout the class as he or she instructs, adjusting clients as necessary and offering them insight on how to manipulate each pose to better serve their unique needs and physical ability level. In most cases, clients end class with a guided meditation, as they learn to quiet their minds and stay rooted in the present moment. Yoga therapy takes place on and off-site, depending on studio availability and transportation. Clients are never pushed past their personal limits, and are always treated with a high level of compassion and respect.

Our Holistic Approach to Addiction Recovery

At Guardian Recovery we believe in taking a “whole person” approach to recovery, meaning that we tackle the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual implications of active addiction. We take a traditional and holistic approach to healing by providing a range of proven holistic therapies, including yoga therapy. To learn more about any of the holistic therapies we offer reach out to us at any point in time.

Individualized Clinical Care

At Guardian Recovery we have developed an admissions process that is as simple and uncomplicated as possible. We understand that committing to a long-term program of care can seem overwhelming in and of itself. By the time you or your loved one becomes willing to seek professional treatment, there is a good chance that smoothing out the finer details will simply seem like too much. Fortunately, we are available to help every step of the way. The moment you give us a call we conduct a brief pre-assessment, which can be easily completed over the phone in a matter of minutes. This helps our clinical team determine which of our services are going to best match the needs of you or your loved one. From there, we will give you a free, no obligation health insurance benefit check. At Guardian Recovery we work with most major regional and national health insurance providers in order to make our services as accessible as possible. Finally we coordinate travel plans and transportation, and set up a date and a time for intake.

Begin Your Journey of Comprehensive Healing

If you or someone you love has been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity, Guardian Recovery is available to help. Our comprehensive and highly individualized treatment program focuses on a multi-phased and integrated approach to addiction recovery. No matter what your clinical needs, we have you covered. For more information on our addiction therapy services or to get you or your loved one started on his or her journey of addiction recovery contact us today.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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