More and more addiction treatment centers are giving attention to the integration of mind, body, and spirit to achieve maximal healing for their clients. Through research, treatment professionals have realized that treating one of these aspects without considering the others does not effectively prevent relapses. Whole-body wellness includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. When it comes to the mind-body connection, many therapy options aid its healing.
Complex Links Between the Body and Mind
When we talk about mind and body, what exactly do we mean? The word “mind” is not synonymous with “brain,” but rather comprises all mental faculties including thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and attitudes. The brain, which is part of the human body, is simply the area of the body where these mental processes take place.
Researchers have confirmed many aspects of the mind-body connection. Through new technologies such as neuroimaging and electrophysiology, neuroscience supports the hypothesis that neural processes affect people’s emotions and physical conditions.
The neuroplasticity of the brain enables changes within it as a result of habitual thought patterns and emotions. Neurogenesis, which is the process of building new neurons or forming new mental pathways, plays an important role in shaping brain and body activities.
In addition, a person’s attention, focus, and emotional positivity or negativity from the brain influences and is influenced by a network of communication in the body to affect the glands, the immune system, and other biological systems. This is how the mind and body are constantly connected and affected at the cellular level.
Manifestations of the Mind-Body Connection
A person’s thoughts, actions, and emotions may affect the brain. Certain emotions can also empower or debilitate the body’s systems. The most common instance that this mind-body interplay can be seen is in someone with depression.
Symptoms of clinical depression include fatigue, loss of concentration, sleeping too much without feeling refreshed, weight loss or gain, negative moods, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Though the disorder occurs in the brain, it presents with physical attributes, indicating a strong but compromised mind-body connection.
Similar effects can be seen in other mental health disorders as well, such as anxiety and PTSD. Below are some indicators that an individual needs to pay more attention to restoring their mind-body balance:
- They feel muscle tension and soreness in the body without any physical reason
- There are problems with their digestive system, especially when they feel stressed
- They have low motivation to exercise
- They feel upset easily, even when carrying out simple tasks
For people to heal from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, health professionals must apply mind-body techniques for the purpose of regulating the stress-response system so that there can be balance and equilibrium within and between both areas.
Common Mind-Body Techniques
The most common way to restore a balanced mind-body connection is through positive psychology which focuses on a person’s strengths, talents, and values. Good techniques for this method include keeping a gratitude journal, practicing loving kindness or self-affirmation mindfulness meditation, and much more.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, common mind-body treatments include mindfulness meditation, movement therapies, breathing exercises, yoga, biofeedback, support groups, and relaxation therapies. These methods have been widely used as holistic approaches in addiction recovery.
Many treatment programs also help clients practice self-care to maintain a balanced mind-body connection. The building blocks of a healthy recovery process include quality sleep, regular exercise, healthy nutritional intake, and emotional self-awareness. Daily self-care check-ins are important because these small changes over time make a huge difference in restoring the mind-body connection.
Working With Health Professionals to Restore the Mind-Body Connection
When an individual is looking for a recovery treatment facility, they should check whether the treatment center recognizes and emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection and whether the staff includes licensed health professionals to provide support in this area.
Professional mind-body therapists have been trained to embody that balance themselves. They also have keen observation skills to detect clients’ needs. Their job is to provide empathy and observe and promote healing in others during treatment. A good mind-body connection therapist should also facilitate conversations and education on this topic.
When someone works with a mind-body therapist, the therapist will take them through the options and give them space to explore how they feel and where their stress levels are. In addition to working with participants, the therapist can also instill more stress management and relaxation techniques as a way to help clients maintain progress.
In general, when individuals feel more attuned to their body’s interconnected parts and feel more balanced after a therapy session, the process has been successful. These small changes take time to make a visible difference. Patience and persistence are essential when healing the mind-body connection after addiction or mental illness.
Addiction affects the whole person, including body, mind, and spirit. Recovery is a journey that restores balance and connection among these dimensions. Find a treatment facility that offers a range of holistic treatment methods to effectively address these areas. Fortunately, medical research has yielded fruits in each of the areas. Your physical, emotional, and mental health can be cared for simultaneously during recovery. If you are looking for a team with rich knowledge and experience in restoring the mind-body connection, do not look beyond Laguna Shores Recovery. Here, we believe in the power of holistic treatment. With the help of experienced mind-body connection therapists, we address all aspects of your health and wellness as you recover. Laguna Shores Recovery offers treatment plans which also include detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching. Call (866) 229-9923, and we will be happy to talk with you.