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Friday, May 18, 2018

Self-Care Rituals for Recovery

self-careCertainly this isn’t the first (or last) time we’ll talk about the importance of self-care. You likely know by now that self-care is crucial for your recovery and lasting sobriety – and that it goes well beyond good hygiene, diet and exercise. 

Practicing self-care means carving out time each day to nurture your whole self – mind, body and spirit.  There are so many self-care rituals out there – from dry brushing to detoxing – but which ones will really work to enhance your recovery? Here are a few proven strategies to try today: 
  • Stop and smell the roses. Whether literally or figuratively, taking time to slow down and smell the roses has multiple mental health benefits. You'll learn to live in the moment and appreciate your surroundings and, if you practice this outdoors, you'll reap the anxiety-busting benefits of nature, too. 
  • Make the most of your mornings. Whether you take a morning walk or sip green tea and jot down your goals for the day, carving out some “you time” in the a.m. can help set the tone for a great day in recovery. 
  • Practice spirituality. Spiritual practices like prayer or meditation can play a big role in recovery. Some perks: less anxiety, more optimism, fewer cravings and relapses. 
  • Start a daily journal. Journaling is a simple and super powerful self-care ritual – and there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Write down what you’re grateful for or the worst part of your day or some inspirational quotes – just get your thoughts flowing and down on paper. 
A Healthier Lifestyle With Deeper Purpose
At Complete Harmony, our holistic relapse prevention plans provide the tools you or someone you love needs for lifelong sobriety. After recovery, our staff encourages you to continue holistic therapies and find groups and community resources that support your commitment to sobriety. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Study: Cirrhosis Patients Often Female

More than one-third of cirrhosis cases are related to alcohol, revealed a seven-year national study of more than 100 million privately insured people. The results were published in the journal Hepatology.

Among 294,215 people with cirrhosis, 105,871 (36 percent) had alcohol-related cirrhosis – and that group was sicker and admitted or readmitted to a hospital more often.

“When I look at this data, it tells me that this is a big problem,” Jessica Mellinger, MD, a Michigan Medicine gastroenterologist and health services researcher at the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation, said in a statement.

And it’s especially a big problem for females, who had a 50 percent increase in alcohol-related cirrhosis during the seven-year period, according to the study. Men showed a 30 percent increase.

The reason for this heightened risk? “Women process alcohol differently than men and they are more susceptible to damage in the liver than men,” said Dr. Mellinger. “They can develop cirrhosis with less alcohol and in a shorter time frame.” 

Hormones are likely to blame, yet more research is needed to discover exactly why they are so much more susceptible to the damaging effects of alcohol than men, she added. 

A few more study findings:
  • The rates of patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis nearly surpass those of some common cancers.
  • Health care for these patients can cost as much as the cost for cancer patients.
  • Patients often wait until cirrhosis has progressed to see a doctor. This prevents a chance for early diagnosis and treatment.
The study had its limitations, however. For one, researchers have yet to examine cirrhosis claims related to substance abuse. 

What’s more, said Mellinger, many people with alcohol-related cirrhosis are “too sick to remain employed, so more of these patients are insured through government-sponsored insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid.”

More About Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis
Between 10 and 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, usually after 10 or more years of drinking, according to the American Liver Foundation. If left untreated, cirrhosis caused by alcohol can be a life-threatening disease. Symptoms of cirrhosis can be the same as alcoholic hepatitis and also include:
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
  • High blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension)
  • Bleeding from veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices)
  • Behavior changes and confusion
  • Enlarged spleen
Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love has an alcohol abuse problem, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. At Complete Harmony, we have helped hundreds of patients detox and restore their whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved wellbeing. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Smart Tips to Take Control of Stress

It’s Mental Health Month and one of the many important messages of this year’s campaign, Fitness #4Mind4Body, is the link between good stress management and good mental and physical health. 

You likely already know that stress is a relapse trigger – and it can lead to serious mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Plus, chronic stress can cause inflammation in your body. The result: a greater risk of common colds and viruses, heart disease, headaches, intestinal problems, sexual dysfunction, diabetes and even cancer, according to Mental Health America (MHA). 

The goal isn’t to stress out if you find yourself unable to manage your stress. Instead, try one of these tips – if it doesn’t work for you, try another one – until you find your sweet spot for dealing with stress. 
  • Exercise your “no” muscle. If you feel overwhelmed by how many things are on your schedule, it’s ok to say “no” to new activities! This is especially important during early recovery when you need to make sure that you and your sobriety are your number-one priorities. 
  • Squash the “superman/superwoman” urge. A constant need for perfectionism can take a toll on your mental health. Ease up on yourself and ask for help if you need it. 
  • Carve out quiet time. According to MHA, just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection (via meditation) can help you learn to tolerate stress as well as provide relief for the symptoms of chronic stress. 
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise. Physical activity benefits both the body and mind and helps the brain release some stress-busting chemicals in the brain. 
  • Make time for a hobby. “Zoning out” on a passion project is a great way to relax and take your mind off of your worries. Indulge in your interests, says MHA, whether that means gardening, painting, doing jigsaw puzzles or playing video games.
Continual Self-Growth at Complete Harmony
Our team of credentialed clinicians can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to better manage stress. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Does Vaping Lead to Pot Use Among Teens?

That’s what researchers set out to answer in a new survey of more than 10,000 teens. The result: Teens who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to smoke pot as their non-vaping peers. 

According to lead research Hongying Dai, more than one in 4 teenagers who reported e-cigarette use eventually progressed to smoking pot, compared with just 8 percent of non-vapers. And the younger they begin, the greater the risk. Adolescents, aged 12 to 14, who tried e-cigs were 2.5 times more likely to become heavy marijuana users, which the researchers defined as smoking pot at least once a week.

One possible explanation: The nicotine in e-cigarette vapor may be altering young teen's brain chemistry, noted Dai. "The brain is still developing during the teen years; nicotine exposure might lead to changes in the central nervous system that predisposes teens to dependence on other drugs of abuse," he said, in statement. 

Another possibility is that using e-cigarettes might spark a teen's curiosity about smoking pot – and reduce any worries about the use of marijuana, Dai added. And, in fact, this isn’t the first study to suggest that e-cigarettes could be a gateway drug, especially for risk-taking kids.

Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY, told HealthDay that parents should “put their foot down hard” and have a “zero tolerance” for e-cigarette use. He also urged parents to learn the warning signs of e-cigarette use, including:
  • Marked irritability
  • Hiding things
  • Skirting the truth
  • Constant dry mouth or dry skin
  • Nose bleeds 
Help for Drug Addiction
If you suspect your loved one has a problem with pot, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Complete Harmony, we have helped hundreds of patients restore their whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved wellbeing. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Smartphone Addiction Tied to Loneliness, Depression

smartphone addiction
Smartphones have become a staple in today’s world, allowing us to stay connected and in-the-know 24/7 and helping us to better manage daily life. However, they’ve also created a constant need for phone time – whether you find yourself always refreshing your Facebook feed or responding immediately to every ding and vibration – and this can lead to a host of problems. 

For one, the endless stream of information and stimuli can wreak havoc on our ability to focus on one task at a time. Recently, researchers linked smartphone overuse to increased feelings of isolation and worsening of depression and anxiety symptoms – similar to the effects of other types of addiction. 

In fact, researchers from San Francisco State University likened smartphone addiction to opioid dependency: “The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief — gradually,” said Erik Peper, co-lead author of the study and professor of health education at the school, in statement.

The good news: Unlike drug addiction, we can train ourselves to be less addicted to our phones and computers, noted the researchers. They suggest the following common-sense tips to get started: 
  • Turn off push notifications.
  • Only respond to email and social media at specific times.
  • Schedule periods with no interruptions to focus on important tasks.
More About America’s Smartphone Addiction
Here are a few surprising findings from a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2017:
  • U.S. smartphone owners check their phones 47 times per day.
  • 80 percent check their phone after an hour of getting up/before going to sleep.
  • 85 percent use it while talking to friends and family.
  • 47 percent have made an effort to limit their phone use in the past. 
Complete Harmony CA Rehab
If compulsive cell phone use is a problem that co-occurs with your drug or alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s team of practitioners and addiction specialists can help. Join our family and begin to live life on healthier terms, without the need for technology overload. Call 866-930-4673 to inquire about our dual-diagnosis programs, or speak with a counselor about developing a customized recovery program for you or someone you love. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Is Your Drinking Risky?

is your drinking risk?It’s a good question to ask – and it’s especially timely as we celebrate Alcohol Awareness Month, started by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987 to reduce stigma and spread awareness about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery. 

Drinking too much alcohol – at one time, too often, or both – can lead to a host of health troubles, including an increased risk of: 
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding from the stomach
  • Sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex
  • Several types of cancer
  • Alcohol use disorder
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “Rethinking Drinking” site offers several tools to help you identify any risky patterns along with tips on how to reduce your risks. 

Let’s start with the basics: What counts as a drink? According to NIH, a standard drink in the U.S. is any drink that contains 0.6 fluid ounces (14 grams) of “pure alcohol.” So this can include a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine and a 1.5-fluid ounce shot of 80-proof distilled spirits. 

For women, “low risk” drinking is generally defined as having no more than three drinks on any day and no more than seven per week; for men, it’s no more than four drinks on any day and no more than 14 drinks per week. Only about 2 in 100 people in these “low risk” groups have an alcohol use disorder, according to the NIH. Women experience alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men, which is why the numbers differ. 

Still “low risk” isn’t the same as “no risk,” notes NIH. This is because of factors like drinking too quickly as well as other health problems. For example, your best bet is to not drink at all if you are: 
  • Taking any medications that could interact with alcohol
  • Managing a chronic medical condition, like addiction or diabetes, that could be aggravated or made worse by drinking
  • Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Under the age of 21
What’s more, if you can’t cut back or control your drinking and/or if your drinking causes distress or harm to your personal, professional, financial or social life, it’s time to take steps to get help. 

Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love has an alcohol abuse problem, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. At Complete Harmony, we have helped hundreds of patients detox and restore their whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved wellbeing. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, April 6, 2018

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Habits

Spring is the season of growth and renewal and this goes for your emotional health, too. In fact, the next few months are the perfect time to purge yourself of any negative thoughts and emotions that could be interfering with your full recovery. Here are a few steps to clear the “mind weeds” and “plant the seeds” for healthier mental habits this season and beyond.
  • Identify your stressors. Stress is one of the leading causes of relapse, so there’s no better time than now to take action. Your first step is to figure out some sources of stress; try keeping a journal. Next, test out some relaxation techniques to calm anxiety and relieve tension. Some ideas: exercise, meditation, yoga, massage.
  •  Dig up a long-overdue apology. A heartfelt apology can help reduce guilt and internal discomfort and regrow a damaged relationship with a loved one.
  • Release your grip on a grudge. Along the same lines, forgiving yourself or someone else can help free up emotional energy so you can focus on more positive aspects of your life. Sure, it’s normal to experience emotions like anger and hurt, but allowing these feelings to fill up your heart will hurt you and your recovery.
  • Sweep away self-criticism. This will definitely take some practice, but you can do it. In fact, uttering phrases like “I can do this” or “I’m doing my best,” is a great first step. Another important part is making an effort to recognize that you will make mistakes and that it's okay as long as you learn from them and move onward and upward.
Continual Self-Growth at Complete Harmony
Our team of credentialed clinicians can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.

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