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Thursday, February 25, 2016

3 Reasons Why Men Should Do Yoga

reason men should do yoga addiction recoveryWhile more men realize yoga’s proven benefits, the majority of classes are still filled with women. It seems the stigma around yoga as a women’s activity is alive and well.

The truth is, yoga is good for everyone: men, women, and students; couch potatoes and athletes; workaholics and free spirits. It is especially wise for recovering addicts to practice yoga since it has been found to reduce stress, improve circulation, and encourage inner peace.

If you are a male client in addiction recovery and are hesitant to dive into yoga classes, consider the following proven benefits. They may aid in your rehabilitation and help you develop a lifelong fitness and meditation practice that you can rely on when you are stressed or tempted to relapse.

3 Benefits of Yoga for Men
While the list of yoga benefits is long, there are a few major advantages for men recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction.

1. Yoga helps you achieve a state of relaxation & meditation. Whether you use your yoga time to pray, develop an inward focus, or simply listen to your breathing, your yoga practice eases muscle tension, lowers anxiety levels, and reduces production of cortisol (a stress hormone). Holistic stress relief is a critical part of dealing with relapse triggers and the physical and psychological symptoms of addiction recovery. Yoga has also been shown to increase circulation and lower blood pressure, resulting in reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

2. Yoga improves mental clarity & concentration. If you feel like you are still suffering from a drug-induced fog, yoga can help. As your body heals and you intensify your practice, you will be called to center yourself and “find joy” during yoga. Through an increase in serotonin (the “happiness hormone”), you will enjoy improved mood and a focus on the moment. Over time, your yoga practice will help you achieve clarity in other parts of your life—not just during exercise. This clarity helps you keep sobriety goals at the top of mind, and allows you to focus on your recovery priorities in a way you were unable to, before.

3. Yoga is a physical & intellectual challenge that keeps you young. As you search for new pastimes that don’t revolve around drinking and drugs, yoga fits the bill. From restorative to power yoga, there are many class options to challenge every individual in every physical condition. In yoga, you will develop a strong mind-body connection and learn to challenge yourself in healthy ways. And, when you continue your practice into old age, your body will perform as if it is younger! 

Southern CA Addiction Treatment for Men
During residential treatment at Complete Harmony’s facility, you have the opportunity to engage in holistic therapies like yoga, massage, and acupuncture. Helping men and women rebuild their lives after the ravages of addiction, our admissions counselors can be reached at 866.930.4673.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Unlock Recovery by Learning Self-Awareness

self awareness in addiction recoveryAlthough popular music and literature once hailed the mind-expanding virtues of the drug culture, alcohol and addictive drugs actually act as a shut-off valve to a person’s self-awareness. The inhibitions overcome by these substances provide emotional information for sober individuals, allowing them to grow and mature into self-directed adulthood.

Emotional Knowledge Gives Direction
When you use drugs and alcohol to shut off uncomfortable feelings and pain, you also block the emotional feedback that tells you what is good about your life. Without that feedback, you lose interest, ambition, and connection with the things that allow humans to enjoy life and look forward to new experiences.

Drugs and alcohol alter your brain and actually affect your thinking. As a cover for your lack of feeling, you may have created a narrative of excuses and false realities to explain why your career and personal relationships have never progressed.

Detox, Then Get to Know Yourself
For a successful recovery, you must first rid your body of drugs and alcohol and allow your mind to sort through the narratives you have created for yourself. You need a professional to guide you in this task. Then, you must learn how to access your authentic thoughts and emotions. Here are some tips that will help you develop self-awareness:

• Ask yourself what you are feeling. Instead of trying to shut down uncomfortable emotions, try to understand why you feel that way and the impact that such feelings have on the choices you make.
• Listen and interact with others with empathy. Apply insights from such interaction to your own life.
• Identify stressful situations that may be mistaken for cravings or act as relapse triggers. Learn techniques like meditation and mindfulness to relieve them.
• Set realistic goals for yourself and recognize the small steps you take toward them. Hold yourself accountable for decisions that lead you away from your goals. This will help you construct a personal reward system for paying attention to your emotional feedback.

Developing self-awareness gives you insight into what motivates you and understanding of what intimidates and frightens you. With this knowledge, you will be able to direct your life in recovery. 

Holistic Modalities That Put You in Touch With Yourself
If traditional 12-step programs have failed you in your search for self-awareness and freedom from drug and alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s non-traditional approach may be the treatment you need. We use evidence-based methods and holistic modalities to put you in control of your impulses, choices, and actions. Call 866-930-4673 to verify insurance coverage and begin the admissions process at our beautiful southern CA facility.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On the Rise: Hookah Pipes & Toxicant Danger

As cigarette-smoking rates fall, there has been a steady rise in the number of people using hookah pipes to smoke tobacco. Hookah smoking is becoming especially popular among teens and young adults.

A hookah is a flexible pipe that enables several users to draw smoke through a chamber of water. In some cases, the tobacco is flavored with molasses, fruit, coffee or coconut to make the taste more desirable. Because of the water element, many people believe that hookah pipes filter chemicals and are “healthier” than cigarettes. The nicotine and chemicals present in hookah pipes is highly addictive, though, and has been linked to heart disease, lung cancer, and gum disease.

A new meta-analysis by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reveals that hookah users are infusing their body with high quantities of toxic substances: about 125 times the smoke, 2.5 times the nicotine, ten times the carbon monoxide, and 25 times the tar contained in a cigarette. These findings will appear in the Jan./Feb. print edition of the Public Health Reports journal, and were based on 17 studies that offered sufficient data for conclusions about toxicants.

“Our results show that hookah tobacco smoking poses real health concerns and that it should be monitored more closely than it is currently,” said Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D. and lead author. Brian is also the assistant vice chancellor for health and society at Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences.

Primack notes that it is tough to directly compare cigarettes and hookahs since they are used differently (i.e. – hookah smokers may only participate in a few sessions per day versus a heavy smoker’s 20+ cigarettes). However, the report findings indicate that hookah smokers are taking in a much higher toxic load than they probably realize. This is a timely topic given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that—for the first time in history—past 30-day hookah tobacco use exceeded that of past 30-day cigarette use among U.S. high school students. 

Story Source:

Journal Reference: Brian Primack, M.D., Ph.D., et al. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Inhaled Toxicants from Waterpipe and Cigarette Smoking. Public Health Reports, January/February 2016.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Yoga Poses: Benefits for Addiction Recovery

benefits of yoga in addiction recoveryA whole-body approach to recovery includes introspection, meditation, and attention to the physical maladies that have occurred as a result of drug and alcohol use. Yoga, one of the most popular complementary therapies for addicts of all ages, encourages participants to focus on circulation, blood flow, and breathing. As a result, they begin to feel “whole” again—and to develop a sense of peace and calm that comes when the body and mind work synergistically.

One study conducted at Penn State University found that the chance for relapse increases when those recovering from addiction do not find new ways to manage stress. Stress and cravings are linked, so it stands to reason that successful stress management reduces the incidence of relapse. Yoga promotes relaxation through deep breathing exercises, stretching and flexibility, and concentration.

How Do Yoga Poses Help With Addiction?

They help you find stillness. When they first begin yoga, many people report that a “loud mind” disrupts their ability to focus and balance. As clients connect their posture to the mind and breath, they being to calm whirling thoughts and feel more grounded.

They open the hips and shoulders. Shoulders and hips tend to store stress. As we become upset, the body clenches and the shoulders round. We retreat to a forward-folded position. In addition, many yoga instructors believe that tight hips are an indicator of past trauma. Hip- and shoulder-opening poses help to release stress and restore mobility to these major joints.

They help you get in touch with your spirituality. Whether you believe in God or prefer to think of the power that exists within you, yoga gives you time to meditate, pray, or consider the energy that flows through your body. Yoga also emphasizes gratitude and the giving and receiving of love, joy, and peace.

Holistic & Medical Treatment for Addiction 
Blending holistic practices, cutting-edge clinical treatment and evidence-based therapies, Complete Harmony takes a non-traditional, non-12-step approach to addiction treatment. Through the time-honored practice of yoga, you have the opportunity to release anger, open yourself up to new things, and lengthen and strengthen your healing body. Call 866.930.4673 to speak with our admissions team or begin your journey to substance-free abundance.

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