In recovery, we have a profound opportunity to change ourselves on so many levels – and the body is no exception. In fact, our bodies are constantly in a state of change, deeply influenced by a number of factors including what we put into them, the environment we surround them with and the ways in which we move. Far from remaining the same physical forms we were born with, our bodies are in a constant state of renewal.
Our cells are intelligent – and that has huge implications for addiction recovery. They perform specific functions, make decisions and communicate with other cells. And while the oft-repeated behaviors of addiction are often stored in our cellular memories, the 100 trillion or so cells that make up our bodies are constantly being replaced with new ones, giving us an incredible opportunity to rid ourselves of the parts of addiction and mental illness that are physically stored within us. Let’s look at a few ways we can accomplish this.
Healing Your Body With Nutrition
Research shows conclusive evidence of a strong connection between our gut health and our brain function. That’s because many of our neurotransmitters – chemicals that, to a large extent, control the way we feel – are actually produced in the gut. Interestingly, one of the neurotransmitters this is most true of is serotonin, which plays a major role in addiction, and is often very depleted as a result of drug use. Studies also show that inflammation is a precursor to psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression, as it has specific effects on how your brain and body work.
The good news is that by taking a molecular approach, we can heal our bodies from the damage of drug abuse with an intentional, strategic, recovery-focused nutrition program. You know that taking drugs produces an almost immediate and noticeable effect on your body – the food you eat does the same. Food is the building blocks of your body; if you want your body to run optimally, contribute to a positive mental state and fuel your recovery, it needs to be supplied with the optimal combination of nutrients.
Healing Your Body With Touch
The trauma caused by addiction is stored in our bodies. After constantly flooding our bodies with toxicity, negative emotion and stress chemicals over a long period of time, it’s no surprise that getting sober doesn’t automatically change the way we feel. The physical tension that has resulted from those behavioral patterns is still there – and alternative therapies like trauma touch therapy, trauma release exercises (TRE) and somatic experiencing (SE) can help us get back in touch with our bodies in a healthy, aware and balanced way.
Healing Your Body With Movement
Research shows that exercise can create brain change. This process, called neurogenesis, works by encouraging the production of new brain cells, especially in the hippocampus – the area that controls our emotions and learning ability. Dr. Amar Sahay, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, points out the opportunity for psychological change that this presents: “The dogma for the longest time was that adult brains couldn’t generate any new brain cells. You just use what you were born with, but the reality is that everyone has the capacity to develop new cells that can help enhance cognitive functions.”
At The Sanctuary, we understand the deep-seated impacts that addiction can have on our bodies, right down to the cellular level. We also understand how the use of both powerful, ancient healing practices and cutting edge modern science can empower you to make the changes you desire. Our integrative, non-12-Step recovery program includes daily yoga, bodywork, energy medicine and superfood nutrition to help you clear away the toxicities left in your body by addiction and emerge into a newer, fuller life.
Learn more about the power of nutrition in healing addiction here: Healing From Alcohol Addiction With Holistic Nutritional Therapy.
To find out how our integrative addiction treatment program can help you, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at [email protected].