Addiction treatment does not look the same today it has looked in previous years. People who leave treatment programs leave healthier. Addiction is a mental health problem as much as it is a physical health problem. Treatment programs used to focus strictly on therapies to help the recovery of mental health without paying any mind to physical health because the addiction treatment industry largely saw addiction treatment as specifically the treatment of addiction in the mind. However, addiction doesn’t only live in the mind. Addiction lives in the body as well.
The logic is obvious. When we consume mind altering substances, we consume substances. Meaning, they don’t only go to our minds. Substances are metabolized in the bloodstream, which go to our minds and our bodies. In addition, what happens in our mind happens to our body because everything is connected. There is a reasonable science behind why the body experiences certain kinds of damage as a result of addiction. For example, an alcoholic weakens his liver. A cocaine addict can destroy his nose and his heart. Heroin addicts damage the heart, the veins, and the muscles. From head to toe, addiction has a physical effect, which makes physical rehabilitation and recovery as critical as the psychological rehabilitation.
Exercise is a scientifically backed approach to treating and rehabilitating the body because of the effect exercise has on the mind. Proven to reduce symptoms of cravings in early recovery, exercise can also reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress- all of which are common to experience in the early phases of the recovery process.
Sweat is detoxifying and purifying. When the body sweats during treatment, it is helping itself through the detoxifying process. What detoxifies in the body also detoxifies in the mind. Exercise requires total concentration and focus. If we preoccupy our minds somewhere other than the present moment, we risk injury that could prevent us from being active for months. Putting our minds and bodies to the test of recovery prevents us from the injury of relapse later in life. We can rely on the strength we have built in mind and body to help us endure life’s challenges, giving us the confidence we need to live a sustainable sobriety.
Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon is creating sustainable change by providing men in our long term residential addiction treatment program with the tools they need to find freedom from addiction. Call us today for information on our transformative programs: (503) 850-2474