A truly effective and lasting recovery relies not just on healing an addicted mind, but on healing the body as well. ESM Fitness Therapy is an intense exercise regimen that pushes the boundaries of the body in an effort to achieve new fitness heights. ESM — the Latin abbreviation for Exercitium Semita Medela, or Exercise as a Pathway to Healing — combines aspects of circuit training and weight training to create a boundary-pushing workout that leaves you feeling strong, healthy and confident.
Even though addiction and substance abuse are considered mental health concerns, they have serious consequences for physical health as well. Long-term substance abuse can affect physical health in two ways: first, as addiction takes over your life, you may begin to neglect your health and hygiene; and second, flooding your system with drugs and alcohol has consequences for many internal organs. It’s typical for those struggling with addiction to enter rehab with a host of health concerns, including:
- Poor nutrition leading to vitamin deficiencies, underweight or overweight, anemia, etc.
- Hygienic concerns including poor skin care, unattended sexual health or dental problems
- Weakened physical strength due to inactivity and neglected fitness
- Poor circulation and weakened heart strength
- Kidney and liver problems
- Transmittable diseases including hepatitis, HIV or sexually transmitted infections
It follows that healing your body and regaining your physical strength are core pieces of recovery. At Tree House Recovery, we not only help you get back to a healthy state, but we take this one step further and harness the power of fitness and exercise for other healing benefits. While getting in top physical shape is a victory in its own right, the physiological responses also incite profound psychological shifts. Our ESM Fitness Therapy program is carefully designed to restore and rebuild more than just your body — it’s backed by cutting-edge research about the relationship between exercise and mind/body connection, and offers many holistic benefits including:
- Better sleep
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Lessened stress sensitivity
- Improved thinking and cognitive skills
- Bolstered self-confidence
- Heightened energy levels
Does Fitness Therapy Really Work?
Fitness therapies like ESM are backed by several clinical studies and published research articles. The benefits of exercise in general are well known; from the mood-boosting endorphins that are released during physical activity to the reduced risk of several chronic diseases (including diabetes and heart disease), there’s no arguing with the fact that regular exercise can improve your health and your quality of life. When it comes to mental health and addiction treatment, fitness therapy is quickly emerging as a promising field. Recent studies have indicated, among many other items, that:
- Laboratory rats given access to an exercise wheel are less likely to self-administer cocaine (Smith et al., 2011)
- Exercise sessions can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in tobacco addiction (Ussher et al., 2001)
- Physical activity can improve short-term mood and long-term positivity in people with major depressive disorder (Bartholomew et al., 2005)
- Those who struggle with alcoholism are less likely to be physically active (Liangpunsakul et al., 2010)
- Exercise led to longer periods of abstinence for substance use patients in intensive outpatient programs (Weinstock et al., 2008)
The correlation between exercise, mental health and substance abuse is clear. More studies are underway to further develop and explore the best ways to implement fitness in substance abuse. At Tree House Recovery we are dedicated to providing our clients with a range of cutting-edge evidence-based therapies, and we are confident that ESM Fitness Therapy is at the forefront of the next generation of addiction treatment. Not only have we seen its benefits first-hand, but we have carefully developed our program to adhere to high standards of fitness guidelines, safety and therapeutic benefits.
ESM Fitness Therapy at Tree House Recovery
Our ESM Fitness Therapy program was developed by fitness professionals and continues to be led by qualified experts. Our on-staff therapist in Portland is a certified fitness trainer, certified addiction professional and certified addiction technician. We use a unique combination of circuit and strength training — repetition establishes a therapeutic rhythm, developing powerful neural pathways and pushing participants to do more than they think they can achieve. We also utilize a team-based element to establish collective motivation, community support and positive trust experiences. Not only does this program help our clients grow stronger and healthier physically, but it teaches them to push their limits, work with others, self-motivate and reach for their goals — benefits that last long after we leave the gym.
Contact Tree House Recovery
Tree House Recovery is an addiction treatment center for men in Portland, Oregon. We provide high-quality holistic and individualized recovery treatment that focuses on each person and their needs. No matter where you come from or what your experience with addiction has been, we are here to help you find a path to long-lasting sobriety that works uniquely for you. If you are ready to begin your journey of recovery, we want to hear from you — contact us today at 855-969-5181 to learn more about our admissions process.