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Exercise and Fitness Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Sobriety

The word “detox” has been used to describe everything from cleansing diets to yoga poses. In the treatment of addictions, it has a more clinical meaning. When the body develops a dependency on alcohol, removing it can cause behavioral, physical, and mental symptoms. Does exercise help with detox? Scientific research suggests that it does.

What Is Holistic Detox?

Withdrawal can be unpleasant, even deadly. Medical detox offers a safe place to rid the body of alcohol under medical supervision. Some detox centers not only provide traditional detox, but they also offer holistic practices, such as fitness therapy or meditation, that promote a well-rounded lifestyle and recovery.

When giving up alcohol, going cold turkey is never a good idea. Withdrawal symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, mood disorders, and hallucinations. Medical detox won’t eliminate all the discomfort, but it will make the process easier. Holistic detox takes the process one step further and focuses on the “whole” self. Holistic philosophy operates on the belief that wellness comes from mental, physical, and spiritual health and that addiction is often rooted in unexpressed pain or trauma.

10 Holistic Therapies

Besides counseling, medical care, and a healthy diet, patients engage in activities like these to improve their sense of self-worth and social skills:

  • Fitness therapy

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Art therapy

  • Music therapy

  • Equine therapy

  • Acupuncture

  • Massage

  • Energy healing

  • Chriopractic

Physical exercise and other holistic therapies don't take the place of medical detox, but they do help to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life. They may also help to prevent relapse by offering a mood-altering lift and deterrent to drinking.

Treatment Starts with Detox

Studies suggest that exercise can be useful in fighting alcohol use disorder if it is part of a comprehensive detox program. Physical activity works in two ways: it lessens the negative effects of alcohol on physical health, and it may have a positive effect on mental health by influencing the brain’s neurotransmitter system. More studies are needed on the intensity, duration, frequency, and type of exercise that works best.

How hard should the workout be? Is cardiovascular or resistance exercise best, or should it be a combination of the two? So far, researchers know little about how exercise works with traditional and alternative therapies or how effective it is in replacing alcohol as a less harmful influence on dopamine levels in the brain. Research is also necessary to see if exercise can help to prevent alcoholism.

Does exercise help with detox? At Enlightened Solutions, we think it does. That's why we offer a holistic-based detox and rehab program to address substance use disorder, examine its roots, and repair the layers of damage caused by compulsive drinking.

If you or a loved one is looking for a detox and rehab center in New Jersey, contact us today for more information.

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