Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Recovery from Within: When Traditional Medicine is Not an Option
[The following article was submitted to me by Constance Ray. It is a great read with some positive insight. Thank you for your submission, Constance!]
Modern medicine is primarily the practice of eliminating symptoms. While this can certainly bring comfort, it doesn’t address the core of diseases that originate from the mind. Chemotherapy can reverse cancer, insulin can stabilize blood glucose levels, but addiction recovery isn’t about treating symptoms. It’s about healing the whole person to eliminate the desire for chemical stimulation.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathic medicine is essentially the practice of utilizing natural remedies to treat an illness. Homeopathic therapies have been around since the days of Hippocrates and was federally recognized under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, according to Sandra M. Chase, M.D. of the American Institute of Homeopathy.
The primary objective of homeopathic and holistic treatments is to safely stimulate a person’s own healing powers.
Homeopathic medicine may be used to treat many issues related to substance abuse during recovery. For example, insomnia, an unfortunate but all too common side effect of withdrawal, may be overcome by the consumption of chamomile or lavender tea. Both of these substances are derived from flowers, are not associated with negative side effects, and are widely reported to induce deep and restful slumber.
Heal the body, heal the mind
Exercise and meditation are perhaps two of the most useful tools in addiction recovery. But why? Drug use alters the way the brain works and changes how it performs specific functions. Neurotransmitters, which essentially act as the brain’s messengers, are damaged with long-term drug use. By disrupting this communication system, the brain learns to look forward to the unnaturally high levels of pleasure derived from drug use. This is one of the reasons that drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are more addictive than other rewards, such as sex, food, and laughter.
Exercise releases a number of chemicals, including dopamine, which, like illicit substances, triggers the reward center of the brain. Stimulating dopamine production will help curb cravings. Your brain will, in turn, begin to look forward to the feeling it gets after a good run, jog, or swim. Serotonin is another chemical produced by the brain that has a positive effect on neurotransmitters. The National Library of Medicine explains that a positive mood can actually increase serotonin production. The most effective ways to boost serotonin are through meditation, exposure to sunshine, and exercise. Once the brain is balanced, addiction disorders are easier to manage.
Alternative treatments, such as exercise and meditation, are used every day in drug and alcohol treatment centers throughout the country. You can find out more about these alternative recovery methods at DrugRehab.org.
A new commitment each day
Overcoming a substance abuse disorder is a challenge that takes time. It is a process unique to each individual and therefore there is no cookie-cutter treatment that works for everyone. However, one thing is certain and that is replacing negative habits with healthy ones will go a long way toward recovery. This is achieved by evaluating ourselves each morning and making a conscious decision to get and stay healthy from the inside out. Establishing a long-term help routine begins one change at a time. An addict might, for instance, swap an after-dinner drink for an evening walk with his or her family.
Food plays a role in whole health, as well, so it’s important that diet is not neglected throughout the recovery process. The body has amazing healing powers but must be fueled properly to work efficiently and effectively. Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates are essential. Not only will the right foods help the body detox but will also reduce systemic inflammation triggered by long-term nutrition neglect. Dr. Joshua Axe, a chiropractor, clinical nutritionist, and certified doctor of natural medicine, recently penned an article titled The Healing Foods Diet that offers more information about specific foods and the power of proper nutrition.
Recovery from any disease is not easy. But, by focusing on homeopathic and holistic outlets, addicts may overcome their inner demons and began anew each day with a positive outlook, healthy body, and happy mind.