Woman on yoga mat during yoga therapy

How Does Yoga Therapy Help With Addiction?

It can be daunting to enter addiction treatment. Different types of addiction require different therapeutic approaches to detox and recovery. Furthermore, addiction recovery is not just a physiological process but a psychological and emotional one as well. Accordingly, there are many treatment modalities that can support the overall well-being of a person in recovery. Yoga therapy is just one of many complementary treatments that can improve addiction recovery outcomes.

A yoga therapy program can offer many benefits. But the best addiction treatment program is one that is tailored to meet the individual’s specific needs. Washburn House offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to addiction treatment, including yoga therapy. If you or a loved one is living with addiction, help is available right now. Call Washburn House today at 855.298.3104 to learn more about your options and take that first step toward recovery. 

How Yoga Helps with Mental Health

Yoga has long been recognized for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. It can result in an increased sense of mindfulness, improved body image, and better physical health. It can also help manage stress, reduce anxiety, and improve overall quality of life. But, practicing yoga is different from engaging in yoga therapy. 

What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy differs from taking a yoga class or building a habitual yoga practice. Yoga therapy refers to the implementation of yogic principles and practices to address physical or mental illness. These practices are often combined with psychotherapy. Yoga therapy can support a person’s total well-being by giving them the tools to manage stress, alleviate symptoms of illness, or prevent further mental or physical decline. 

The Benefits of Yoga Therapy for Addiction

Yoga therapy is a proven complement to a variety of treatment programs. In addition to supporting addiction recovery, yoga therapy can help manage anxiety, stress, and PTSD. It can also help manage chronic conditions and support injury recovery. For those living with addiction, yoga therapy offers many benefits, including: 

  • Improved mood and sense of self-control
  • Relapse prevention
  • More self-awareness
  • Management of withdrawal symptoms

Improved Mood and Sense of Self-Control

Addiction is typically the product of excess dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure. Dopamine is released when a person ingests drugs or engages in addictive behavior (e.g., gambling). Yoga therapy can help to re-balance the amount of dopamine in the brain and return it to normal levels. It has been shown to enlarge regions of the brain responsible for stress management. Yoga can also increase the production of neurotransmitters that can reduce anxiety. 

Relapse Prevention

By rebalancing these neurotransmitters, a person will not be as susceptible to the stress and anxiety that can result in a relapse. They will also be able to manage their cravings more effectively. These changes in brain chemistry increase the likelihood of successfully completing an addiction treatment program.

Increased Self-Awareness

Yoga emphasizes a mind-body connection. Yoga therapy capitalizes on this connection by drawing a person’s attention to their physical and emotional states in a non-judgmental way. This can help a person manage their reactions to stress or discomfort that could lead to a relapse. 

Management of Withdrawal Symptoms

It is difficult and dangerous to undergo detox alone. For addictions to substances like alcohol or opioids, medically supervised detox is often the only way to detox safely. Withdrawal has many physical effects, but also psychological ones. Detox can produce feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, depression, or irritability. Yoga therapy can be one tool for managing these feelings. 

See How Yoga Helps with Mental Health and Addiction at Washburn House 

As a complementary addiction treatment, yoga therapy offers many benefits. If you or someone you love is living with addiction, a yoga therapy program may be a valuable approach to recovery. To learn more about yoga therapy at Washburn House, as well as our other addiction treatment programs, call us at 855.298.3104. Our intake specialists are waiting for your call.

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