Yoga & Recovery
Yoga & Recovery
An increasing number of studies suggest that mindfulness activities, such as yoga, can help people overcome addiction when complemented by traditional treatment.
Meditation’s effect on the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain may be a reason why. Yoga raises the levels of GABA, which has shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
A 2014 study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine examined the effect of yoga alongside rehab in treating alcohol dependence. The results showed that the greatest reduction in drinking occurred among the group that incorporated yoga into treatment.
A study published in the journal Nursing Research indicated that yoga can significantly improve the mood and quality of life in female heroin users undergoing drug detoxification. Researchers concluded that the activity can be used alongside traditional care to treat heroin dependence.
Scientists are unsure how yoga improves health. But researchers believe that the activity releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that reduce pain and produce feelings of pleasure.
Other medical benefits of yoga include:
- Decreased pain
- Improved balance
- Lowered resting heart rate
- Improved bone density
- Increased immunity
People in recovery may deal with a host of emotions, including anxiety and stress. According to a 2011 study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, stress can trigger relapse in individuals recovering from alcohol dependence.
However, yoga can help ease this tension and help people deal with triggers. Research has found that yoga can help reduce cravings for people in recovery.
People in recovery should incorporate yoga into their daily routine, especially early in the process. Yoga may be most effective for those in recovery when combined with regular therapy sessions, such as 12-step meetings.
Why not try it out