Over the past 15 to 20 years, there has been a growing movement in this country towards utilizing eastern medicine in order to supplement traditional western medicine. Certain herbs, which have been used in the East for thousands of years have been shown to be beneficial for everything from boosting the immune system, to help fighting off unwanted colds, and as this movement has gained ground in the United States, those in the behavioral health field have followed suit and started to implement such practices into the treatment process.
Now, at just about every treatment center in the country, there are holistic and eastern medicine programs that have proven to be beneficial in helping to foster recovery and increase the overall well being of a person. Many treatment centers have started to implement such programs as acupuncture and vitamin and herb therapies, and while not technically medicinal, many have also started to implement a regimen of yoga.
However, the benefits that these practices can extend past treatment and into your day-to-day recovery. A person who regularly goes for acupuncture, engages in Tai Chi, or who eats well and supplements their diet with certain herbs will notice an increase in vitality, and an emotional centeredness that they may not have been able to experience otherwise.
Why You Should Utilize Easter Medicine in Sobriety
Not everyone who reads this will agree that eastern medicine can really work, as some people are skeptical of using eastern medicine in sobriety. They believe that such activities are only participated in by hipsters or hippies, and there is no validity to them at all. They think that using eastern medicine in sobriety is a fad that will eventually go the way of other health kicks, but what these people fail to understand is that these practices have been used for thousands of years. Now just because something is old doesn’t necessarily make it right, but in this case, the reason why activities like acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Tai Chi are still being used to this day is because they have been shown to work.
The one thing that I will say about utilizing eastern medicine in sobriety is that recovery after a certain point really becomes about more than just going to meetings and ensuring that you don’t drink or use drugs. It becomes about creating a healthy way of life for yourself so that you can find balance in mind, body, and spirit. You come to the realization after a few years sober that you may in fact live for a decent amount of time, and with this realization comes the want to take better care of yourself, so that you avoid health problems down the road.
Using eastern medicine in sobriety can help to this end, as implementing any of the activities that we are going to discuss into your life can help lower your blood pressure, help with your digestion, and even show you how to relax and let go of stress. All of these things promote a healthier lifestyle and for a person in recovery, this is paramount.
Eastern Medicine in Sobriety Practices
While there are a number of different medicinal aspects that you could incorporate into your life I am going to focus on three for the purpose of our writing today. These three are acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Tai Chi.
Starting off our list of eastern medicine in sobriety is acupuncture. Acupuncture stems from a traditional Chinese medicine practice that uses needles, which are placed into the skin at certain points on the body in order to stimulate a variety of reactions. Acupuncture has been known to help with depression, muscle spasms and pain, headaches, digestive problems, mood disorders, and even arthritis.
While it can be disconcerting the first time that you have needles stuck into your body, the whole experience is pain free, and you will notice the effects almost immediately. Within the realm of recovery, acupuncture is often time used a way to relax, and many people who find it difficult to meditate or relax otherwise have found a reprieve from worry with acupuncture.
2. Herbal Medicine
Pretty much since the dawn of man, human beings have used herbs as a way to heal themselves. In fact a majority of the modern medicines we have today are by-products of naturally occurring herbs. Now I will admit that herbal medicine more than likely does not replace western medicine when it comes to curing illnesses, but by using herbs as a supplement to more traditional medicines, it can greatly help your overall health.
Herbs can be found at just about every pharmacy in America, or at specialty shops, and there is an herb for just about any issue you could be experiencing. If you are having stomach issues there is an herb that can help you. Anxiety? There is an herb for that, and since many people in recovery do not want to take anything that is mood or mind altering, sometimes herbal medicines can really make a difference.
3. Tai Chi
Although Tai Chi may not be what you would traditionally think of when you think of eastern medicine, the practice is known as meditation in motion, or even medication in motion. For those of you who do not know, Tai Chi is a non-competitive martial art that is known to alleviate stress and anxiety, while also acting as a form of exercise.
The health benefits are widely documented, and its effect have been studied by just about every major school of medicine in the US. Even Harvard released a paper outlining the benefits of Tai Chi, stating that it can help anxious people, while also allowing them to increase muscle strength, balance, and aerobic conditioning.
So if you are looking for something to bolster your recovery, why not try out some eastern medicine options. There is a lot of information available on the web, and you should, with a quick search, be able to find something suitable for your needs.