Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Blog - Tai Chi and Addiction by Lillian Sanders


The ancient practice of Tai Chi can be a great alternative support in patients who are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. The reason many recovery programs fail is because the patient is experiencing additional stress caused by their withdrawals and new way of life. Tai Chi proves to be an effective outlet.

When someone has an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, this becomes their natural means of coping with stress and tension. Taking away their coping mechanism when they are extremely stressed is the reason many addicts turn back to their old ways. The longer someone has been an addict, the harder it is to break these habits. When they stop using the substance, their body chemistry and internal systems are out of balance. They have become accustomed to the substance they have been abusing. Tai Chi is one way to put their mind and body back in balance naturally.

Tai Chi is a martial art that focuses on low impact, relaxing movements. It is an exercise that is slow and gentle, and it focuses on breathing deeply and meditating. While it can be performed in a variety of styles, all Tai Chi utilizes these elements.

It is these features that allow it to do much more for recovering addicts than other types of exercise or meditation. The ancient practice is a powerful complementary therapy for many types of addictions. It can help with drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or more. Practicing Tai Chi on a regular basis allows the addict to have a heightened feeling of well-being mentally and it improves the workings of their bodies.

Research studies are being performed to conclusively test the effectiveness of Tai Chi on addicts. The research has shown that using drugs and alcohol clogs the body with toxins in their tissues and blood. The stimulation of Tai Chi helps the lymph system to speed up. It removes the impurities from the blood. Initially, the patient may feel uncomfortable because they have become used to the toxins. Removing them can feel unsettling. However, after several sessions, they begin to feel better. They can release their stress through the movements and focus on the recovery.

Tai Chi can be part of a holistic therapy for those recovering from an addiction. While it is not a substitute for other treatments, it can be extremely effective when coupled with other medications, therapies, or diets.
Holistic drug rehab programs often times include Tai Chi as a main focus for recovering addicts.