Many people who suffer from substance use disorder first became involved with drugs or alcohol because they were trying to ease the pain of uncomfortable situations or memories. They could find no other method that worked as well or as quickly as chemicals. Thus, they returned to it time and time again. Eventually, they became dependent upon their choice of chemical, unable to leave it behind. In other words, they became addicted. Unfortunately, addiction is difficult to break. But this is where breathwork in addiction recovery transforms lives. If you’re unfamiliar with the formidable healing powers of breathwork, keep reading.
Breathwork in Addiction Recovery
Breathwork is exactly what it sounds like — different patterns of breathing used to help those suffering from substance use disorder or mental health issues achieve life-changing breakthroughs. And, depending upon whom you ask, it seems to work really well.
Breathwork in addiction recovery helps distract the brain long enough for clients to relax, possibly for the first time ever. It quiets those constantly churning thoughts that make us feel less-than and allows us to release blocked feelings and emotions.
Imagine how easy it would be to stop using drugs and alcohol if you loved yourself as much as you love your child, your spouse, or your parent. Breathwork in addiction recovery can help you achieve that epiphany.
The Background on Breathwork
This method has been around for years, originating in ancient times. As we use it today, it has many beneficial applications, including:
- Helping to ease anxiety and stress
- Assisting with anger management
- Releasing repressed emotions
- Easing depression
- Reducing grief
- Boosting the immune system
Clients can use different types of breathwork. Breathwork in addiction recovery seeks to explore and heal such areas as past trauma, feelings of worthlessness, and self-esteem issues that may have plagued a client throughout their entire life.
The Science Behind Breathwork
Often, when we become tense or anxious, our breathing becomes shallow. We may even hold our breath without realizing it, waiting for a second shoe to fall or something disastrous to happen. When we don’t breathe correctly, our brains suffer the consequences. Once we realize what we’re subconsciously doing and make an effort to cease doing it, our brains begin to function like they should.
Breathwork regulates the flow of oxygen to the brain. Slow, controlled breathing helps prompt the parasympathetic response — the emotions we feel when we’re calm and happy. Rapid breathing does the opposite. It prompts the sympathetic response which is what your body associates with stress. Many of us, without realizing it, spend large portions of our day engaged in shallow breathing.
Breathwork, when used to treat substance use disorder, is performed under the supervision of a breathwork therapist. By using varied breathing techniques, it’s possible to regulate unconscious and involuntary responses. Many people experience emotional breakthroughs using breathwork and are able to release memories and feelings they have subconsciously blocked for years.
Breathwork in Addiction Recovery at Integrative Life Center in Nashville
If you’re curious about the effectiveness of breathwork in healing past trauma or bringing to light repressed experiences, Integrative Life Center in Nashville is a drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment center that can help. We’re qualified to perform breathwork as a part of our addiction recovery program. Also, we’ll work with you to help you learn new, beneficial breathing patterns that will improve your mental and physical states. Our qualified breathwork specialist will lead you gently through the techniques required to bring about effective change.