Emotional disassociation can feel like a double whammy for people struggling with addiction. Culturally, it is ingrained in people to strive harder, do more and push to the brink of exhaustion. Very little emphasis is placed on the concept of feeling restored through rest. The mind and body need rest to rejuvenate cells and work at maximum capacity. Find out why massage is a great tool to use in recovery to promote health, wellness and overall restoration of balance back into the body.
Long Road Ahead
Recovery is a difficult process. Most people cannot describe what is happening in the mind or body. A massage therapist will meet with a person and decipher what the body is saying through working the muscles, tissue and skin. Recovery programs typically focus on the mind but the mind, body and spirit are connected within one person. As a person with addiction, it is important to work with all the parts to achieve better alignment and balance.
Why Massage Matters
Massage has been proven to increase dopamine and serotonin while decreasing cortisol. Especially in early stages of withdrawal where dopamine is lowest, massage can help support release of stress hormones and build immunity. Massage helps with overall relaxation by stimulating pressure receptors which enhance vagal activity, decreasing heart rate, lowering blood pressure and decreasing stress hormones. Superficially, people just ‘feel better’ after massage but mental clarity and awareness can build over time the more massage is built into a person’s recovery plan.
Benefits of Massage
Self-care techniques can be offered to individuals who receive massage in recovery. Addictions are self-soothing. Providing a pathway to connect bodies back into the true essence can be extremely empowering. The medicine a person needs is well and truly inside the mind and body. It is a paradigm shift that, when it occurs, can change a person’s entire outlook on life. Chronic pain starts to improve and sleep increases with less medication. Massage also helps by:
- Rewiring brains (neuroplasticity) to support healing
- Learning how to get in touch with brain and body
- Develop willingness to open up and trust, relax and let go of fear
- Therapeutic touch can bring recovery work to a deeper level, connect body to emotions and bring someone back into the body
There are myriad ways massage is beneficial for individuals in recovery. Most of all, it is a way to relax, unwind and develop a better sense of body awareness. Addiction takes so much away from a person, massage and bodywork is a way to give back to the self, get centered, grounded and refocused for the recovery journey ahead.
Alternative modalities are great tools when integrated into a recovery plan. The key is consistency. If you or a loved one are looking for support to kick addiction, call The Villa to find out how we can help you find what best suits your needs and helps you enter recovery.