Mindfulness and Healing AddictionsGulf Coast Healthy Living Magazine Volume 5, Issue 4 - The Friary
Pain in any form hurts. Physical, mental or emotional, pain can be so difficult that it causes some people to turn to alcohol or drugs for relief. There is a better way. One local treatment center provides evidence-based treatments including mindfulness practices that teach the skills necessary to cope with the distress life can bring.
Addiction can stem from traumatic events a person is seeking to avoid through the use of drugs or alcohol. Meditation is an evidence-based treatment not only for addiction, but also depression and anxiety. It has measurable benefits similar to exercise and with regular practice it can improve overall wellness.
“Meditation enhances brain function, regulates emotions, improves the immune system and works well in treating depression, anxiety and trauma,” says Emmalee Fournier, MSW, addictions therapist.
Yoga is another practice that can help a person “tap into and listen to what’s inside,” says Denise Amick, MS, RYT, registered mental health counseling intern and trauma-informed yoga teacher at The Friary. “Yoga teaches distress tolerance or the coping skills necessary to tolerate mental and physical discomfort,” says Amick. “If you can’t listen to what’s inside, you can’t learn to cope with discomfort.”
Over the years studies have been funded that have led to the development of trauma-sensitive protocols. Therefore, trauma-informed yoga classes are guided differently. Teachers emphasize the inward journey instead of perfect poses.