An important part of treatment is understanding that you must now think, feel, and believe in different ways. Yet that knowledge is rarely enough. The victim of trauma may know that recovery means paying attention to how their bodies hold on to and express trauma and how that affects their choices. The alcoholic can tell you quite clearly and honestly that he needs to stop drinking as he is taking a drink. But until these lessons are incorporated and integrated, simply knowing what one should or shouldn’t do is rarely enough. Our Integrative Therapies have been carefully selected to complement our medical and therapeutic treatments. Their purpose is to provide you with tangible feedback about your progress and your obstacles. Most can also serve as resources that you can use in your life beyond treatment.
Outdoor and Adventure
Yoga is a system of exercises for well-being that includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific body postures. Yoga is a wonderful practice for people who are recovering from addiction. Abusing alcohol and drugs causes people lose touch with their bodies and minds. By practicing yoga, you can once again become comfortable in your own skin. Yoga can be particularly helpful during the early days of recovery when you are dealing with significant stress and emotional upheaval.
The benefits of an individual yoga session can complement those of a group yoga session. Each individual session is designed specifically for you and may include the application of meditation, physical movement, chanting and imagery. As the objective of yogic principles is to address the complexities of human suffering, while honoring and cultivating human strengths, this practice serves as a reminder to return to wholeness, and leads to a deeper more intimate connection with ourselves and those around us.
Esotherapy®, short for Esoteric Wisdom Therapy™, is a consciousness integration therapy co-founded by Gerald Whitehawk and Tahlia Denny. It rapidly facilitates healing of emotional and physiological stress and trauma through an amalgam of healing talk and touch, meditation and ceremonial methods based on esoteric spiritual practices such as Buddhism, Taoism, native or aboriginal, Sufi, Judeo-Christian mysticism, as well as contemporary psychological knowledge that switches perception from a divided ego-centered to a unified spirit-centered state. To understand how Esotherapy® works, we must recognize humans can experience two distinct states of consciousness:
- Dualistic consciousness sees the world as “self vs. other”, is acquired, verbal, and called “ego”. This tutored perception creates cascading feelings of disconnection, stress, and physiological events that produce symptoms such as anxiety and depression, cortisol, blood sugar and lipid imbalances, tension, pain, sleep disturbances, immune deregulation, and other heightened sympathetic responses. The result is a myriad of mental and physical diseases stemming from a single cause – dualistic consciousness.
- The coexisting inborn non-dualistic consciousness is that of the senses. It is pre-verbal, inborn, and perceives a world indiscriminate from the self. It is called esoteric, spiritual, or Oneness Consciousness and is characterized by peace, clarity, harmony and well-being.
Esotherapy® wakes us up from our dualistic dream of separation from each other and the environment by providing a gentle, supportive environment within which our root assumptions of what and who we really are may be gently revealed, diligently explored and challenged. This shift heals ailments that arise from dualistic consciousness, healing anxiety, depression, and traumatic memory flashbacks, addictions, nightmares, insomnia, panic, paranoia, shame and guilt, hopelessness, etc. Esotherapy® gently returns us to our natural, non-dualistic awareness, inherent peace, balance and harmony. It helps us regain clarity, positive self-esteem, and a hopeful outlook on life.
Acupuncture is a practice that has been used effectively for centuries. It is considered one of the oldest natural forms of medicine. At Sabino Recovery it is used to treat trauma, PTSD, depression, insomnia, anxiety, withdrawal, chronic pain and other stress related disorders. Acupuncture works by assisting the body to heal itself by restoring the natural balance of one’s “Qi.”
Massage therapy provides an opportunity for recovery to work at a much deeper level by connecting the body and mind. Massage has many therapeutic benefits and increases one’s overall sense of well-being by relaxing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It facilitates and supports becoming “in touch” and “grounded” within one’s own body and can be effective in managing chronic pain. It is believed by many that our muscle tissues hold memories. Some memories can reside deep in our bodies, seemingly dormant. The manipulation of muscle tissue through massage can often release the trauma and negativity of these memories from our bodies.
Shiatsu is a form of massage that originated in Japan and is defined as “finger pressure.” It is facilitated with the recipient fully clothed while the on a massage table or a floor mat. It differs from conventional massage as it is done with slow, consistent, methodical movements accessing pressure points and pathways called meridians. Sessions may also incorporate passive manipulation and gentle stretching. Shiatsu is profoundly relaxing and has the same therapeutic benefits as conventional massage.
CST helps to relieve injuries and trauma in muscles and connective tissue. It energetically connects the cranium and sacrum by using a soft, gentle, non-invasive touch. It releases the soft tissues surrounding the central nervous system where past injury or trauma may have occurred. This modality is a wonderfully effective way to deeply nourish the adrenal glands and help to better regulate sleep cycles. It is also beneficial in treating a variety of ailments including headaches, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
For some, participating in Art Therapy is deeply therapeutic, and often in ways that are unexpected. Trauma is not only stored as memories, it is stored as images, feeling and sounds. In art therapy, we are guided by the therapist to a creative part of ourselves where verbal skills are not always present. The use of art as therapy also has the power to change the brain. It teaches how to self-soothe which is necessary for adaptability and recovery. It also provides for improved interaction between certain regions of the brain known as the default mode network. The default mode network is the area of the brain associated with the cognitive process like introspection, self-monitoring, and memory.
In a safe environment, we can invite inner feelings to surface in color, texture, and sensation. There is joy in expressing a more childlike part of ourselves. Art is not only informative, it is healing. It soothes the nervous system. In Art Therapy at Sabino Recovery, you will discover new and positive ways for your energy to be redirected.
“The body says what words cannot” –Martha Graham
This is a perfect description of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT), one of the many expressive arts therapies used at Sabino Recovery.
Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance/Movement Therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.
Movement is our first language and most basic form of communication. It is a metaphor for how we think, feel and relate to the self and others. To move is to create, feel alive, heal, and connect, as we re-discover the Authentic Self.
Experiences of past physical, emotional and sexual trauma stored in the body may be evoked through movement expression, providing clients with new ways to express, process and release their emotions.
Dance/movement therapists focus on helping their clients improve self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills and relationships, expand their movement vocabulary, gain insight into patterns of behavior, as well as create new options for coping with problems.
This is particularly helpful for people with addictions, trauma, and eating disorders, who often detach from their physical selves to avoid painful emotions, sensations and memories. A typical DMT session might include the use of recorded music or instruments or props such as scarves and balls. Music may serve as a catalyst, but not always. Some sessions are facilitated without music, as the therapist guides clients to explore their internal rhythms, sensations, emotions and tensions within the body. Content and themes evolve organically within the group or individual session through cooperative or solo movement, dance, games, free expression and play. The therapist creates a safe environment and serves as a witness to the client, observing the body, guiding and verbally processing the experience as it evolves.
To learn more about DMT, visit the American Dance Therapy Association website at www.adta.org.
Outdoor and Adventure Therapy
It is easy to assume that treatment is all about “talking.” Sometimes, the most powerful and impactful breakthroughs happen by “doing.” At Sabino Recovery, we provide experiential therapies that can be both fun and challenging. Emotions live in the body and are connected to feelings. Movement and challenges help us release and process feelings and emotions High and low ropes courses challenge long-held beliefs about your abilities and limitations. These sessions also help you to understand how you work with others, form relationships, and establish boundaries. Ultimately, what is learned on the ropes course helps strengthen your recovery while at Sabino Recovery and beyond.
Guided walks and hikes free your mind to feel and think in ways you often cannot when still and allow you to notice and pay attention to the world around you in ways in which you are unaccustomed.
These modalities are an important adjunct to our other group and individual therapies as they help reduce impulsivity, improve focus and attention and develop problem-solving skills. Additionally, these “experiential therapies” have mood-enhancing benefits that can be very helpful to individuals with depressive and anxiety disorders, as well learning to express healthier expression of emotions. They also help to increase the motivation to be an active part of one’s own life, which is the most necessary skill for a successful recovery.