Body connection – addiction prevention
Did you know that the word ‘Yoga‘is a Sanskrit term describing the union of the individual with universal spirit, or cosmic consciousness? So how could this relate to addictions? Some research has identified that addiction is associated with not only a loss of connection to some higher meaning, but even loss of connection with one’s own body.
The practice of yoga focuses on developing a deep sensitivity and relationship to one’s body; so it is effective in both preventing and healing addiction.
Often addicts are considered to be lacking in will-power, undisciplined, and of being of weak character. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is now well-established that addiction is a brain disorder where chemical pathways are established that drive the repetitive addictive behaviour, even when the person really wants to stop. Often the addict experiences sincere remorse and vows to stop, but the body’s need will override the good intentions. The addiction has a powerful hold on the person. Hence we stress the need for deep compassionate support.
A study back in 2008 found that teenagers who engaged in regular exercise were 40% less likely to experiment with marijuana than those teenagers who preferred to play computer games. Although the study was not able to conclusively prove why, it was suggested that being busy with exercises reduced the time available to other experiment. The practice of exercising builds both confidence and body appreciation, which in turn engenders a desire for body care and protection, thereby reducing the likelihood of engaging in addictive behaviours. It is also well known that exercise promotes the production of hormones in the body that stabilize moods and promote a feeling of wellbeing. The accompanying positive attitude reduces the mental and emotional ‘downers’ that can lead to addictive behaviour.
To develop a family practice of regular exercise, try to make exercise as normal and as regular as cleaning one’s teeth. It is good for individual health, encourages family unity, and helps prevent attraction to those ‘not so good things’ in life.
For information about a good healthy way of exercising log onto the MEMBER PORTAL and scroll down to Road to wellness: General Health for general wellness tips. Or log onto MYPLAN to set up a personal exercise plan.