Severe drug addiction takes a severe toll on the body. When someone comes into treatment after abusing high volumes of drugs and alcohol they can be unstable, in many ways. First, they are unstable in their mental capacity. Part of the reason they are in detox and/or treatment is because they are mentally unstable and cannot be trusted on their own accord to stay sober. Second, they are unstable in their physical capacity. People who are severely intoxicated and severely chemically dependent are physically unstable. They are shaky, sick, wobbly, and cannot walk. For their first few weeks of treatment, they might have to be in a wheelchair until they get their strength back. Severe addiction can eat away at muscle, muscle strength, the function of the nervous system, and other functions of the body which create strength. Until that strength develops, clients are carefully monitored. Falling during this vulnerable state can cause damage or concussion, which could be problematic to the fragile brain.
Regaining strength takes time. Primarily through rest and detox, the body can start to heal. Medical detox provides the body with vitamins and nutrients it needs to rehabilitate. Ongoing, an integrative approach to treatment helps restore the mind, the body, and the spirit. Fully rounded diet and nutrition, regular exercise, and therapeutic treatment helps the body heal.
Integrative treatment includes alternative treatment methods like holistic healing modalities and eastern practices. At Cottonwood Tucson, we offer clients the opportunity to learn and participate in the practice of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an eastern practice which focuses on flexibility and coordination through practiced movements and utilizing the breath for control. Recently, research found that Tai Chi builds strength in the elderly, who are prone to falling because of their failing stabilization. For recovering addicts and alcoholics, Tai Chi can be helpful in building strength needed for core physical functioning.
Researchers found that Tai Chi, when practiced one to three times a week for twelve to twenty-six weeks, reduced the rate of falls by 43% within the first year of learning the practice. Published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the study from spain analyzed ten different studies on Tai Chi as an intervention.