At FHE Health, we view a patient’s overall health as just as important as their recovery from addiction. When new patients come to us, we emphasize a holistic approach to recovery, using a variety of treatments to target the mind, body and soul.
Part of this necessarily includes helping our patients take control over their physical health, and many sources suggest the benefits of physical fitness can be leveraged to boost the success of addiction treatment.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the ways that physical health and wellness are key parts of recovery and how FHE Health has taken steps to support the fitness and wellness of the South Florida addiction patients we see on a daily basis.
Why Is Fitness So Important in Rehab?
A major part of addiction treatment is helping patients rewire the brain. When you become addicted to a substance of any kind, the parts of your brain that handle risk and reward get out of balance due to the presence of that substance. The majority of drugs and alcohol lead to the brain’s release of the pleasure-inducing substance dopamine, which is the cause of this “malfunction” in the brain.
So what does fitness have to do with the brain? According to the Harvard Health Letter, a number of studies have shown that something as simple as 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week can improve mental performance and help fight off depression.
That’s not to mention exercise’s effect on human self-image and self-esteem. Addiction can decimate a person’s view of themselves, making recovery even more difficult. Thoughts of worthlessness are commonly reported by recovering addicts, and hopeless feelings are often reported as some of the main causes of relapse. With daily exercise, our patients get a better idea of how it feels to be healthy, no matter where they are in their recovery.
Nutrition Is Another Crucial Component
Physical health involves more than physical exercise, however, and holistic treatment centers like ours need to focus on the bigger picture of health. This includes proper nutrition and overall wellness.
Nutrition is important during recovery for two reasons: First, addicts generally don’t follow proper nutrition habits during the height of their substance abuse, which can lead to a variety of complications, including disease and organ damage. Second, the intake of sufficient nutrients is important for patients to be equipped to handle the physical and mental tolls of recovery.
There are a variety of ways in which proper nutrition and hydration can support the journey to recovery for someone addicted to a controlled substance, many of which are detailed in an edition of Today’s Dietician from December 2014, when the treatment community was still making breakthroughs in treating the overall health of addicted patients.
Nutrition plays a major role in wellness. During addiction, people generally don’t develop healthy relationships with food. Depending on the specifics of the addiction, some addicts may neglect to eat altogether for as long as possible. Others may binge and purge based on their schedule of consuming drugs and alcohol. The results can take a variety of forms, depending on the case at hand: Some addicts end up with failing hearts, livers or other organs. Others can be extremely malnourished, leading to a wide variety of potential complications. One of the roles of nutrition in addiction treatment is to take possible deficiencies and turn them around, promoting proper function in a variety of bodily systems.
Nutrition Used to Support Recovery Programs
Another role of nutrition in rehab is in combination with specific treatment programs. For example, pharmacotherapy — treatment using evidence-based medications to boost recovery — can definitely benefit from proper nutrition. Some medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol, used to help opiate addicts wean themselves off of their drugs of choice, can cause imbalances within the body that can be fought with a proper nutritional approach.
FHE Health Wellness Center
We’re proud to announce that our innovative treatment campus is home to a sizable wellness and fitness center, available for all residents to support their recovery either as part of a designed program or as an independent method of taking accountability for personal health.
The fitness center is filled with machines and equipment aimed at helping patients strengthen the body during their time with us. Having access to a world-class setting for exercise really boosts the spirits of anyone staying in a long-term therapy program and allows them to drive personal growth.
We have areas stocked with nutritional aids like snacks and beverages so that patients can explore the ways in which nutrition and physical fitness go hand in hand to boost their recovery.
Other Strategies for Wellness
Exercise and nutrition are keys for wellness, but other tactics are used in most addiction treatment centers, including FHE Health. These involve physical manipulation and treatments aimed at providing a calm, peaceful center on which to build the foundations for lifelong recovery from drugs or alcohol. Here are a few examples of the other treatments we offer at our on-site wellness center:
- Yoga — Flexibility and peace are emphasized as patients restore their healthy energy.
- Acupuncture — Stress can be a trigger for addiction. As patients undergo acupuncture treatments to reduce stress and pressure, they may find recovery easier.
- Massage Therapy — Regular massage is a great way to keep calm and focused on recovery.
- Chiropractic Care — Many people report that their addiction coincides with chronic pain of some sort. A chiropractic adjustment can treat pain without the use of substances. Chiropractic care may be utilized off of our premises.
- Nutritional Counseling — Patients are given the opportunity to meet with dietary specialists for assistance in building a diet plan that best supports their unique needs during recovery.
Why Is Overall Wellness So Important?
At FHE Health, we find that treating the addiction is rarely enough. The best outcomes from addiction treatment come from a comprehensive, holistic approach, individualized to each patient as a unique case. We take pride in being able to understand the challenges our patients face, and often, overall wellness plays a major role in supporting recovery.
FHE Health involves treatment that meets your needs, because anything less won’t ensure positive outcomes and lifelong recovery. To learn more about our fitness and wellness facilities, contact FHE Health today.