How Can Tai Chi Help During Addiction Recovery?

Tai Chi is a form of exercise whose foundation comes from ancient Chinese philosophy and martial arts. People have practiced Tai Chi for centuries and many focus on slow and deliberate movements to achieve proper alignment, relaxation, and balance. From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, Tai Chi aims to balance chi, an energy present in everything and everyone, to support one’s physical and mental health.

Scientific research has established multiple benefits of regular Tai Chi practice for anyone’s physical and mental health. For people who are struggling with substance use disorders and are working through rehabilitation, the positive results of Tai Chi can help them learn healthy coping skills and find ways to be more grounded in the present as they learn how to take care of themselves and re-engage with personal and professional connections.

Creates Mindfulness

Tai Chi provides mindfulness as you develop a consistent practice. This activity supports the release of endorphins which can regulate and improve your mood, leaving you more present in the moment and feeling safer in your body and mind.

A regular Tai Chi practice also offers cognitive benefits like:

  • Higher mental awareness
  • Improved focus
  • Increased memory

Mindfulness helps build self-awareness. This way, you can learn to recognize your feelings and emotions without getting caught up with them as you develop your Tai Chi practice. In conjunction with counseling and possibly other healthy coping skills and mindfulness activities like yoga or sound therapy, you can gradually turn from reactive behaviors and thought patterns to proactive ones. It can build confidence and support your recovery.

Builds the Mind-Body Connection

Although Tai Chi is safe for many people, checking with your doctor before starting a practice is a good idea, especially if you have joint issues. Making sure that a particular physical activity is an appropriate fit for your current health is important.

Tai Chi involves slow and harmonious movements. It requires precision, coordination, and controlled breathing. It can teach you about proper posture and conscious movement. If you have not worked out in a long time, Tai Chi is a gentle way to increase your level of activity and build stamina and strength.

Alleviates Stress and Sleep Disturbances

One of the key benefits of Tai Chi is a reduction in levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. This can help prevent or reduce anxiety and depression. Addiction recovery can be especially challenging in its early stages and Tai Chi is one of the available methods to stabilize your mood.

Emotional regulation is central to rehabilitation because it supports your progress as you navigate withdrawal, understanding what caused your addiction in the first place, and how to go through each step of your treatment plan.

Reaching a more peaceful state of mind can also help you increase your sleep quality which can increase your energy level and focus during the day and the different steps involved in your rehab program.

Works Well with Other Types of Therapies

Your provider can introduce Tai Chi in the early stage of your rehabilitation and this type of alternative therapy is usually one component of your treatment plan. You may need medication in the early stages to help manage withdrawal and mental health concerns. Therapy, whether in a group or one on one, typically plays an important role in addiction recovery to help you get to the root of what caused your substance abuse.

Since Tai Chi is accessible to a wide variety of people, your physician can recommend you attend classes at your recovery center whether you have chosen an inpatient or outpatient program.

A Lifetime Practice That You Can Continue After Your Treatment

You can continue to practice Tai Chi after completing your treatment as part of your aftercare protocol. Your provider can talk with you about what resources can help you live a sober life after completing your rehabilitation plan and assist you in finding specific coaches, therapists, or classes to continue counseling and/or alternative therapies like Tai Chi for the upcoming months or years.

Keeping a consistent Tai Chi practice can help mitigate cravings and temptation. By focusing on harmony and inner peace, while keeping you present in your body, this form of exercise can help you handle impulsive behavior, a common issue for many people including former addicts.

Tai Chi and Customized Treatment Plans at The Carter Treatment Center

At The Carter Treatment Center, your safety and healing are our priorities. Our team prioritizes personalized care plans because everyone’s situation is unique and finding a solution that meets your specific needs and goals can increase your chances of success and of staying sober in the long term.

We can work with you and your doctor to create a program that may involve Tai Chi or other alternative therapies like aromatherapy or meditation. Our center also offers family programs to help educate you and your loved ones on the impact of addiction and help you rebuild connections. If you are interested in partial hospitalization, we also offer this type of rehab.

Personalized aftercare can also make a positive difference after completion of your treatment and we are committed to helping you access the resources you need, which can include local Tai Chi classes to continue your practice after your time with us.

Call The Carter Treatment Center today at (678) 737-4430 or fill out our online form to learn more about Tai Chi and our other alternative therapies in Cumming and Suwannee.

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