It is a well-known fact that physical activity is good for your body and your mind. In most holistic-based therapeutic approaches, such as Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine, movement practices are encouraged daily to nourish the whole being. Science has proven what traditional health practices have always acknowledged; the connection between the mind and body is undeniably strong. On the surface level, how we feel in our bodies will undoubtedly affect how we think in our minds. The patterns that we hold in our bodies are inherently connected to the mental structures that govern our everyday perception of life.
The Science Behind Movement as Medicine
Over the last few decades, it has become apparent that movement is crucial for the well-being of our physical bodies and for our mental and emotional health and general well-being. The same endorphins that make us feel better when moving also help us concentrate and sleep better, have more energy, and become more resilient when faced with the mental or emotional challenges of life.
Movement in Addiction and Mental Health Treatment
In many traditional recovery and mental health centers, movement is not necessarily top on the list for treatment plans and therapies. The most well-known recovery treatment plan in the world, the 12-Step Program, doesn’t mention moving the body or physical exercise in any of the steps. Most clinical therapies and approaches focus on the mind and brain and treat symptoms of illnesses rather than create healthy patterns and habits. Though it is becoming much more valued and well-known how vital these basic needs are in the healing process, it is still not as inherently incorporated into mental health and recovery as it could be. Movement therapy and various other bodywork treatments have become widely known for treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other trauma-related disorders due to the nature of trauma, the body, and the brain.
How to Incorporate Mindful Movement for Healing
There are many ways to incorporate mindful movement as a form of healing and therapy into treatment plans. Some of the most well-known modalities include yoga, dance and movement therapy, hiking and walking, fitness classes, tai chi, and any kind of martial art. Though physical exercise is always good, having the mindful aspect is particularly empowering for those struggling with mental health and their recovery process, as it induces a presence that other practices cannot.
Movement is a simple and powerful tool for anyone, especially those recovering from a mental illness or addiction disorder. At Avalon, we understand the relationship between the body and mind and the importance of working with both for whole-being healing. We believe we can nourish all of these parts of ourselves through various treatment programs and therapies. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call us today at (844) 857-5992. You deserve to live your best and healthiest life; contact us to get started.