Addiction is a state of mind most of us are aware of, but only a few understand. Sufferers of this illness develop unhealthy levels of dependence on substances and activities – with the aim of deriving pleasure, eliminating stress, or altogether disconnecting from reality. Most addicts view their substances as tools to bring about feelings of peace, happiness and balance. So, they aren’t addicted to the substance per se, but the feelings of harmony and relief they bring the user. No matter how temporary. The substance abuse creates changes in the brain and hence, can alter one’s personality to any extent. Self-destructive tendencies are highly common. Addiction is chronic and can relapse rather easily, however Ayurveda for De-Addiction is a great means to help overcome it.
Ayurveda for De-Addiction: The Approach
Ayurveda is a system that delves into the roots of illnesses. It recognises severe imbalances and the inability to deal with them as the cause of addictive behaviour. Addicts use substances to escape the severe turmoil and tension they experience within themselves as a result of these imbalances. Therefore, the Ayurvedic approach is to use treatments to bring a healthy and peaceful state, and help cope with stress. When they stop experiencing states of intense chaos, the tendency to abuse substances naturally disappears.
Ayurvedic treatments for alcohol addiction or any other addiction– and any illness, for that matter – are tailored to the patient’s specific psycho-physiological constitution. This means that the expert first analyses the excess and lack of doshas, namely: vata, pitta and kapha. Based on this in-depth analysis, they formulate a custom plan that may consist of a combination of treatments and remedies to tackle various aspects of the issue.
1. Detoxification and De-stressing
Detoxification is one of the most essential parts of de-addiction, since substance abuse introduces a combination of deadly toxins in the addict’s body. Panchakarma treatments such as Virechana, purify the blood and organs using oils, laxatives and herbal medicines. They kick-start an in-depth cleansing process in the body, inducing it to flush out all the poisonous remains.
Ayurvedic treatments for detoxification produce a powerful de-stressing effect on the mind. As the body starts to feel pure and clean, the mind also reflects this state, becoming more steady and relaxed.
Read more about Cleansing & Detoxification
2. Exercise and Meditation
Exercise generates the required “feel-good” hormones that enable patients to experience pleasure and happiness in a natural and healthy manner – while at the same time, strengthening their bodies and speeding up the recovery process. Depending on the kind of imbalance and substance abuse, the Ayurvedic expert recommends specific kinds of exercises such as yoga and Tai chi. Meditation is almost a part of the routine, and its positive effects on patients’ minds are boundless.
3. Lifestyle Changes
Addiction is among the illnesses that are highly capable of relapsing. To avoid this, patients can build and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that they can easily deal with stressful situations. This includes a continuation of the exercise and meditation routine, as well as diets aimed at maintaining a balance of the doshas. Time for leisure, relaxation and deep sleep is important.
What sets the Ayurvedic approach apart from others is the fact that it not only tackles root cause of addiction, but also includes treatments that are specifically tailored to the individual’s imbalances, state of mind and situation.