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Struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) can be stressful and scary for everyone involved. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with stress during your recovery time. Some popular stress relief methods include yoga, exercise, breathwork, and journaling. For example, breathwork is known to help with self-awareness, anger management, and a method to reduce stress. 

In this article, we are specifically going to look into breathwork and the role it can have in helping you during recovery.

What Is Breathwork?

This is a specific type of breathing exercise that can help you change your breathing pattern. This breathing exercise usually takes place during meditation or yoga; however, it can also be done on its own. The word “breathwork” is an umbrella term for a few different forms of breathing that provide many benefits. They were designed to help improve your mental, physical, and spiritual state. 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This form of breathwork can help both a client’s mental and physical state. This is possible by breathing through a different nostril with every other breath. Alternate nostril breathing, along with other forms of breathwork, can help the client feel more present in the moment and worry less about the past or future. 

Deep Breathing

This form of breathwork is also known as diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing. This type can specifically help to reduce anxiety, provide oxygen flow to the heart, and calm the nervous system. This is all done through the client focusing on their stomach when breathing instead of their chest. 

Lion’s Breath Breathing

Lion’s breath breathing can help clients naturally eliminate toxins from the body, reduce stress, and feel more present in the moment. This form focuses on exhaling with an open mouth and making noises at the same time. These two actions allow the throat and upper chest to gain stimulation during this time. 

What Can Breathwork Help Treat?

Breathwork can be used to help improve a wide range of different concerns, including substance use disorders. Breathwork can also help with anxiety, chronic pain, anger issues, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. 

It’s important to note that breathwork treatments are utilized alongside other forms of treatment, such as therapy, to help the client improve their symptoms for lasting recovery. 

The Benefits of Breathwork for Addiction Recovery

In the past, you may have turned to different substances to help with stressful or scary situations. However, in recovery, focusing on different healthier habits, such as breathwork, can have a much more profound impact on your overall mental and physical health. 

Breathwork can be beneficial during treatment for a lot of different reasons. This includes the development of self-awareness, releasing your negative thoughts, and easing stress and anxiety. Breathwork can also help with finding peace during a very challenging time for both you and your family. You may be feeling guilt and sadness, but practicing unique forms of treatment, like the various forms of breathwork, can help you process these feelings. 

Potential Risks of Breathwork

While there are many benefits to breathwork, there can also be a few risks that are important to look out for during your practice. Remember to speak with your doctor or therapist before beginning any new form of treatment to make sure that it is something right for you. 

One of the main risks of breathwork is the potential to hyperventilate while practicing. This can be worrisome because hyperventilation can cause dizziness, decreased blood flow to the brain, muscle spasms, and ringing in your ears. If you are noticing any of these symptoms while practicing breathwork, it can be beneficial to stop and gain control of your breath again, then meet with a medical professional. 

What Are the Next Steps?

It’s crucial to find a treatment program that works best with your needs to ensure a healthy and happy life for you and your family. Both outpatient and residential programs are available for substance use disorder treatment. Each has its own unique benefits, and one might work better for you while the other doesn’t. 

Outpatient programs are beneficial for individuals who have daily responsibilities that they cannot leave for a period of time, including children and school. This form of SUD treatment is also more affordable than residential programs and can be more accessible to everyone. 

Residential programs provide 24/7 support from staff and others going through similar feelings as yourself. There are benefits to this form of treatment as well, including a sense of community around others with similar backgrounds and goals. You will also have more opportunities for individualized therapy because outpatient programs tend to focus more on group therapy. Here, we work around the client’s schedule and ensure that everyone has access to some form of treatment ,whether they are residential or outpatient. 

Substance abuse not only affects you, but it can affect your family as well. Breathwork can help you in recovery for many different reasons, including stress relief, calming the nervous system, and naturally eliminating toxins from your body. This form of breathing works with other treatments to improve the symptoms you may be feeling during SUD treatment. If you are struggling with substance use disorder, it can have negative impacts on your life and those around you. That’s why it’s important to seek out help during this challenging season of your life. For more information on our unique and individualized programs, reach out to West Coast Recovery Centers today at (760) 492-6509.

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