Acupuncture sessions improve circulation to organs, balance energy levels, relieve tension, promote relaxation, and release stored toxins from your cells. At Iris Retreat, we provide body treatment sessions that enhance relaxation and relieve the body of impurities left over from years of drug and alcohol dependency. As a client at Iris Retreat, you will receive acupuncture, acupressure, and/or massage sessions throughout the duration of your stay. The evidence exists to suggest that acupuncture can play an important role in reducing reinforcing effects of abused drugs. The neurochemical and behavioral evidence showed that acupuncture’s role in suppressing the reinforcing effects of abused drugs takes place by modulating mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Also, several brain neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin, opioid and amino acids including GABA have been implicated in the modulation of dopamine release by acupuncture. These results provided clear evidence for the biological effects of acupuncture that ultimately may help us to understand how acupuncture can be used to treat abused drugs.
At Iris Retreat, we strongly believe in healing the mind, body, and spirit through a variety of alternative methods. The experience of massage where someone touches, respects, and cares for a person’s body—can break that cycle, helping addicts reconnect physically and center themselves emotionally. Massage may also have a powerful chemical impact on the body. By massaging the soft tissue, therapists release tension and get energy moving. The loosening of tight muscles sends the body a signal to cut down production of stress hormones, such as cortisol. This neurological response has a calming effect on body and mind. In addition, massage moves lymph through the body, assisting the body’s natural cleansing process.
The American Art Therapeutic Association (AATA) defines art therapy as, “the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development.” At Iris Retreat we provide art therapy sessions focuses on the client’s thoughts and emotions, working toward developing self-expression rather than a set of art skills. It is especially effective for those who struggle with internal conflicts and difficulties, no matter what artistic talent or experience they may already have. When other forms of communication fail, like talk therapy or counseling, art can play a huge role in helping the client make an important breakthrough, build trust with a therapist, and gain a feeling of self confidence and self worth.
At Iris Retreat, yoga is incorporated into the holistic program to heal not only your mind and spirit, but your body as well. Yoga simulates the relaxing effects of the parasympathetic nervous system and removes tension from all the major muscle groups and with certain postures actually massage internal organs, helping dispel toxins that may have built up in the liver and kidneys from substance abuse. Those who practiced yoga for 75 minutes once a week and received individual therapy once a week reduced their drug use, criminal activity, and cravings as much as those who went to group therapy once a week and had individual counseling.
After people change their diets and supplement their food intake with the right amount of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, they can begin to deal with their alcoholism and drug abuse. With the proper nutrition and supplements, the brain manufactures chemicals—like norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that seems to increase energy and boost mood; serotonin, another important neurotransmitter; and endorphins, the brain’s natural opiates—that are needed to regulate mood and behavior. At Iris Retreat food serves more frequent with evenly disbursed meal times: never hungry, never full. Learning to eat smaller meals every two to four hours, starting with breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, and always keeping a healthy snack on hand, like a bag of nuts, to avoid sugar crashes and help keep blood sugar levels stable to enhance long-term recovery.
Once your detox is over, at Iris Retreat we will start engaging you in one-on-one hypnotherapy sessions and you will start learning tools for preventing relapse and ensuring longer-term success. Not only does hypnosis help people develop specific techniques for changing their addictive behavior, but these techniques seem to take hold more strongly. At Iris Retreat we developed a program that incorporates self-hypnosis, meditation, and visualization to treat various addictions so anyone can step back and watch what’s going on without judging or criticizing themselves. Some researches indicate the ability of hypnosis to control the pain of drug withdrawal symptoms.
What is Equine Assisted psychotherapy? EAP is the combined use of horses, a licensed therapist, and a horse specialist working with clients to address various individual psychotherapy treatment goals. This unique approach enables clients to learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. The presence of a horse is considered “therapeutic” in itself, since they are dynamic and powerful living beings.