06 Jan Food is Medicine – a Holistic Addiction Recovery Approach
Science is Proving that Nutrition is a Strong Component in Healing
Unfortunately, it can be rare in our culture to consciously use food for healing except in small ways—the hot soup or tea when we have a cold, for example, or the salads that help us lose weight… However, science now very convincingly proves nutrition to be a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction and psychiatric issues through a holistic addiction recovery approach.
Extensive research confirms what we have long known intuitively and through experience: good nutrition dramatically improves the overall quality of life, and nutritional interventions are both curative and preventative.
Food, Addictions and Co-Occurring Mental Health Problems
For people who have addictions and co-occurring mental health issues, science-based nutrition is great news on several fronts. Nutritional interventions boost the effectiveness of other treatment modalities such as individual and group therapies. They provide the internal support needed to make optimal use of all recovery methods that help resolve addiction and mental health symptoms, as well as underlying causes. They also help prevent a return of symptoms after recovery gains are made and stability is achieved. Additionally, nutritional interventions can reduce symptoms before medications have reached therapeutic levels.
Overall, good nutrition supports us from the inside out, improving how the brain and other bodily systems work, healing damage from addictions and mental disorders and restoring the body’s natural healing capacities. Consequently, we significantly increase our ability to take charge of and direct our own lives with the proper nutritional support. You can have less stress, more energy, greater optimism, more motivation, improved and more stable moods, less negative thought and more clear-mindedness, no matter what condition(s) you have.
The Brain, the Gut and Everything in Between
The link between how well our brains work and the quality of our nutrition is well proven and difficult to deny. Perhaps more surprising to many is evidence that gut health and levels of body inflammation also affect brain functioning, mood regulation, and how well we can cognitively function. Nutritional interventions can help manage and resolve these issues, significantly improving health from deep bodily levels up through how we think, what emotions we feel and how we behave.
Research shows definitive benefit of nutritional interventions in the treatment of such conditions as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Schizophrenia and other psychoses
- Sleep Disorders
- Neuro-developmental issues
- Neuro-cognitive issues
Reversing the Damage of Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders
Addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders cause cellular damage in the brain, nervous system and throughout the body. This damage is evident in the body’s chemical, neurological and biological functioning as well as in the mental, emotional and behavioral aspects of an individual’s life.
Addiction and mental health symptoms cause fundamental and corrosive events such as oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, nervous system and other bodily tissues. These toxic processes essentially break down the body’s defense and regulatory systems, compromising natural restorative capacities, and leaving us vulnerable to chronic and progressive disease. Nutritional interventions target these issues and reverse progressive decline, and rejuvenating the body at cellular and neuronal levels.
We understand food as medicine at the Sanctuary at Sedona, and how to facilitate nutritional interventions to accelerate recovery from addiction or co-occurring substance and mental health problems. We view nutrition as a powerful and manageable tool for recovery and sustained wellness that is absolutely manageable and with the right education, easily under your control. Anyone can make significant and dramatic gains in their recovery efforts by adding the right foods and supplementation to a recovery and wellness plan. The Sanctuary at Sedona incorporates nutritional science into our holistic addiction recovery program daily by providing whole foods, well-designed meals, superfoods, supplementation and nutritional education for a sustainable and life-long practice after our program.
A multi-disciplinary approach to healing at the Sanctuary at Sedona embraces the whole person with a whole solution. The mind, body and spirit are addressed from multiple directions and on many levels as we help people recover from addictions and co-occurring problems. Nutritional interventions are a foundation of our care and can be a manageable life practice that sustains you long after you leave us.