Tai chi (short for t’ai chi ch’uan) is a Chinese practice that was originally developed as a martial art. Today it is also recognized for its value as a kind of moving meditation. At our outpatient drug rehab in Sacramento, we offer an introduction to the basic principles of tai chi and its effectiveness in improving health through breathing technique, core body movements, and physical and mental conditioning.
The Power of Going with the Flow
Tai chi ’s gentle flowing motions provide a variety of benefits to people in addiction recovery, including:
- Improved mindfulness. Many people in recovery find that their mind is constantly racing with everything from regrets about the past to concerns about the future. Mindfulness is the practice of continually returning attention to the present moment, and in the process, letting troubling thoughts simply pass through the mind without causing any stress. Tai chi is an excellent mindfulness practice.
- A gentle return to physical activity. For people whose drug use has caused them to abandon exercise, tai chi is a great way to get their body moving again in a low-impact, low-stress way. And even though the moves are gentle and flowing, it does begin to tone muscles, improve balance, increase flexibility, and prepare the body for other exercise if desired.
- A renewed awareness of the body. People who are in active addiction often “lose touch” with their bodies to a degree, as the sensation of being high is all they are focused on. And that lack of physical awareness makes it easier to become a prisoner of negative thoughts. Tai chi helps you bring attention back to all the different sensations in your body.
- Improved sleep. Addiction can wreak havoc with sleep patterns. The deep calming effect that tai chi produces when practiced regularly can decrease your stress level and make it easier to reestablish natural sleeping and waking rhythms.
- Increased energy. Regular tai chi practitioners find that it increases their energy level, something that can be very helpful in recovery, which can feel exhausting at times.
And one of the best things about tai chi is that you can practice it and enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life. It’s not uncommon to see people performing tai chi alone or in groups well into their senior years.
Moving Your Life in the Right Direction
Addiction is a problem that has many causes and manifests itself in many ways. That’s why at New Dawn, we offer many ways to treat it, from traditional therapies to more holistic practices. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient drug rehab in Sacramento.