Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in Addiction and Recovery

Men talking in therapy

Understanding the Mind-Body Connection in Addiction and Recovery

Health can be directly affected by the mind-body connection. Research continues to find that imbalances that may relate to the body could be contributed from the mental state and thought process in the mind and vice versa. The mind and body share a distinct chemical language that constantly communicates with each other.


Hormones and neurotransmitters are messengers that link the endocrine system and the nervous system to the mind and the body through their chemical language. The cardiovascular system and digestive tract prepare emotions that move through neurological pathways that attach to the brain. Stressors in life can produce physical ailments brought about by life-changing events and emotions. Experiencing butterflies in the stomach, mouthwatering when thinking of delicious food, or a pounding heart when nervous are examples of bridging the mind and the body.


Mind-body connection is certainly not a new concept. In Western medicine, the mind and the body have been viewed as separate entities. In recent years there has been an evolution to compile an impressive amount of information to reconnect the mind and they body together.


There are several techniques that are used to produce a positive influence on the body while enhancing the mind. Behavioral, psychological, and spiritual concepts commence together in mind-body therapies.


Get centered in meditation by using breathing practices and restoring balance of the mind and the body. The body will rest while the mind is awake with quiet thoughts in peace of the present moment.


Poses in yoga work to calm the brain. Yoga postures can stimulate organs which supply fresh blood to the brain. The brain then becomes active and sharp along with being tranquil.


The needles are placed in specific places on the body depending on the stress or the pain. Once the needles are pushed through the skin, the emotional or physical pain that was once stored can be released, often causing crying because acupuncture can help get a person in touch with their feelings.


Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT)
Using cognitive behavior therapy for the mind-body connection has shown to be effective. By thinking differently about the physical pain, CBT can lead to less pain after the treatment.


Guided Imagery
A form of hypnosis that directs concentration onto images held in the mind. Guided imagery therapy uses the connection between the brain and the involuntary nervous system to activate the visual cortex without direct input into the eyes. This therapy affects the emotional capacity to make physical changes that can help to ease any stress-related health concerns.


Electronic monitoring of normal body functions can help train someone to take control of a function that they may have problems with. The mind trains the biological system to learn dexterity to control functions such as blood pressure, brain activity, and bowel movements. Somebody with migraines, for example, can see the functionality of their brain on a monitor and learn to elude migraines through biofeedback. By increasing the blood flow through their hands, they can then divert excess blood from their head that can curb the pain of the headache.


Recognizing the mind-body connection can benefit the health of individuals, including addicts. Employing both psychological and physical therapy methods to help with addiction and recovery can better bring about emotional balance. Understanding how to connect the mind and the body during addiction and recovery can be useful for long-term sobriety.


The answer to recovery is Simple. Simple Recovery has a passion for transforming lives through residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs. Built on action, our treatment plan encourages movement in life, bringing clients back to work, back to school, or involvement with meaningful volunteer work. For information on our addiction treatment and dual diagnosis programs for men and women, call: 888-743-0490