The approach with most modern systems of addiction recovery encompasses a holistic approach: treating the “whole” person with a deep and varied tool box, with the understanding that each patient will respond to very different methods of help and support. Most recovery centers these days have made strides to incorporate some type of amenities menu for their patients that include on-call massage therapy. Organic spa treatments are an indispensable tool that offers just about everyone an opportunity to make critical mind/body connections, as well as being a dependable source of wellness. Every recovery center would be gaining a most valuable component by including them in their offerings, both for patients, and in their ability to distinguish themselves in a very competitive marketplace.
Organic is important because it:
- Removes causes of additional toxicity and allergic reactions due to chemical/artificial ingredients. Continually emerging data on how incredibly dangerous to our health our unregulated personal care product ingredients are, is truly frightening. This includes everything from toothpaste to sunscreen, makeup, shampoos, deodorant, nail polishes, bath & shower gels, etc.
- Supports overall efforts at detoxifying physical body with pure ingredients, including medicinal herbs.
- Plant based products contain healing energy of plants, and with direct contact become a “skin” food, comparable to the food we choose to eat for our health, ie: what we put on our bodies is as important as what we put in our bodies.
The efforts to re-educate the patient toward enlightened self care, begins with helping them to understand
what it means to take responsibility for one’s good health, and not take it for granted. Many people (sober or in the throes of addiction) think that taking care of themselves really only means doing whatever is necessary to actually walk upright and function: basic eating when hungry, cleaning when dirty, sleeping when tired.
It is, of course, so much more. Approached from a spiritual perspective, enlightened self care can even include the 12 steps. It is anything that promotes conscious health and well being, that seeks to integrate the body, mind, and spirit and lead one toward communion with the authentic self. By “conscious health and well being”, we mean actions and behaviors that are the result of a thoughtful and educated approach in pursuit of optimal good health, what can nominally be referred to as “preventative” health maintenance.
In this way, organic spa treatments are definitely preventative. They are: a step up in one’s efforts to live longer and better, practical and useful for the ongoing education of living our best lives possible.
The aspects that make them special and unique in our quest for good health, though, are the intangibles: the peace of mind; the feelings of rejuvenation and renewal; the sense of “soul” nurturing that they provide. They impart fundamental experiences of compassion and self-love through tender care, that seem to be most lacking in those struggling to reclaim their life through the recovery process.
We all have a very human need to feel pampered and fussed over when we are stressed out, physically ill, and emotionally spent. For some patients, the experience of “compassionate touch” therapy is a completely foreign concept. Either they’ve never been exposed to these types of treatments because of an affordability or access issue, or they’ve never attempted to try them out of ignorance of their benefits. They have never known the sheer amazement of feeling rock hard stress knots and muscles in spasm, literally kneaded away; they’ve never experienced the energetic shift of their soul when a talented practitioner works their magic.
Other types of patients might have previously enjoyed spa treatments as a regular part of their lives, but after being caught in the downward spiral of their addiction, now feel unworthy of such enjoyment – they are guilt ridden at anything that might make them feel good. Or the flip side: they feel that if they let themselves enjoy the pleasure and release of a spa treatment, it will somehow lead them down the slippery slope toward indulging themselves in more dangerous ways. They cut off anything that they perceive isn’t “essential” to survival as they define it.
Still others are simply too pre-occupied with surviving their recovery and figuring out how they are going to make it as a newly sober person, first, in their treatment center, then later, out in the world — understandable concerns.
For all of these patients, organic spa treatments offer an excellent tool to help create a life that is healthy, liberated from addiction, joyous, and innately conscious.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Massage/body work promotes natural detoxification through increased functioning of circulatory and lymphatic systems, boosts immune system functioning, helps ease aches and pains, promotes recovery of injuries or chronic issues relating to past injuries.
- Facials and skin care promote healthy appearance through natural detoxification (skin is the barometer of all that is happening internally. Chronic drug & alcohol use show up in the quality of facial skin which is exacerbated during an intense detoxification process). Organic facials speed up the process of emptying the skin of the build up of toxins and combats effects such as chronic breakouts, dryness, itchiness, dark circles, puffiness, and general issues relating to longtime lack of care in this area.
- Manicures/pedicures promote healthy hands and feet (nail condition is a barometer of good health as well) and helps with fingernail biting habits, and long-term lack of care. The habit of well groomed hands can be an essential part of rehabilitation back into the work world and job searches. Feet are also an important portal into the overall health of the body. Regular enlightened care of the feet can be incredibly therapeutic if the effects of Reflexology are incorporated into the treatment.
- Supports positive self-esteem and helps patient to see their inherent “beauty” through a new lens. When one feels vital, refreshed, and energetic, self-confidence naturally shows up.
Most importantly, organic spa treatments help make spiritual connections to enlightened self care habits that will aid in sober living. Most of us have to be taught how to take care of ourselves in a conscious, loving fashion. Never more so than the addict who has spent years denying their physical health, as well as their emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. Organic spa treatments help address all these aspects to holistic wellness. They offer up the care and compassion that comes through the practitioner to help heal, not just the physical wounds, but the psychic wounds as well.
Therapeutic body care can bring about a very important internal shift inside the patients who have erected walls of defense and denial – “armoring” their authentic selves against the world around them. Those vulnerabilities can be brought to the surface in something as simple as the way a technician tenderly holds the patient’s foot and massages it during a pedicure, or the smell of a potent aromatherapy oil during a massage, or the velvety touch of their own skin after a facial mask is wiped off.
Organic spa treatments awaken the patient’s sensory capabilities – the very things that remind us of our essence as humans, and the exact opposite of the addict’s goal to numb and deny. The delight we take in reveling in our 5 senses, of exploring those sensations that arise when we are fully engaged through our senses, are what lead us back to our lives as whole, authentic humans. Learning to love oneself again, through engagement of the senses, is not only practical, it is essential.