Introduction by: Justin Mckibben
We have shared some excellent stories of Palm Partners Alumni who have done some amazing things. Recently I had the privilege of speaking with one of our Palm Partners Alumni, Jeff Salinas. We spoke about how his recovery has helped him achieve some incredible things in the last few years. Jeff attended treatment with Palm Partners back in 2015. Ever since getting his second chance he has been on an inspiring journey to an astonishing transformation. Today, we are all so proud to share his story.
When I reached out to Jeff, it was in regards to the Indialantic Boardwalk Triathlon he is set to compete in this weekend. After connecting on Facebook, I sent Jeff a message asking if he would be interested in sharing his story with our blog on Palm Healthcare Company’s website, so we could share it with the world! Jeff replied that he had been writing quite a few things about his transformation that we would like to share. He told me he would happily help us spread his “ongoing recovery stories as a beacon of hope for others still continuing with the struggles of any addictive behavior”.
In one message Jeff offered up an awesome story he wrote about the power of healing through yoga. As a yoga teacher with Palm Partners, I was elated to hear someone talking about the physically and mentally restorative practice of yoga. I thoroughly enjoyed this writing, and I surely hope someone else will too. Here is what Jeff has to say:
“The Wound is the Place Where the Light Enters You”
April 14, 2016
How Yoga Saved My Life.
It was a little over a year ago as I was wallowing away in despair in a detox center for treatment. I mean, you can only do so much in there. After I had enough in my room trying to read or watch tv, I decided to wander around the cafeteria. Hmmm.. The bulletin board. Blah… Blah… For lunch..blah.. Blah… For dinner… Hmmm.. Yoga.. later this evening. I signed up for it right away.
I for one had a huge amount of anxiety while in detox. Nonstop pacing, walking aimlessly around the center, like I said one can only do so much, so you can see the anticipation I had when I found out they were having a Yoga Class in there. And there she was, her presence alone can calm a crying baby, pretty much what I was in there. As I helped her lay out the mats and prep the library/sitting/TV room, I asked her if she was in recovery. She said 21 years.
Throughout that moment in practice, that hour and some minutes I was taken to a different place. You want to know where that was? I was taken to me, in my present moment, my breath, my physical posture. I was in me. For so F’n long I escaped me every waking moment I had either that was alcohol/chemically induced or complete utter destruction of self through physical fitness. But that calm and serene moment, I felt, well, I felt me; completely whole and organic, Non-GMO what have you.
From then on I continue the practice of Yoga, as it truly has a mystical and magical way of healing. By no way at all am I cured from my addiction, I am simply aware that a next drink for me will definitely be the kiss of death. So I continue to do what has been working for me, as well as to engage myself to forego the ultimate endurance challenge; The Ironman Race as I now train for this level headed and clear with with acknowledgment to my body learned through the practice of Yoga. On another note which explains my nightly yoga picture post in my Tri-shorts apparel.
So, this was my #Transformation #Throwback
May you all have peace within yourselves and find the solace that’s needed through our struggles in whatever they may be.
To follow up on what Jeff has written, the integration of the mind, body and spirit through yoga is one way holistic healing changes lives, and sometimes even saves them.
Mindfulness and meditation are a powerful forms of holistic treatment for people struggling with substance use disorder or addiction, and even the most basic meditation techniques can have a significant influence to ease severe pain, reduce anxiety and other symptoms of depression, and even improve heart health. Yoga and transformational breath work help to promote self-awareness, and align the body and the mind with a new healthy pattern. The philosophy of yoga speaks a lot about self-study, discipline and compassion. Yoga also teaches people how to let go and seek love and connection. The power of yoga cannot be overstated.
Thanks again to Jeff for spreading some empowering and enlightening truth with us. We look forward to more insights into your adventures.
We are happy to cheer for our Palm Partners Alumni, and excited to share the message Jeff shared with us about the power of yoga and the importance of finding peace and setting your own path in recovery. Real recovery is possible. Drugs and alcohol do not have to keep you from the life you dream of having. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
When we think of meditation and mindfulness we often have a certain image or experience in our mind. Some people think it must be a profound and extremely disciplined experience every time. Our misconceptions about what meditation really is often deter us from actively practicing it. However when we do practice, we realize the benefits of mindfulness. Regardless of how you imagine meditation should be, give yourself plenty of opportunity to try it out and see what is could be.
Here are 4 meditation tips for more mindfulness.
You’re NOT “bad” at meditation
When the concept of meditation is suggested, some people immediately assume they are “bad at it.” They allow their preconceptions of what meditation is supposed to mean tell them can’t successfully use it to find serenity. The very simplicity of meditation can itself present a challenge because the mind’s habitual nature prefers stimulation through distraction over intense focus.
It is as if you find yourself in a quiet space, sit in silence and then continuously ask yourself- “am I meditating yet?” or “Is this how I’m supposed to do it?”
The reality is meditation is not strictly limited to sitting in full-lotus with candles everywhere and yogi music playing. Meditation is about the practice of drawing awareness to the present, and some people meditate through activities or exercise.
Yoga, for example, is described by many as a moving meditation. So, don’t trouble yourself with wondering if you’re meditating ‘right’ or if you are ‘bad at it,’ because your practice is yours. The more you practice, the more it will grow into whatever you need it to be.
The goal is NOT to be “good” at meditation
Just like with the assumption that you can be ‘bad at it,’ if you approach meditation with the goal of “I want to be good at this” you’re probably going to be disappointed. There are no gold medals for meditation… at least, not that I know of. But anyone can just go buy a gold Buddha if it’s really that important to them.
Sometimes meditation can be boring. In our world on smartphones and constant connection, we rarely have to be bored anymore. Just because you get bored doesn’t mean you have to be better at meditating, it is just a thought we all feel. Recognize it, reflect and move on. Even people who have been meditating a long time can still get bored with it.
When meditation is offered to many of us in early recovery we may have this thought that once we ‘master’ meditation we will begin to see results right away. We are the type to thrive off instant gratification after all. We want it to help us get well right away, but it doesn’t always work like that. Just remember, there are no trophies for meditation… I think.
Don’t criticize your mind
We utilize the practice of meditation to set an intention and focus, but also to notice when the mind loses focus, and to see where it goes. The mind is good at wandering, but you should never criticize yourself for it. Being the witness to the wandering mind is part of the practice. If you begin to think on other things, just be aware of those things as they present themselves.
Just as a random example- If my intention in meditation is on my gratitude, and suddenly my mind has drifted off into the dynamics of my relationships with my family, I should take notice. Maybe my mind is trying to tell me how grateful I am for my family. Maybe it is telling me how gratitude brings them to mind. I acknowledge the thought and come back into focus. I should not criticize my mind for drifting off topic, or criticize the thoughts themselves.
Sometimes we beat ourselves up because the mind will take us so far from our intention we forget how we got there. We begin to feel we are ‘bad at it’ again, or that we are wasting time. Don’t let these frustrations or the nature of the wandering mind make you critical. Be present to your mediation without judgment.
Let go of the outcome of your meditation
Once we’re aware of the benefits of meditating, we might set expectation on every experience. You might trick yourself into thinking you must feel a certain way, but expectations can be down-payments on disappointments. We may expect to feel calm and relaxed; clarity and serenity, and when we don’t get the outcome we anticipate we can get frustrated.
In reality meditation will lead you to several different experiences. Sometimes the experience will change multiple times within a single session. Part of the practice is letting go of the outcome. Approach your meditation with an open heart and mind. Waiting for a specific result can also distance us from the present moment.
Again, meditation is about being aware and in tune with the present. It is not about judging our experience. Meditating to be “good at it” is like saying you watched TV for hours just to make sure the remote works. Your mind and the present are already there, meditation is just about taking the time away from your overactive or analytical mode to notice them. Don’t expect answers all the time, just be aware and listen.
Meditation can reform the mind in the most incredible ways, and it is often one of the best medicines for people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. It can be used for mental, emotional and even physical fitness. Holistic recovery is about a lot more than removing drugs and alcohol; it is also about rewiring our thinking. If you or someone you love is struggling, find out how holistic healing can help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
Breathing is something we have to do every day, however often we lose sight of how incredibly valuable breathing can be. Without breathing, you can not live. Each breath we take allows oxygen to feed our cells. Unless you are breathing deeply, your body is not getting the most oxygen it is capable of, nor is it releasing toxins for optimal health. Our mental and emotional state can be affected by our breathing patterns. It is possible to transform our attitude by changing the depth, rhythm and rate of our breathing.
Transformational Breath ® is a self-empowering healing system that can help you have more energy, feel more peaceful, and achieve a higher level of consciousness. This breathing technique works by guiding people to follow a specific breathing pattern that has incredible healing benefits.
Transformational Breath ® has been shown to:
- Release repressed feelings and emotions
- Improve energy levels
- Stimulate circulation throughout the body
- Balance the flow of energy throughout
- Clear past drama and traumas
- Relieve depressive and negative emotions
- Enhance awareness of self-sabotaging patterns
How is this possible?
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as breathing could have such an impact on your life. However, transformational breath works because most people restrict their breathing to avoid experiencing unpleasant feelings. For example, in very nervous situations, most people restrict their breathing and do not get adequate amounts of oxygen.
By holding our breath, we deactivate our feelings. Keeping those emotions repressed (held in the subconscious) requires a tremendous amount of energy and creates chronic tension in our bodies. Those repressed feelings affect our behaviors in a negative, self-sabotaging way.Transformational breathing works because old patterns are restructured using breath. Ultimately, you can move past your limitations and lead a more joyful and healthy life.
The most useful part of transformational breath is that it focuses on helping you channel in on what you want to create in your life, instead of just focusing on the past.Transformational breath is not a magic pill solution, however trying it has immense benefits. Plus, it is natural, safe and healthy. Even if you do not have significant health issues, transformational breath can help you experience a more authentic sense of self and may help you become more spiritually connected.
How Transformational Breath Helps In Recovery
Transformational Breath is an excellent tool to help in overcoming addiction. It is often utilized in the substance abuse field as an aid in healing and an enhancement to traditional therapy. Transformational Breath is an excellent addition to a holistic treatment program. A treatment center that provides a more balanced approach to recovery often includes transformational breath as part of a client’s treatment plan. It is so important to try all types of holistic treatment options that can be very beneficial.
When doing transformational breath, a certified facilitator will observe your breath and see where your breath is being held. The facilitator will locate and help you release any blockages you may have. There are many techniques that can be used. Some examples are body adjustments, sound techniques, and positive affirmations. All these tools work to get your breath opened and moving again.
Each experience is unique, but you can expect to experience some impressive visuals, and get an idea of where your energy is blocked and where it is free-flowing. Transformational Breath can help those in recovery revisit memories, conflicts, and traumas from the past.
The only way to know how transformational breath can benefit you is by trying it yourself. In recovery, it is important to open yourself to new experiences. Everyone is different and often through being open, you can find something that will work for you. Remember abusing substances is never the answer. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Justin Mckibben
In the past, eastern medicines, theologies and practices have been observed by the western world with a heavy hint of speculation. There was a time science was limited as to what it could and could not prove through technical studies what scriptures like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali or the Bhagavad Gita, both sacred and valued text in connection to Indian and Hindu philosophy, told us about the mind, body and spirit. However as time and science has caught up with the claims made in the ancient manuscripts we have discovered more of the remarkable catalogs of evidence to support eastern medicines and practices… especially yoga.
Yoga has become more mainstream over the last decade plus, and it would seem that since its inception into western culture there have been compiling examples of how gurus from hundreds or even thousands of years ago have actually been telling us all along about the healing power in the science of spirituality.
Today, health and human service providers across America have shown a mounting interest in using yoga as a form of holistic healing, especially as an option for treating people with mental health problems. There is a multitude of reasons why the aspects of yoga would benefit those struggling with depression.
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Exercising physical health promoting mental well-being
- Emphasis on detachment from negativity and connection to higher self
The list goes on and on… let us make a few points about how yoga can be amazing medicine for depression.
UNC Yoga Study
A recent study published in the journal Trauma, Violence, & Abuse from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found there are some exceptionally encouraging benefits to using yoga to help address mental health disorders, specifically when coupled with other forms of holistic healing and intervention.
Rebecca Macy is a researcher who works with violence and trauma survivors. She also helped lead the study at the UNC School of Social Work on utilizing yoga to treat mental health disorders. In a statement about the study Macy said she was especially interested to really know what the evidence said; is yoga something healthcare providers should be suggesting to people who struggle with various mental health problems, such as:
Overall, the researchers determined that yoga holds a high potential for helping improve anxiety, depression, PTSD and/or the psychological consequences of trauma.
Depression, Posture and the Heart Chakra
Truthfully, any asana (posture) from the yoga practice has the potential to make a drastic difference when trying to overcome depression. Yoga engages the physical body to focus the mind and create space for intuitive introspection or spiritual reflection. Every pose can make a strong contribution to rewiring the patterns in the brain, while systematically utilizing an individual’s biology to alter their mindset.
That being said, I will promote one of my favorite types of asana when it comes to changing the mood- Heart Openers!
Research does show that sudden emotional stress can actually release hormones in the body that prevent the heart from pumping normally, which of course has an adverse ripple effect. So if we can scientifically say that emotions affect the body so acutely, it would only seem logical that the body could in fact be used to influence our emotions. If you open your heart, give it space to breathe and be beat, it might just surprise you.
Back-bends are some of the simple heart-opening poses that ease breathing and reduce stress by releasing tension held in the tissues of the whole chest and lung region of the body. A variety of back-bending postures are great heart-openers, here are just a few examples:
- Bhujangasana- Cobra
- Ustrasana- Camel
- Anjaneyasana- Low Lunge
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana- Upward-facing Dog
- Dhanurasana- Bow
Physiology has a very real impression on our psychology, and it has been said that opening the heart in some yoga poses has a way of letting positive energy make its way into our system. Warm up your body, warm up your heart and start to change the language of your life by engaging in yoga that heals.
Of course a yoga teacher and a believer in the power of yoga, I am a little biased… but that’s besides the point…
In yogi traditions the heart chakra, Anahata in Sanskrit, is located in the center of the chest at the heart level. Anahata is thought of as the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy that moves love through our lives. It is said to act as an integrating focal point of energy and as love is often thought of in most spiritual practices as the ultimate element of healing, the heart chakra is thought of as the healing center of the body. So when we talk about opening the heart we are tapping into the healing inside us all.
Mindfulness is Medicine
There has also been past research suggesting that mindfulness and meditation could be considered as alternatives to anti-depressant medications, or could also be used to combat the side-effects of medications.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) may now offer a welcome alternative for people wishing to avoid long-term use of anti-depressants, and mindfulness and meditation are bread-and-butter with the practice of yoga.
The list goes on and on as to the benefits of practicing yoga for the individual struggling with mental health disorders such as severe anxiety or depression, and I could sit here and write all day about studies and strategies closely connecting yoga to incredible outcomes in recovery from mental health and addiction issues.
My personal experience itself can support the idea of using yoga to overcome depression, as I am someone who has struggled with anxiety, depression and addiction chronically in my lifetime. As someone now in long-term recovery I can say that one of the most amazing experiences I have been given is to practice yoga and cultivate an intimate understanding with how unifying the mind, body and spirit has helped me dramatically reduce anxiety attacks, overcome suicidal ideation, and even helped me find new passion and serenity while rebuilding a life devastated by drugs and alcohol. My testimony is just one of countless accounts of how yoga transforms lives in recovery, so if depression is an obstacle in your life yoga can be a means to overcome it.
At Palm Partners, we believe in treating and healing the mind, body and spirit as equally important and unified parts that make up the whole person, and yoga is one opportunity offered as part of an innovative and restorative personalized treatment plan to creating lasting change. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
What is Holistic Drug and Alcohol Treatment in South Florida?
Holistic is a term that means “whole” and “complete.” Therefore, when considering getting help for substance abuse, the approach of holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida involves methods that are specific with addressing the mind, body, and spirit together and individually in the healing process of those seeking help.
Holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida differs from traditional methods of addiction treatment that tend to only treat certain aspects of the client and their disease of addiction. The staff involved in holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida programs understands the complex nature of addiction, and the concept that it is a three-part disease:
- A physical allergy
- A mental obsession
- A spiritual malady
There is plenty of research that has found that substance abuse interventions that incorporate spiritual approaches, such as meditation, provide benefit to healing and recovery through reshaping both psychological and psychosocial factors.
Holistic Drug and Alcohol Treatment: What’s the difference?
The mind, body and spirit are so closely interlinked that holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida centers put an emphasis on using holistic therapy to aid in the road to recovery from drugs and alcohol, and to assist individuals in successfully developing the coping skills for the transition to everyday life.
Holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida programs implement therapies such as yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture to compliment the basics of clinical drug and alcohol treatments.
Yoga– Yoga can improve the mind, body and soul through exercise, breathing and meditation techniques used during each session
Massage therapy- Massage therapy can improve the mind, body and soul through relaxation, stress relief and the healing of muscles.
Acupuncture- Acupuncture uses the manipulation of needles to improve the mind, body and soul and treatment experience by helping to reduce stress, pain, cause relaxation and calmness.
These are some of the most effective examples of out-of-the-box methods that you will find at a holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida facility. In addition to the typical treatment protocols such as individual and peer group counseling, 12 Step meetings, and relapse prevention classes that you may find in other rehab programs.
Other examples of holistic healing strategies include:
- Natural diet and herbal remedies
- Nutritional supplements
- Psycho-spiritual counseling
- Breathing exercises
Holistic Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Detox Process
As always with addiction or alcoholism there is a period where the body experiences feelings of physical and mental discomfort commonly referred to as withdrawal. Withdrawals are not always the same for every substance, but in a holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida center an experienced and educated medical staff will be present to provide safe and personalized medical care to make this period as comfortable as possible.
During the detox stage of treatment modern medicines are absolutely essential to holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida centers to help people with their physical withdrawal, which in some extreme cases could be fatal if not handled and monitored properly. Holistic Drug and Alcohol Treatment in South Florida facilities offer non-narcotic medications which could also be a major help to those suffering from diseases such as depression, bi polar, or anxiety. This helps the body and mind to function smoother and more clearly during the earliest stages of recovery.
It is also during this initial intake and assessment period that the staff can help you to outline your recovery plan by introducing you to some of the different forms of treatment that will be available to you during inpatient holistic drug and alcohol treatment.
Why should I go to a holistic treatment program?
The most important part of a holistic drug rehab center is to see how they use these practices in conjunction with their medical treatment for drug and alcohol recovery. Most addicts and alcoholics wanting help from a drug treatment center can see exactly how these kind of holistic practices are beneficial for them before they participate.
Holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida will talk a lot about finding the meaning to life again, living life to the fullest, creating a positive change, and emphasize this. One of the biggest hurdles for many addicts and alcoholics trying to recover is the transition back into every-day life.
In the end a program that offers holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida is so beneficial because of the simple fact that holistic healing is not just about the clinical side of rehab. Holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida believes in the idea that in order to put an individual in the best possible position for success, they should address the disease of addiction at all sides, and be exposed to a variety of spiritual, emotional, and physical exercises and strategies that can be used to overcome during the tough times that may come after treatment.
Overcoming addiction means more than just putting down the drink or the drug, and holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida is so powerful because it acknowledges the importance of every aspect of a healthy and happy life. Palm Partners prides itself in being one of the top holistic drug and alcohol treatment in South Florida, and we strive to be part of what makes recovering addicts and alcoholics whole again. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.