Addiction Treatment Centers Using Experiential Therapies

Life is experience. Substance dependence overtakes a person’s ability to make her own decisions to experience life, and life is no longer actively participated in. Therefore, in overcoming addiction, it is vital to learn to re-experience life. This lesson helps a treatment center resident reintegrate into the world after therapy is through. Experiential therapy is this bridge to leaving a life of substance dependency and commencing a life of health, both physical and mental. Experiential therapy is a necessary component in the steps towards a complete therapy. In addition to counseling and more traditional therapies, experiential is the door to the world – it forces the patient to test herself, to get up when she falls, to learn that giving up is not an option. This is a vital lesson to learn when overcoming addiction, as when problems arise after therapy, the former patient will remember that there are other means of dealing with problems than turning back to addiction.

Experiential therapy includes many various forms, and can be divided into two main categories: outdoor experiential therapy and indoor experiential therapy. Both aim at physical and mental challenges in order to succeed. Equine therapy, which falls within the category of outdoor experiential therapy, is worth reviewing on its own due to its uniqueness and successful results. Research supports the use of experiential therapy, as motivation increases and social integration is easier through the experience of such therapy.

The great outdoors is well known for its healing abilities, and exercise in itself releases the same good-feeling endorphins as a high does. There we have it: the high that is healthy. Outdoor experiential therapy utilizes nature to help residents work through their problems and free themselves from dependency through the physical challenges offered in nature. Activities can include winter sports like snowshoeing, and summer sports like hiking. More radical activities, like a heli-experience, are also possible. The heli-experience takes people to literally previously unknown heights. In opening new worlds, these experiences reconnect residences to their world, which is so important to eventually helping them reconnect with the people who live in this world. While outdoor activities are beneficial for the social aspect of interacting with other residents, their main achievement is to make the resident introspect and put a perspective on the resident’s own life in the context of the towering natural world.

Indoor experiential therapy can be based on an indoor ropes and challenge course. While also containing the aspect of physical challenge, indoor experiential therapy is a greater internal challenge. The resident must mentally prepare herself for the challenges that come at such heights. Also, trust is an invaluable lesson learned in indoor therapy. Partners rely on each other to succeed in these activities, thus learning to communicate effectively and learning to trust another. This can be an especially difficult aspect of healing from addiction, as for so many, trust is not a part of a life of addiction. Learning to rebuild personal self-confidence and trust in others is vital for a successful recovery from substance dependence. Reintegrating into society after therapy is one of the most difficult aspects of recovery, so having a treatment program that rebuilds the elements of trust and confidence, needed for a successful life in our society, is especially beneficial.

Equine therapy, a certain highlight of the outdoor experiential therapy, combines aspects used both in outdoor and indoor therapy. From the aspect of the outdoors, equine therapy offers the chance to be with, in and beyond nature, with a living being that sees us only for who we are. Horses are extremely intelligent creatures, having a special history with the human race. So vital in the development of the modern world, horses were the first vehicles for transporting messengers and mail efficiently, as the Pony Express reminds us, and were man’s trusted guides in exploration and on battlefields. And, while a horse does not judge mankind, it certainly can read a character and will cleverly use a human’s personality to its advantage. Trust is an essential element of equine therapy, and it is a relationship with a creature that will not lie about its feelings. When a genuine friendship is formed between horse and man, it is a lifelong bond. Equine therapy combines the power of nature and a physical challenge with the need to build a trusting relationship with a fellow living creature and increase self-confidence. In this manner, equine therapy is especially helpful for residents of treatment centers, as it combines all elements so beneficial to recovery in one activity.

Experiential therapy teaches lessons of confidence in the self as well as in others, and teaches facing challenges and overcoming them. Motivation is of prime importance in overcoming an addiction, and what better place to find motivation than where we naturally seek it: in situations that encourage us to aim higher than we imagine is possible. Through the motivation that appears in the physical activities, treatment center residents learn to carry it over to their own lives, and find the necessary motivation to deal with personal issues. Simultaneously building confidence and trust in themselves and others only strengthens the desire for motivation. The added health benefits of partaking in physical exercise show themselves both on the bodies and minds of patients. Getting the body into shape helps stabilize the mind, and helps lead a generally healthier life. There is never an easy cure to addiction, and many paths and steps must be followed to guide to a better life. The step of experiential therapy is one of the most rewarding steps in treatment, as the treatment resident is aware first-hand of its results. This personal feeling of achievement in overcoming challenges makes great headway in the recovery process from addiction.

4 Easy Ways To Relief Headache

Having headache is annoying and sometimes it is difficult for us to avoid. Mostly when we are under pressure, headache appeared automatically. If it gets worse, we might faint due to the pain we felt.

A headache is a condition of mild to severe pain in the head. It can also attack at our upper back or neck. There are different types of headache, but most of the time headache brought on by stress, too long in front of computer, noise and others.

One of the main causes of headache is tension in the muscles of the neck, scalp and jaw. We usually deal with it by taking some sleep or consume over-the counter aspirin to release our pain. However, can we do this at any place?

Obviously, we cannot sleep at the office or at the mall. In addition, we might run of aspirin when headache strike us.

Do not worry! The easiest way to handle headache and we can do it everywhere is through massage. Massage is the practice of applying pressure or vibration to the soft tissues of the body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, improve circulation and relieve tension.

When we suffer from headache, we can help ourselves with self-massage. Simple and everybody can do it, either at work or home.

Here are four easy ways in massage to heal our headache.

1. Eyes Area Massage — Close your eyes. Place your middle fingers to your eyes that are above cheekbones. Massage that area gently but firmly in circular motion for 1 minute,

2. Eyes to Nose Massage – Using thumb, go along the underside of eyebrows (along the bone on top of eye socket). Feel where this bone meets the bridge of your nose and eyes and find a point where there is a small indentation. Very gentle pressure, press your thumbs into the points. You can do it four times by holding and press that area for 10 seconds in each press.

3. Neck Massage — Massage a point where you can feel it by moving the middle fingers of your hands to the back of your head and feel the base of your skull. Specially, at the tops of your neck that meets the base of your skull. Massage for a minutes using finger tips gentle in circular movement.

4. Scalp Massage – Let your palms of your hands massage your scalp on the top of your skull for a minute gently.

Once you have done all those massages, start taking a deep breath. Lift your shoulders towards your ears for five to 10 seconds to relief remaining pain, and then let them drop back down into their natural position.

You are going to feel better when you can do that for a couple of times. Your massage will relief your headache and your head will feel less weighty.

4 Natural Home Remedies to Ease the Pain of Sunburn

At some time or another, we’ve all experienced the effects of sunburn – be it a light burn or a more heavy burn.

Although the sting of regret of inadequate protection (from UV exposure) can be an excellent incentive to plan more carefully on ‘future’ occasions, it’s of little help in soothing the immediate physical sting (i.e. pain) accompanying sunburn.

However if you ‘have’ found yourself having spent a little too much time in the sun, — here are 4 natural home remedies to help ease the pain of sunburn, and assist in the body’s healing process:

1. Cool Milk Compresses: – The fat and lactic acids in milk are known to have soothing qualities for sunburned skin. Soak a soft cloth or cotton gauze in cool whole milk, and dab carefully onto the burned skin. Do this for around 20 minutes, and follow by rinsing off with cool water. (Due to the importance of the milk’s fat content, it’s important that whole milk be used in this treatment).

2. Cool, sugarless tea: – The tannin in tea is the active ingredient here, which helps to soothe and relieve some of the discomfort of sunburned skin. After brewing a big pot of tea, and allowing it to cool completely, slosh the affected areas with a soft sponge or washcloth. As with the vinegar (4), you could also fill a spray bottle, and spray the tea directly on the skin. And don’t throw away the used (cool) teabags. These are especially good for sensitive areas around the eyes – simply place the teabags over your eyes if they feel hot and tired. (If you have ‘St. John’s Wort’, consider using this as it contains cooling properties, which can help tone down some of the heat in your skin, as well as soothing the nerve endings damaged by the sunburn).

3. Aloe Vera: – Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat sunburn. As well as providing soothing relief, it may also assist in the healing process. Apply to the affected areas as needed. Although the gel extracted directly from an aloe Vera plant works best, if you don’t have ready access to one, you may use an ‘over the counter’ Aloe Vera Cream that contains the gel. For this to be effective, just ensure that the cream contains a high concentration of Aloe Vera than it does water or other solutions.

4. Water: – When exposed to the sun, your body loses water and essential body salts. Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid, and begins to reabsorb fluid from the blood and other body tissues. To prevent the consequences of dehydration, increase your fluid intake to ensure you adequately re-hydrate your body for optimum recovery and health.

Sunburn should of course be avoided where possible — particularly as it’s adverse affects not only include damage to the skin, but also the increased risk of skin cancer. Prevention and protection should always be considered the best treatment for sunburn, and will assist in ensuring your optimum long-term health!

DISCLAIMER: These are home remedy tips only, and should not replace your regular health care provider. If in doubt at any time in relation to your sunburn, please seek the appropriate health care assistance.

A Beginner’s Guide To Using Aromatherapy With Children

Trust your instinct – a beginner’s guide to using aromatherapy with children:

Essential oils are pure aromatic plant essences – they are distilled from flowers, fruit, leaves, resins, roots, seeds, and wood. The are used for their healing properties the world over – in , for example, they are only available through licensed, qualified parishioners. In the United States, we have free access to essential oils – but with this comes with some important cautions: Only some of the essential oils available are suitable for children; others are not suitable for children and some are even dangerous to children (children with epilepsy should not come in contact with stimulating essential oils).

When used correctly however, essential oils can be of great benefit, and will not conflict with your child’s medically prescribed drugs. Always research the oil of choice thoroughly before using with your infant or child – ask advice from a qualified practitioner, or see the references at the end of this article.

That said, essential oils can be a wonderful way of supporting your child’s health, happiness and well-being. Essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you, the caregiver. Essential oils are used externally (on the outside of the body) in your child’s bath, body lotions, oils, creams, gels, compresses, foot baths, or in a oil warmer. The effects of aromatherapy will generally fall into one of three main categories: 1) Assisting in healing from minor illnesses and accidents, 2) Supporting your child’s overall sense of well-being, and 3) Assisting your child in getting quality rest.

When using essential oils with your child, it is imperative that you find a reputable supplier of therapeutic-grade essential oils, using organic or wildcrafted varieties when possible. Synthetic copies of oils commonly used in perfumery are not appropriate, and may even be harmful to your child’s health. To maintain efficacy, essential oils should be kept in dark amber or cobalt glass containers, in a dark and cool location, away from the child’s access. Wooden storage boxes from craft or ‘Pier One’ type stores can make a nice container for the bottles.

Methods of Using Essential Oils

There are two methods of using essential oils with your child – INHALATION: through a diffuser, nebulizer, or adding to a humidifier reservoir, and TOPICAL APPLICATION: diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying topically. Adding essential oils to a bath combines the two methods, though we will cover it under topical application.

For topical application, essential oils are diluted in varying strengths depending on the use and age of your child. The concentration can vary from one drop of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil, to a couple of drops per teaspoon of carrier added to a drawn bath, to an equal ratio of carrier and essential oil applied directly to your child’s feet (as in the case of gentle Lavender). In other words, there is a huge variation in dilution levels depending on the circumstances. Mamas, do your research and then trust your instinct. Only you and your child baby know exactly what is right for your situation.

General dilution rate guidelines of essential oils in one ounce of carrier oil:

Age of Child and amount of Essential Oil per One Ounce Carrier Oil for Topical/Massage Application:

Newborn (Consult primary care physician before use)

1-3 drops essential oil / ounce
2-6 months
1-3 drops essential oil / ounce
6-12 months
1-4 drops essential oil / ounce
1-4 years (unless very small)
5-8 drops essential oil / ounce
6-7 years
5-10 drops essential oil / ounce
9-12 years
5-12 drops essential oil / ounce
12 years to young adult
10-15 drops essential oil / ounce

DO NOT USE AN ESSENTIAL OIL NEAT (undiluted ) on children’s skin, unless indicated to do so for a specific condition. If your child has very sensitive skin, it is important to test a small area before using a new single oil or blend. Keep essential oils away form the eyes. When using citrus oils – orange, bergamot, lemon, tangerine, mandarin, and lime – do not use where the skin will be exposed to sunlight for the next 12 hours. These oils are considered ‘phototoxic’, and can react from the sun’s rays. They may be used in a bath, however, where they will be washed off the skin when the bath is done.

Essential oils are not to be taken orally (by mouth). When your child is taking medications, reduce the amount of essential oil by half the amount recommended for their age group.

Carrier oils for children

Sweet Almond oil is generally regarded as the safest and best overall carrier oil for use with babies and children. Apricot kernel oil is also considered extremely safe with children over 6. Jojoba oil can be added at about 10% concentration for any blend – it has a soothing effect on the skin and is good for hair.

Topical Application – Nurturing Touch Massage Recipes

There is nothing better for any child than the loving, nurturing touch of a parent. A gentle hug, a smile, a kiss on the cheek all reassure the child and help the parent and child to bond. These everyday forms of connection are instinctual and children thrive from it.

Research shows that massage can help children’s growth both physically and emotionally. In hospitals, studies done with premature baby’s show that touch is an essential aspect of the children’s ability to thrive.

Using aromatherapeutic nurturing touch massage can be therapeutic to both the child and the parent. Using a light, conscientious tough you can massage your child’s feet, arms, hands, back, abdomen, and even legs. The massage should always be done with loving intention and the work is done in the direction that the blood flows-from ankles to leg; from wrist to shoulder, etc.

Here are a few suggested blends for this wonderful method – each is in one (1) ounce of Sweet Almond oil:

Restful Sleep – 4 drops lavender, 2 drops Roman Chamomile

Happy Child – 3 drops Rose, 1 drop Neroli

Calm and Relaxed – 3 drops Petitgrain, 3 drops Neroli

Emotional Nurturing – 1 drop Rose, 1 drop Vanilla, 2 drops Lavender

For a Baby oil blend, to be used as a moisturizer OR massage oil (note: the frequent washing of a baby’s skin actually makes it difficult for them to retain vitamin C; application of a quality skin oil will help them keep adequate supplies of this important nutrient).

1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil or hazelnut oil
1 drop of pure Lavender essential oil
1 drop of Vanilla essential oil

OR

1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil
2 drops of pure Lavender essential oil
1 drop of pure Chamomile (German) essential oil

The above blends can also be added to the bath. One teaspoon with the following amount of essential oils added can be added AFTER the bath is filled, per the age of the child: 3-5 years, 2 drops; 6-8 years, 3 drops; 8-11 years, 5 drops. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to make a full strength blend (without carrier oil) of your choice, then dilute as needed for the application.

Inhalation of essential oils

For inhalation, one can apply one or two drops to a handkerchief and inhale, or add oils to a water misting bottle or humidifier. Calming essential oils that may be used are Lavender (recommended for sleep – one to four drops can be placed under the pillow), Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, Ho Wood (an ecologically friendly replacement for Rosewood), Tangerine, Petitgrain, Vanilla, and Neroli. Use these oils singly, create your own blend, or use one of the body oil blends above without the carrier oil. A few drops per quart of water in a mister sprayed throughout a room or added humidifier resevoir will do.

For an anti-anxiety blend: Try 5 drops bergamot, 1 drop lavender and 3 drops geranium – dilute to 10 drops per ½ pint of water for a room spray or use in a humidifier, or dilute to the appropriate level for your child’s age if using topically. For alertness, try lemon, bergamot, grapefruit or pine, either singly or in a blend that pleases your senses (usually the best way to blend is to trust your nose!)

Essential oils can also be used in a candle lamp or warmer – with the oil gently evaporated from the surface of a small bowl of water by the heat of a candle. An electric nebulizing diffuser is generally not recommended for use with children, as the concentration of oils in the air can be too high.

Last but not least, essential oils are wonderful antiseptics.

Cuts and scrapes are simply a way of life for the little ones! A great blend for minor wounds is a 1:1 mix of Lavender and Tea Tree oil. The lavender is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and has regenerative ‘ketones’, while the tea tree is a strong antiseptic used for many generations by native Australians. Use this blend in the water used for cleaning wounds, and apply a few drops to the gauze of a bandage – do not apply directly to the skin as it will be unnecessarily irritating. On the bandage, however, it will be soothing and accelerate the healing process.

So this is a very brief overview of using essential oils with children. There are many, many diverse applications for essential oils for almost every conceivable minor ailment seen in childhood. The key is knowledge – finding a good practitioner, or reputable resource for your needs. For further reading, books by Valerie Ann Woorwood are excellent: “Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child” and “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy”; for safety data, see “Essential Oil Safety” by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs. The essential oils mentioned within this article are recognized as safe for most individuals – if you or your child are recognized as having a specific illness, and/or are under a doctor’s regular care, please consult an appropriate practitioner before proceeding.

That said, aromatherpy can be a very fun and rewarding endevor for both you and your child. Essential oils have benefited the lives of many the world over, and have a little bit of plant magic available to everyone.

Constipation Home Remedy – Cayenne

Cayenne is a constipation home remedy that is effective in producing peristalsis in your colon and aids digestion. It can be used regularly at every meal and when needed for constipation. Cayenne pepper is known to help thin the blood. So, it is good for improving blood circulation.

Cayenne is available in capsules of different strengths, from 5,000 heat units (HU) to 100,000 and even higher. In addition, cayenne when used with other herbs helps to deliver these herbs more efficiently to where they are needed in the body.

As a constipation home remedy, start with one capsule of 40,000 HU and always take it after you eat. You will feel a hot or slight burning feeling in the upper stomach and that’s when you know its working. The feeling is like when you get heartburn. This burning sensation will pass as your body gets use to you using cayenne.

Do not use cayenne seeds, as they can be toxic. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding do not take cayenne supplements. Use cayenne only as directed on its container and only as capsules.

Cayenne has the ability to block the ulcer producing effect of NSAIDS. It also has shown to increase the body’s absorption of theopylline, a drug used to treat asthma.

In his book, Left for Dead, Dick Quinn tells how Cayenne pepper saved his life after coronary bypass surgery failed to restore it. In this book, Shannon Quinn, say,

“One of the most effective stimulants, mostly, cayenne targets the digestive and the circulatory system. Cayenne regulates blood pressure, strengthens the pulse, feeds the heart, lowers cholesterol, and thins the blood. It cleanses the circulatory system, heals ulcers, stops hemorrhaging, speeds healing of wounds, rebuilds damaged tissue, eases congestion, aids digestion, regulates elimination, relieves arthritis and rheumatism, prevents the spread of infection and numbs pain.”

Use the recommended dose shown on the bottle of cayenne you use.

You can also add cayenne pepper into other foods. Add cayenne to soups, salads, and other foods you like.

In soups or salads break open a cayenne capsule and mix it in. You can add 1 – 2 capsules, but first start with 1/4 or 1/2 capsule so you can get use to the hot taste.

If you are pregnant, it is considered safe to use cayenne.

Use this constipation home remedy and you will see results. It definitely has the power to eliminate constipation and keep you regular and has many other benefits, especially for your heart.

Constipation Remedy Using Potassium and Prunes

Potassium and prunes are a natural constipation remedy that you can quickly use to help you get constipation relief.

Potassium is needed in your colon walls to insure that peristaltic action occurs. Without potassium, colon walls are weak and unable to respond and contract properly when fecal matter needs to be move.

Potassium in your colon wall tissues brings in more oxygen, which is required for good cell function and elimination of toxins. In addition, potassium creates an alkaline environment inside and outside the cell, which help protect cell walls from bacteria, fungus, and other pathogens.

Potassium is a powerful source when it comes to cleaning, feeding and building your colon walls. Removing the thin layer of buildup – harden mucus, dried fecal matter, waste derby, heavy metals – against your colon wall can be accomplished by eating those foods that are high in potassium.

Excess buildup on your colon walls of fecal matter and toxins is a cause of continual constipation. This build up prevents your colon walls from functioning properly.

Potassium is necessary for reducing anxiety and depression. These conditions can affect peristaltic movements of your colon. Lack of it causes muscles and organs to sag and lack tone.

Potassium, also, draws water out of the body. So when potassium is in your colon it attracts water and pulls it into the fecal matter. This makes your fecal matter softer and easier to move along the colon.

To get more potassium into your diet make a constipation remedy drink by,

Pouring hot water over dried prunes and waiting 10 minutes. Then eat the prunes and drink the juice Do this on an empty stomach in the morning.

The high concentration of potassium and vitamin A, in prunes, stimulates enzymatic processes. These processes melt down fecal wall wastes and dissolve blockages. They also activate peristaltic action to move this waste out through your rectum.

The foods to eat that are high in potassium are:

Kale, cabbage, yellow tomatoes, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower, alfalfa sprouts, goat milk, sesame seeds, wheat germ brewers yeast, flax seed, grapes, green peppers, pineapple, beets, potatoes with skin Blackstrap molasses

If you have any kidney disease, do not take potassium supplements unless directed by your doctor. If you are pregnant, take potassium only under a doctor’s direction.

If you are on any type of drugs, do not take potassium unless directed by your doctor.

When you have constipation it is best to take potassium supplement. Once you have your constipation eliminated back off on the potassium you are taking and depend on your potassium dose from the foods you eat.

My recommended Potassium dose is 1000 – 3000 mg each day taken with meals.

Acid Reflux and Heartburn Natural Remedies

Here is a list of natural remedies that you can use when you have acid reflux or heartburn. No need to use antacids, which have unwanted side effects and contain aluminum, which has been associated with senility and Alzheimer’s disease.

Anise, peppermint, and lavender

Here’s a tea that you can make to help you with acid reflux or heartburn. It will help you reduce the amount of acid you have in your stomach. Mix together equal amounts of aniseed, peppermint and lavender. Make an infusion of this tea:

* boiling 2 ½ cup distilled water
* pour this water over a teaspoon of the herbal mixture
* let this tea sit for 3- 5 minutes
* strain the tea and add a little bit of honey if you like.
* place this tea in a thermos

Drink up to 8 oz in the morning and 8 oz in the evening to get relief of acid reflux.

Aniseed or anise – is a powerful herb that helps in digestive conditions and has many other benefits for your body. Use only the ash-colored anise called green anise, European anise or sweet anise. There are two other types of anise, star anise and caraway, which should not be used here.

Peppermint – is another powerful herb for stomach conditions or heartburn. It helps in digestion, stomach distension, cramps, ulcers, and gas.

Lavender – known for it scent has enormous healing activity for your body. Is also an excellent stomach aid. It is useful in reducing acid in the stomach.

Betain, Pepsin, and Papaya digestive enzymes

As you get older, your stomach weakens in its ability to produce hydrochloric acid to digest protein. It is undigested protein that leads to acid reflux or heartburn. Use digestive enzymes that contain Betain, pepsin, or HCl with each meal to make sure you digest all of your protein.

Papaya digestive enzymes, which contain papain, are also excellent for protein digestion and you can use them with each meal. Use 500mg or more of papaya enzymes per meal.

Pineapples

Pineapples are a store house of enzymes and contain bromelain, an enzymes that reduces protein. Pineapples support digestion, reduce inflammation, and supports wound healing. The fresh juice has a high level of enzymes that will help you stop your acid reflux.

You can also buy bromelain as tablet and take 200 – 500mg per meal.

Chicory Root

Chicory comes from a family of bitter herbs that contain endive and escarole. Boil 1 ½ cup of chicory root for 5 – 10 minutes. After it colds to room temperature, drink this tea to correct acid reflux or heartburn.

Adding these herbs to your salad will also have benefits in preventing acid reflux. Eating those foods that are alkaline is the best way to avoid acid reflux and heartburn.

Using the remedies listed here will give relief from your acid reflux. But more importantly add a salad to your diet everyday and you will have less acid reflux in your life.