Engaging in activities that have meaning and that one deeply enjoys plays an important role in finding a way out of the labyrinth of addictions.
The Brain and Addiction
Understanding how the brain reacts to addiction is essential for developing effective treatment approaches. What is most obvious is that reward and motivation circuits are activated during survival-related behaviors, and most interestingly, that means also such as eating or social interactions.
The use of addictive substances or the practice of compulsive behaviors also activates these circuits, creating a sense of reward.
Neurotransmitters (roughly, chemical substances allowing signal transmission between nerve cells) are quickly affected by addictive substances, whether drugs, alcohol, gambling, or other compulsive behaviors such as media addiction, shopping, or even self-sabotage, for example.
Furthermore, it has been observed that neurotransmitters such as dopamine play a key role in reinforcing such addictive behaviors, making the exit from the labyrinth of addictions become even more challenging.
Brain plasticity (which can even be measured in a blood test!) is affected by addictions, and studies have demonstrated structural and functional changes in addictive brains!
These changes can significantly impact decision-making, self-control, and responses to addiction-related stimuli.
This all implies that the reward circuit is imbalanced. Over time, repeated use of addictive substances or engagement in addictive behaviors lead to an imbalance in the reward circuit. The brain becomes less responsive to normal stimuli in everyday life, leading to a continuous search for reward through the object of addiction.
It is also now recognized that stress and anxiety play a role in the persistence of addiction. Addictive substances can act as self-medication to cope with stress, creating yet another vicious cycle.
Moreover, genetic factors can influence susceptibility to addiction. Some individuals may be more predisposed to developing dependencies due to genetic factors combined with conducive environments.
Your herbalist goes as far as to posit confidently that this reinforcement - over the months and often years - is at the root of all disease, emotional as physical. For example, by repeatedly speaking negatively and denigrating our bodies, it is the repetition of self-abuse that affects the body day after day.
What is the recovery process made of? Answer: Stars and plant love!
Healing from addiction often involves a (gentle as possible with your herbalist) recovery process aimed at restoring normal brain function. This may include cognitive-behavioral therapies, pharmacological approaches from some, or, with plants from your herbalist. Also one will progressively seek genuine social support, and joyously step into lifestyle changes.
Understanding the neurobiological aspects of addiction allows for the development of more targeted treatment strategies and helps individuals better understand the underlying mechanisms of their addiction. It is important to note that the treatment approach may vary depending on the type of addiction and the individual needs of each person.
It's quite simple in theory and sometimes more challenging in practice. Here's a small video filmed on July 9, 2023 (which might make you feel like going back to summer!) aiming to illustrate the theory.
A small warning: this video is in French - English version coming soon. Also this video was filmed after collecting the testimony of two people who had been abused by a Reiki "master" claiming to cure all their ailments - and who also sexually abused them. And charged them for the service.
So, may it be clear that I have nothing against Reiki (on the contrary) but I denounce anyone who promises miracles and takes advantage of the vulnerability of those they accompany.
The "secret" summarized in this video, in short? Adding activities that "nourish" us gradually pushes addictions, stones, traumas out of the field. Thus, neurons reconnect differently.
And having water without pesticides, fungicides, hormones, etc. With the code Oria: 10 percent cheaper with my acquaintances, the joyful and intelligent folks at Swissaquafilter.
Indeed, exploring new passions or reconnecting with past interests undoubtedly brings a sense of novelty and excitement. Replacing addictive behaviors with positive and stimulating activities and then, within the framework of these rebirths, strengthening self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Developing a positive identity outside of addiction is an essential aspect of healing.
Establishing a healthy routine, structuring days around loved activities helps maintain stability and prevent relapses. Positive escapes manifested through activities we love seem to offer a break in daily stress and contribute to better emotional management.
SLEEP - deeply and for a long time. An art that your herbalist loves to help you develop.
Positive social networking also helps meet new people outside the addiction circle. Often, a constellation of people sharing the same addiction forms - it may be difficult to get out of them or transform them. That is when I am happy to assist also.
Detoxifying these processes, both emotionally and physically (some also say spiritually, etc.), should also be taken into account - and transformation can be painful (memories, flashes, "cleanings") and uncomfortable, depending on the speed of transformation. This is where your herbalist can be of great support because plants help soften the molts, the transformations.
In the end, celebrating successes (even small ones) reinforces a sense of accomplishment and progress, essential elements in the healing process.
However, it is essential to note that while engaging in activities we love takes us out of a painful groove, addiction often remains complex and requires a holistic approach. Self-care is important and integrated into a broader treatment plan to maximize the chances of success in addiction recovery, contributing a lot to success.
And of course, meditation is royal to accelerate the process: it is now possible to come to the most beautiful and expert meditatation I have come across in these past 30 years - come meditate next to your herbalist - information click here: daily, guided meditations at petiteherboristerie.
In support of deep health ✨
and with gratitude for this drive and vocation ✨
Erika Scheidegger Gardet
Herbalist and ASCA phytotherapist
Source of scientific articles for this article on-demand.