Movement Therapies for Addiction

by baladmin | November 6, 2015

Traditionally, addiction has been treated with psychotherapy. Newly developed therapies called movement therapies are proving to be incredibly beneficial. Movement therapy can include dancing, yoga, tai chi, etc… this therapy model addresses both the psychological and the physiological health of a person. Physically our autonomic nervous system (ANS) remembers everything we feel, hear, see and experience in the body. Like an elephant, the ANS “never forgets.” In psychotherapy we use our voices to process the experiences held in our mind.  In movement therapy we allow the limbs of the body to process the pain or grievance it is holding.

Often, those who struggle with addiction also struggle with disassociating from the feelings of their body. Alcohol, drugs and food can be tools used to numb emotions. Movement based therapies offer a gateway for a person to experience their emotional sensations and release them. Sometimes that can be seen by jumping, rolling into a ball, flexing the feet-the possible movements are endless. Each movement carries with it a story needing expression which is processed with the treating therapist.

Movement-based therapies are an opportunity for people to be present with their painful emotions without using alcohol, drugs and food to numb the sensations. Being present in the body, observing the emotions and participating in the release of them is incredibly powerful for a person and can create great transformation. It leaves the individual with a sense of empowerment and great healing.

Talk therapy engages the intelligence of the mind, movement therapy strengthens the wisdom of the body. If you can imagine the natural reflex your body has to get goose bumps when you’re cold it’s the bodies innate wisdom to raise the hairs of your skin in order to keep you warm. Sometimes, life experiences cause us to stop trusting the signals of our body. Movement therapy gets us back in touch with our inner knowledge. Combining both the mind and body intelligence makes for profound awareness and recovery. From it one can gain clearer thought process, careful decision-making skills and peace of mind.

To learn more about the addiction treatment offered at

Balboa Horizons, call us at (866) 316-4012.