Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Addiction

In the early 70s, acupuncture was first used in addiction recovery to reduce the stress addicts were experiencing during recovery, while simultaneously reducing addiction cravings. The addiction community’s work in the 70s was later combined with the traditional methods of Chinese medicine, focusing on management of chronic pain, to create the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). This association established the guidelines for building a successful practice of acupuncture based on specific pressure points localized in the ear. Enlightened Solutions has embraced this complementary therapy to broaden our spectrum of holistic treatments in serving individuals with substance use disorders.

Alternative methods such as acupuncture build upon the hope that recovery from addictive substances and behaviors is possible. Clients experiencing detox, withdrawal, and post-acute withdrawal symptoms often feel discomfort and have difficulty sleeping. The introduction of acupuncture during this critical initial step of recovery, we can dramatically assist reducing cravings and some of the strong withdrawal symptoms, as well as reduce feelings of distress. Additionally, acupuncture can help induce complete relaxation. During acupuncture sessions, many therapists observe clients becoming so relaxed they often fall asleep. In the beginning stages of recovery, sleep deprivation is one of the more common complaints, therefore, complete relaxation is beneficial.

How Acupuncture Works

Studying the ancient art of Chinese medicine, we look to the balance of nature to bring that Yin and Yang into ourselves. Acupuncture clicks into the lack of Yin within us, and those with addiction suffer from this imbalance in addition to the many other aspects that we address in treatments. It’s theorized that the more out of balance we are with the Yin and Yang, the more our need to abuse substances is substantially increased. During acupuncture treatments, each client will sit back comfortably in a chair and treatment will begin. The acupuncturist will apply needles to five pressure points on both sides of the ears in a process that takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

What are the five points we focus on in acupuncture for addiction?

The NADA concentrates on five points in the ear as they connect to the central systems that react in stress responses, or those related to the sympathetic nervous system. Targeting these five points will reduce the overactive responses to anxiety and extreme stress that create this need for addiction.

  1. Autonomic Point: A small needle inserted into this pressure point will relax your nerves and calm your system.
  2. Shen Men: This is where we connect with your spirit to relieve any anxiety and nervous responses. Addiction creates chronic anxiety and stress reactions.
  3. Kidney Point: The kidney is vital to your system, so we use this point to promote healing of your organs as well as complete serenity.
  4. Liver Point: Your liver is responsible for removing harsh toxins from the body and purifying your blood. In detox or shortly after, we use this point to support this purification and to calm mood swings, anger, aggression, and aggravation.
  5. Lung Point: In mindfulness and meditation exercises, we focus on the breath and how it moves through the body. This point will help increase the strength of your breath and cleanse the body with extra oxygen; for those holding fast to loss and grief from that loss, this will help them achieve peace.

Benefits of Acupuncture:

  • Relaxation
  • Inner peace
  • Mindfulness
  • Improved sleep
  • Lessens mood changes during detox
  • Reduced cravings
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved mood, happiness, and joy
  • Promotes energy
  • Relief
  • Calms emotional trauma
  • Allows people to let go of their emotional distress

Acupuncture increases your body’s production of endorphins. As an alternative to relying on drugs for this escalation, you can rediscover your body’s ability to be happy naturally. Acupuncture treatments usually occur every few weeks, depending if clients adopt them as relaxing and a beneficial addition to their treatment. We are lucky at Enlightened Solutions to employ Erica Dice as our in-house acupuncturist. Erica worked at a detoxification clinic in the South Bronx and was specially trained to treat individuals struggling with addiction 833-801-LIVE.

Call Enlightened Solutions at to find balance in your Yin and Yang, and curb your post-detox addiction cravings. These alternative treatments in combination with our variety of holistic offerings can make natural recovery possible.


Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a brain-body-based therapy that was developed in 2003 by Dr. David Grand. Brainspotting is not the first or only brain-based therapy of its kind, as Dr. Grand originally developed the modality using insights gained from his extensive EMDR work and knowledge in other somatic approaches.

At Enlightened Solutions, we opt to use brainspotting due to its flexible and client centered approach. Additionally, brainspotting has been shown to be less likely to over-stimulate the client while processing emotionally charged material. Through the use of a visual access point, often combined with “biolateral” sound, brainspotting allows the therapist to assist the client in addressing unprocessed trauma in a much deeper way than traditional talk therapy. Brainspotting can also be used to address a number of psychological and somatic issues and is not just used for trauma alone.

Dr. Grand describes brainspotting as a “Brain-body-mindfulness-based-relational therapy”. What this means is that this method is focused around several main points: the connection between brain and body, our ability to mindfully experience and process our emotions and sensations, and the relational aspect between therapist and client that occurs on a deep, neurobiological level.

When individuals experience a trauma, the processing capacity of the brain is overwhelmed. This results in aspects of the experience (feelings, beliefs, sensations) becoming stuck, encapsulated, and unprocessed in the subcortex of our brains. This is the area of the brain responsible for our emotions, our survival responses, and our physical sensations. In this part of the brain there is no language and no sense of time. This helps to explain why many trauma survivors have difficulty processing and resolving the impact through talk therapy and continue to experience distressing effects long after the trauma has occurred. Brainspotting allows the client to process these experiences in a safe and contained manner without necessarily needing to “talk about it”.

Through the use of a visual access point, or a “brainspot” which directly correlates to the encapsulated trauma, this therapy is able to circumvent the conscious and “thinking” parts of our brains that can normally interfere with access to the emotional parts. Through brainspotting we learn to bring awareness to our inner experience gradually, while remaining within our safe window of tolerance in a supportive, therapeutic environment.

Brainspotting also uses what is referred to as “dual attunement”, referring to the two types of attunement involved. First is attunement on the neurobiological level. Secondly, is attunement experienced at a relational level between therapist and client. For the majority of people that come into treatment, learning to regulate emotions and physiological experiences has been severely interrupted by use of substances as well as external and often traumatic experiences. Safety is something many may not have experienced in a long time, if ever. Brainspotting helps to re-wire this disconnected system. As babies, we all look to learn how to regulate our autonomic nervous systems through relationships with our caregivers. However, there are many things that can occur that cause interruptions in learning to effectively regulate. Through dual attunement in brainspotting, the clinician aids the client in regaining and rebuilding this ability.

In a study following individuals impacted by the traumatic events at Sandy Hook comparing 16 different treatment approaches, brainspotting was found to be the most effective therapy.

A core belief of this therapy is that our brains have the capacity to heal, it is a matter of learning how to harness and access this ability through the support of a trained clinician. We are resilient at our core. Brainspotting allows the therapist to help the client tap into this resiliency and create positive and permanent change at a deep level. To learn more, contact us today.


Chiropractic

Chiropractic care works on the imbalance in our bodies that addiction creates. There is a sensory distortion in addiction where the addict’s brain is unable to accurately receive and relay information, because the substance acts as a roadblock to any real physical or emotional expression. The addictive brain has been trained to think it is only functional with the help of this substance, and this dependence causes the addict to fall deeper into depression and isolation, losing all sense of independence, responsibility, and grounding in the real world. Drugs and alcohol damage the brain, poison the body and cripple emotional connections.

Spiritual and Emotional Well-Being Through the Spine

Concerns that need to be addressed when fighting an addiction are first and foremost an individual’s health, but also their spiritual and emotional well-being. The more we poison the body, the further away we are from finding the peace and joy that should naturally course through our being. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer services that re-engage the senses, helping addicts reconnect with their emotions, spiritual needs, and full consciousness. When we combine traditional and alternative therapies into one central focus – recovery – the mind and body are cleansed, allowing the sensory experiences to flow back into the individual one day at a time.

When battling addiction after the initial detox, we start to feel again, and through mindfulness teaching, we learn to listen to our bodies. This mind-body connection is important for our clients addicted to pain medications, opiates, and alcohol, which are typically abused because the addict wants to dull their feeling and emotional and physical pain. In our various treatments at Enlightened Solutions, instead of dulling our senses, we pay close attention to them, focusing on how to manage pain and helping the body find comfort in a natural, organic way.

The back and spine carry so much tension and stress – both physically and as a result of emotional difficulties, as well as the metaphorical weight our shoulders carry from guilt, fear, anxiety, and depression. The spine dictates much of our prolonged feelings of discomfort and our predisposition to addiction relapse, and chiropractic care helps those in recovery invigorate their physical and spiritual balance by working with the spine and associated muscles. During chiropractic care sessions with Dr. Greenberg, he works with the body’s sensors, our nerves, as the chiropractic treatment focuses on the spine, reducing the years of tensions we’ve built, and helping us restore the range of motion we’ve lost due to inactivity, eating poorly, and the abundance of toxic substances we’ve abused our bodies with.

Addictions are no longer needed when we learn to cultivate the positive and share this love with our support team. To heal, we must forgive ourselves for the past and focus on what happens at this moment. You can live without the heavy burden of a joyless life if you discard of what’s holding you back—addiction. Call Enlightened Solutions at 833-801-LIVE to learn more about our Equine Therapy sessions and how we can help you.


Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy in History and Culture

Out of all the experiential therapy offered in addiction treatment, Equine Therapy is one of the most advanced and intuitive treatments you’ll find in recovery. Equine Therapy is a treatment that uses horses as co-therapists in treating patients suffering from the emotional and mental imbalance that feeds their addiction. At Enlightened Solutions, we are one of the few recovery centers to integrate this experience into methods of traditional talk and group therapies. Equine Therapy is known to be used as early as the 1940s in Europe, but it is thought to have even been used by Ancient Greeks and later, documented in 17th century literature as a cure for a variety of ailments, helping those in need of stress reduction and to ease, ’outside influences that could taint the spirit.’ Looking at the cultural evidence and the impact of these magnificent animals, equines of all types have helped with addiction and mental health for centuries.

Emotional Connections and Increase in Communication

For our clients, holistic and creative experiences present possibilities – seeing beauty in recovery and their life in sobriety. Incorporating these alternative treatments into the healing space, we have researched and practiced a variety of methods with the potential to increase mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. The connection we share with animals increases the ability we have as individuals to further understand our behaviors and emotions as we interact with nonverbal life forms and learn to communicate through feeling. Our clients participate in exercises that drive communication, understanding, and being present in the moment. Addiction is heavily entrenched in past thoughts that weigh us down, but our 12 step philosophies tell us simply to acknowledge and move forward. We must be present in the now and forgive ourselves for our past if we’re ever to move on toward happiness, comfort, and love.

How do we do Equine Therapy in New Jersey at Enlightened Solutions?

At Enlightened Solutions, Equine Therapy is a practice rooted in emotional connection and reflection. Our horses are gentle creatures that are comfortable around humans and are known to soothe stress and anxiety, as well as reduce the feelings of guilt and depression deep within each addict we treat. Your equine therapist and the horse you work with will help you get accustomed to interacting with a nonverbal animal. Many clients lack experiences with horses, so before we begin equine therapy, we prepare each client with what to expect when they enter the stables. Horses are attuned to our emotions and any energy we exude, so whatever you feel, these horses will pick up on it. For clients that have a difficulty understanding or verbalizing feelings, working with equines offers emotional mirroring and the opportunity to help unpack the heaviness in your heart so that you can examine it.

Benefits of Equine Therapy:

  • One-on-one sessions
  • Positivity exercises
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Cultivating inner peace
  • Experiencing positive nonverbal communication
  • Understanding emotions
  • Experiencing what it feels like to be present
  • Learning to gauge our emotions and how those emotions affect others
  • Finding happiness in recovery
  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and feelings of guilt
  • Shedding the need for substances

No one wants to upset a horse – they’re sweet and noble, which is why this treatment works. Our clients want to emulate the feelings these horses give off. Horses only know how to live in the present moment, so they’re aware of everything that happens around them. They are peaceful, calm, and strong, which appeals to our clients that are working to build confidence and a mindful lifestyle for themselves. As you work with these horses, you will learn how to balance your emotions and to discard those that only hinder your progress. Recovery is about letting go of the things that no longer serve your purpose so that you are able to live a happy and healthy life.

Many of our clients working on their 12 step program and mindful practices find that they cherish the time they spend with these animals and learn how to communicate love to the animal. The lesson of putting positive emotions out in the world comes through in these equine therapy sessions, because we are rewarded with peaceful and comforting experiences. The joy that we cultivate as we bond with our horses shows us that that same joy is possible in our life with family, friends and our intimate relationships. Contact Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey today to learn more!

Addictions are no longer needed when we learn to cultivate the positive and share this love with our support team. To heal, we must forgive ourselves for the past and focus on what happens at this moment. You can live without the heavy burden of a joyless life if you discard of what’s holding you back—addiction. Call Enlightened Solutions at 833-801-LIVE to learn more about our Equine Therapy sessions and how we can help you.


Family Constellation Therapy

The Philosophy Behind Family Constellation Therapy

There are a variety of factors in our lives that can create obstacles for us or predispose us to particular problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. When speaking with clients about drug addiction and particular behaviors or traumas, it’s common to hear about genetic inheritance and learned behaviors that run in families. Even if there’s not someone in our immediate family that struggles with addiction, if we follow the thread of family connections through the generations, we often find that the stem of the problem began in behaviors from years ago.

Origin of Family Constellation Therapy

Family Constellation Therapy originates from the teachings of a German therapist and missionary, Bert Hellinger. Hellinger found that what dictates those feelings, traumas, and behaviors come from deep rooted connections within our family, whether immediate or farther back in our history. In addiction treatment, this critical assembling means we’re not alone in our struggles, as others have had similar experiences. At Enlightened Solutions, we don’t remove responsibility for your addiction, but we do realize that it may have roots that affected your emotional development unknowingly. As we identify having a spiritual connections to others in our family that may be toxic or damaging, we recognize that in truly healing, we have to discover the origin of the problem to understand how it affects us today.

How is Family Constellation Therapy Practiced?

In therapy at Enlightened Solutions, we have a specially trained Family Constellation therapist that conducts group treatments implementing the idea of family connection. We are often emotionally weighted down by something internal, and while some folks can pinpoint that specific family dynamic and situation, others need to explore their relationships further to unearth the root of their troubles. Family Constellation Therapy helps us to feel the energy of these family connections in a group setting. These groups are larger, so that the client participating in this treatment can trust their instinct and choose “stand-ins” from those present to represent specific family members.

At the center of the room, a circle of these surrogates is created, which we call a family constellation. In this constellation, the stand-in representatives are asked to listen to the family history or short description of the issue at hand; they are then directed to describe the energy they feel or anything that comes to mind about the connection between the family member they represent and the focal family member. Group members don’t know each other or participants’ family background until that moment in treatment, so every perspective is fresh and unbiased. No actual family is present, which removes any stresses related to sharing or working out sensitive issues concerning those particular family members.

Total Mind, Body, Spirit Healing

During these Family Constellation Therapy group sessions, we talk through your concerns and feelings with these stand-in members; you may feel layers of stress and burden lift from your chest. Whether its emerging through the origins of your need to use, or your predisposition to depression, whatever you’re trying to unpack is a form of complete healing. This exploration of human emotion is therapeutic because we’re allowed to explore everything we feel and the burdens we’ve carried from generations of family sadness, secrets, and miscommunication. Not only that, but when we focus on one particular family constellation, each member can begin to feel this total body healing, and through the experiences and insights of others, they will understand more about themselves and their own family constellation.

In these sessions, we are also allowed to exercise one of the 12 step philosophies, which states that we need to be of service to others – another healing mechanism in itself, as we maintain full engagement in our practice. When we feel these intimate connections with other souls, we feel grounded and open to love, wellness, and emotional cleansing. We can let go of the heaviness surrounding our substance abuse and the distress that comes with it. We teach the importance of communication in addiction treatment, something that we lose as we isolate and allow substances to consume our mind. We learn to connect by opening our hearts, baring our souls, and expressing our internal struggle with others in comparable situations. Communication is a huge step in recovery, healing from the inside out and letting go of what no longer serves us.

Call Enlightened Solutions at 833-801-LIVE to learn more about our family constellation therapy sessions and how we can help you break the cycle of addiction.


Healing Through Art & Music

Art and Music Heal the Soul

Art and music as therapy was used as far back as 1789, though it wasn’t developed as a clinical profession until around the 1940s. It was initially used for patients with mental health conditions, helping them to work through and express how they felt internally so that they could describe their struggle to psychotherapists. The use of art therapy for treatment of substance abuse began in the 1950s, and music therapy followed in the 1970s. Not every recovery center uses these alternative therapies, but in our quest to heal the whole self in recovery, we’ve found that the integration of art and music therapy is beneficial for our clients. Our holistic healing space integrates art and music therapy as a stress relieving modality that works for those struggling with addiction, PTSD, grief, loss, and anger management.

Creativity works differently deep within every soul. The main reasons people connect with art and music are often the strong emotions that can be unlocked, and the memories and associations that are called up when a song plays, or when you let your creativity flow. In addiction recovery at Enlightened Solutions, our mission is to bring joy into your life – joy that you can call on at any time as you navigate your sober lifestyle.

Healing through art and music happens through inspiration and engagement. With that in mind, our Art and Music Therapists work with specific groups of our clients, allowing them first to experiment with an assortment of artistic mediums and musical instruments as conduits for self-expression. After these art and music group sessions, the group will process their feelings and why they connected to their artwork or piece of music. As we navigate through these artistic sessions, we discuss each emotion that emerges, whether it’s something surprising or something we have difficulty verbalizing.

Our clients will work on the following creative projects:

  • Painting
  • Creating collages
  • Drawing
  • Writing short stories or journaling
  • Reading
  • Analyzing famous pieces of art
  • Sculpture
  • Music lessons
  • Writing music
  • Singing
  • Writing poetry

As our clients participate in these art and music sessions, the therapist will observe body language to notice stress, anxiety, sadness, or frustration. Once each creative session is complete, clients share their experiences and talk through the connection between what you’ve created and what you’re feeling. Music and art therapy help people develop and increase communication skills as they transition through complex emotions to gain understanding and articulate the complicated connection between their emotional state and addiction behaviors.

A common reason why people relapse after a period of sobriety is the inability in managing stress levels. Writing, as well as listening to or creating music can be a wonderful therapeutic stress release. Finding what you enjoy can also help alleviate boredom, which can be a relapse trigger for those in early recovery. Listening to music or creating a piece of art occupies your mind with healthy pursuits as it encourages participation in healthy leisure activities with a non-chemical using focus.

Benefits of Art and Music Therapy:

  • Reduces emotional stress
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Improves communication
  • Increases mindfulness
  • Invigorates the spirit
  • Improves the immune system response for healing and emotional wellness
  • Increases engagement in meditative practice
  • Reduces muscle tension and physical pain responses
  • Eases feelings of isolation, loneliness, and boredom
  • Inspires people and builds confidence
  • Improves concentration and emotional focus
  • Opens your soul to creative enrichment and recovery

Each piece of creative work you construct in these sessions is a tangible reminder you can cherish long after treatment at Enlightened Solutions is complete. The relationships and memories we nourish here are precious, and our clients remember their time with us fondly. Our very own Jennifer Hansen has a collage she created in rehab that hangs proudly in our Enlightened Solutions office as a reminder of the beauty we find in recovery. Many of our clients say that they’ve uncovered a new passion for artistic creation that brings them hope and joy each day.

Through years of experience with the positive effects of art and music therapy, we believe these are important factors that support healing and relapse prevention. Call Enlightened Solutions today at 833-801-LIVE to find our more about art and music therapy.


Yoga & Meditation

Implementing the use of yoga in clinical settings is a rapidly growing application, teaching people through their direct practice that they can be released from suffering impacted from substance abuse. At Enlightened Solutions, we have a spiritual space specifically designed for practicing yoga, meditation, and other healing arts.

We’re proud to offer our clients a mindful activity that can help them open up to yet another healing avenue of recovery, as they learn to explore the joy of yoga and meditation.

Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Treatment

In recovery, a regular yoga practice can help people develop the discipline needed to succeed in 12 step programs, which are often used as the primary referral, in conjunction with treatment for many substance users. The mindfulness practices and the slow, controlled breathing methods taught in yoga are tools to help curb impulse control and stressful feelings – something with which substance abusers struggle. Benefits of yoga and meditation include:

  • Feelings of calm and increased patience
  • Healing of the mind, body, and spirit
  • Release of muscle tension
  • Relief from stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Lowered heart rate, which lowers blood pressure
  • Clarity in thought processes
  • Learning to focus and be mindful of the body

Natural and Holistic Relief from Stress

Dedicated yoga practices empower our clients, providing them with real-world tools they can use on their own at any time, because yoga asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) are readily accessible when sometimes a support person isn’t. Instead of turning to addictive substances to change thoughts and reactions in certain situations, they can apply yoga to address their stress and unhappiness, and find inner peace in critical moments. As clients learn the proper practice of yoga, they begin to learn the difference between pain and discomfort, and how to manage discomfort instead of avoiding it. They can fully control their experiences by modifying asanas in ways that feel good for them, finding the most helpful ways to apply this therapy to their overall recovery .

Before we begin a yoga session, we check in with our bodies, addressing any pain or issues we might have so that nothing is blocking us from fully absorbing ourselves in our practice. We sit quietly for a few moments and concentrate on the stillness in the room. As we sit in silence, we practice clearing the mind and focusing on the current feeling within us. Quieting the mind is a skill that takes consistent meditation practice to perfect. In addiction, the mind is constantly teeming with impulses and plotting how to get to the drug of choice, because the mind and body have been trained to need substances. If we can learn to control our mind, we can practice meditation in our daily lives to reign in those destructive thoughts. Through meditation, clients learn patience and how to find calm even during their toughest moments.

Brain Food: Yoga and Meditation

Practicing yoga and meditation together takes advantage of the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is often the characteristic that makes change so difficult. Depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions activate the body’s nervous system, in addition to emotional regions of the brain. The body eventually settles into these patterns, and even if the mind has insight, the body will continue to activate these physiological patterns unless this insight is used. While traditional therapies work only with the mind, yoga works with the mind and body simultaneously, allowing for the embodiment of insights. (Social Work Today, Vol. 12 No. 5 P. 8.)

If you’re ready to find natural healing and balance in your mind, body, and spirit, call Enlightened Solutions at 833-801-LIVE to start your yoga and meditation practice today.