The Benefits of Whole-Body Treatment: How Can Recovery Positively Affect the Workplace?
There is an ancient saying here on Hawaii’s Big Island that goes, “He kehau ho`oma`ema`e ke aloha.” This translates to “Let love cleanse us like a morning dew.” Cleanse is the word that jumps out to us here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab because recovery is all about cleansing the past and opening up the future. Whole-body treatment for recovery is what love is to our souls. It cleanses us from the inside out and the outside in. Whole-body treatment heals us at the cellular level.
What Is Whole-Body Treatment?
Whole-body treatment is a way of keeping the mind-body-soul connection when it comes to recovery. It is about using a comprehensive array of treatments on an individualized basis.
While much of whole-body treatment lies in the holistic realm, true whole-body treatment does not shy away from all potential healing modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication management.
Whole-body treatment will focus on the mental, psychological, and physical aspects of recovery in tandem. This is the interconnectedness of the whole-body treatment process. No treatment is without its positive effects on others. For example, the mindfulness exercise of journaling can help open someone up to more freely discuss their emotions in CBT sessions. Another example would be how modalities like surf therapy and yoga actually make experiential therapies like nature immersion therapy more possible because they help build up the stamina that is sometimes needed to engage intensely with certain types of nature immersion.
Some Benefits of Whole-Body Treatment
The iconic 20th-century Buddhist monk alludes to the concept behind whole-body connectedness in his text, Being Peace. He refers to this whole-body experience as “Interbeing.” He writes, “Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.”
This is the essence of whole-body treatment wrapped up in a beautiful florid analogy. We cannot take care of the mind unless we take care of the body; we cannot take care of the body without taking care of the mind. If we choose not to heal one or the other, we choose not to heal at all. Yes, whole-body treatment and whole-body healing are complete engagements of all human faculties for recovery, and the benefits of the process can be immeasurable.
One of the most significant benefits of whole-body treatment is that it leaves “no stone unturned.” Relapse often happens because some underlying root/core issue has not been addressed. A comprehensive recovery plan can best ensure that these underlying issues are addressed.
Another critical benefit of whole-body treatment is that much of what is addressed and learned can travel with the individual when they leave treatment. For example, an effective yoga practice that was established at the recovery center can travel with the individual anywhere they wish to go. The same can be said about certain mindfulness practices, such as meditation and journaling. These practices can have extremely positive effects on all aspects of life after treatment, especially in the workplace.
How Does Addiction Negatively Affect the Workplace?
As with other spheres of life, addiction does not just affect the individual in the workplace; it affects the whole work environment. Addiction can be like a tornado in the workplace, tearing down anything that gets too close. Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s the CEO or a new hire; addiction can do significant damage to many avenues within a work environment.
One aspect of addiction in the workplace is it’s more prevalent than many people may think. According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, “Overall impairment from and work-related use of alcohol and illicit drugs are prevalent in the workforce at large and in particular subgroups. When asked about drinking enough alcohol to become intoxicated, 30.6% of working adults in the United States reported doing so at least once in the past year. Broken down by frequency of drinking to intoxication, 20.9% of workers drank to intoxication less than one day per month, 6.4% of workers drank to intoxication one to three times per month, and 3.4% of workers drank to intoxication once per week or more often.”
The most important takeaway from these statistics is that individuals are hurting and struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. However, the next takeaway from these statistics is that alcohol and substance use affect the productivity and profitability of any workplace.
Addiction can cause employees to be absent, lose clients, create potentially harmful social situations, and affect the overall economic intake of a company. Ultimately, addiction negatively permeates the entire atmosphere of a workspace. The good news is that once addressed with adequate whole-body treatment, addiction can be removed from the workplace. Not only that, it can make the workplace significantly more productive, effective, successful, peaceful, and healthy.
Employer and Employee: How Can Recovery Positively Affect the Workplace?
Just as addiction affects every aspect of the workplace negatively, recovery offers the opposite. It can get the individual employee who was struggling with addiction back on track and back in line with the goal of the company.
Also, it offers those employers who are in charge a chance to reset and get back into a responsible and productive leadership role. This is important because leadership roles often leave working professionals drained and vulnerable to issues of addiction and mental health. Whole-body treatment is ideal for these types of working professionals.
Working Professionals and Finding the Right Recovery Center
The key to the right recovery is finding the right recovery center right away. For working professionals, the right recovery center should address their work needs alongside other external factors.
Many working professionals who need help for issues of addiction and/or mental health don’t seek treatment because they are often concerned with what might happen to their companies or high-profile positions. They don’t want their careers and businesses to be affected.
However, as previously mentioned, their careers and businesses are already being affected by their addiction and mental health issues, and they are most likely only going to get worse without some type of professional intervention.
The good news is that recovery does not have to wholly interfere with one’s work life. It can be very minimally invasive, actually. But, part of recovery is disconnecting, even if it is for a short amount of time.
Disconnecting From Work While in Recovery
Ultimately, recovery is a very personal journey. Yes, of course, many pivotal people help along the way, but it does come down to the action of the individual. This also means that the individual must take time to focus on themselves.
Now, does this mean staying completely disconnected from the outside world in recovery? Absolutely not (unless that is the journey one wishes to take). But, it does mean that it is wise to take a break.
Whether it involves a detox or directly into a residential treatment program, the first week of recovery should be reserved solely for focusing on the individual. This means staying disconnected from family, friends, and, yes, even work. However, the right recovery center will stay connected for the individual in case anything comes up that is essential for addressing. The right recovery center will also take into account the work wants and needs of that individual moving forward. It is important to remember that healthy whole-body treatment should always be individualized. This includes being individualized to one’s work needs.
Staying Connected With Work While in Recovery
Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are open to individuals having access to phones and digital devices after their first week of treatment. We understand that the stressors of not being connected to certain high-profile positions can do more harm than good when it comes to healing at the cellular level.
Also, we believe that the tools and skills acquired while at our 30-acre luxury recovery center can be utilized for workplace growth as soon as they are acquired. Having access to phones and devices can help implement these changes as soon as possible. Of course, these tools of recovery also travel back and improve the workplace.
Whole-Body Treatment and Taking the Tools of Recovery Back to the Workplace
Many of the tools and skills learned in recovery are fully capable of being incorporated into the workplace after treatment. This is especially true of the tools and skills that are associated with whole-body treatment, particularly mindfulness techniques and practices.
Three whole-body practices can be especially beneficial when reinvigorating the workplace and helping the workplace recover from the negative effects of addiction. These practices involve meditation, journaling, and yoga.
Whole-Body Treatment: Acquiring a Yoga Practice
The most highly regarded yoga text is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is like a guidebook toward enlightenment through various “asanas” (body postures). In it, the author and Yogi guide, Patanjali, states, “Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” This is one of the primary goals of yoga: “calmness.” A goal that can certainly be beneficial in the workplace, especially in workplaces that are high-profile, highly engaged, and exceptionally energetic.
Of course, calmness is not the only benefit that yoga has to offer. According to the International Journal of Yoga, “Regular practice of yoga promotes strength, endurance, flexibility and facilitates characteristics of friendliness, compassion, and greater self-control while cultivating a sense of calmness and well-being. Sustained practice also leads to important outcomes such as changes in life perspective, self-awareness, and an improved sense of energy to live life fully and with genuine enjoyment.” Also, “The practice of yoga produces a physiological state opposite to that of the flight-or-fight stress response and with that interruption in the stress response, a sense of balance and union between the mind and body can be achieved.”
It should not be a stretch to see the positive effects that yoga can have on the workplace. Also, there are many ways to bring yoga into the workplace. Perhaps the individual wants to keep their practice private once they leave treatment, which is, of course, fine and will be highly beneficial. But there are also many great instructors and companies that can bring yoga sessions right into the workplace. When an entire staff begins a yoga practice, the energy in the office can become much healthier. This energy also equates to productivity and profitability. Another mindfulness practice that can be helpful in the workplace is journaling.
Whole-Body Treatment: Continuing to Journal Post-Recovery Center
Journaling can be an essential component of anyone’s continued long-term recovery. It has countless benefits, and those benefits can be transferred into the workplace to create a healthier, more secure, and open space.
According to the 2022 peer-reviewed article, Efficacy of Journaling in the Management of Mental Illness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, “Journaling is an adjunct low-cost, low-side effect therapy that can help family physicians in the management of common mental health symptoms that is supported by randomized controlled trials as summarized in this systematic review with meta-analysis. While study quality is overall low, the cost-benefit ratio is in favor of family physicians advocating for the use of this modality as an adjunct to other therapies for common mental health conditions.” Now, even though journaling’s benefits are known, many people may have trouble connecting how journaling can help in the workplace.
Offering time to journal or even holding a seminar on its benefits can be a prime way to help individuals in the workplace utilize this practice to bring some mindfulness into their position. Employers and employees who are more mindful are also employers and employees who make fewer mistakes, are open to more creativity and innovation, and are more motivated to achieve greater goals. Another “low-cust, low-side effect therapy” that can help create a better workplace is the mindfulness practice of meditation.
Whole-Body Treatment: Continuing to Meditate Post-Recovery Center
One of the most disruptive things that can happen to a workplace after someone returns from treatment is that they relapse. While everything may have gotten back on track for a while, a relapse can turn everything upside down again, and it can even create more disruption because it gets closer to the point when more drastic measures like termination and/or restructuring may have to be taken.
However, there are ways that can better ensure that a relapse is less likely. One of these ways is via meditation. According to the peer-reviewed article, Mindfulness Meditation in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms and Clinical Implications, “Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness training [AKA meditation] can target these neurocognitive mechanisms to produce significant therapeutic effects on SUDs and prevent relapse… Mindfulness practice may also ameliorate hedonic dysregulation and thereby reduce the risk of relapse. By practicing mindfulness to savor everyday pleasant activities, an individual in recovery from a SUD can self-generate feelings of contentment, relaxation, and joy.”
While an individual practice is critical, also offering time for mediation for others in the workplace can be extremely beneficial for the entire work environment. Mediation can also help with centering and goal creation, which can be essential elements for the continued success of a company or individual career.
Healing at the Cellular Level With Exclusive Hawaii Rehab
Here on the Hamkua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, we have a saying that goes, “A’a i ka hula, waiho i ka maka’u i ka hale.” Translated, this means that we must put everything on the table and dare to dream big. This way of thinking makes us thrive in life and can also make us thrive in the workplace.
Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we don’t believe in recovery that will keep us from “getting worse.” No, we believe in recovery that will make us better than we ever thought possible. That is what we offer here on the Big Island: a spirit that can then be carried away to enliven the workplace and make everyone thrive and grow together.
For many, one of the most stressful aspects of treatment is leaving work behind as they begin their recovery. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab caters to working professionals and is here to help clients make sure that their work life doesn’t suffer while they are in treatment, which is why we support and approve of the use of phones and digital devices while at the recovery center. If you feel like you are struggling with issues of mental illness and/or addiction and your work life is suffering as a result, we can help. For more information on how recovery can positively affect the workplace, please reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.