Integrative Healing Approaches for Drug Treatment and Recovery
Since time immemorial, people have been using various methods in health treatment. Most patients undergo a medicinal treatment since drugs is the major form of treating patients. However, there are also other methods of treatment referred to as integrative healing approaches for drug treatment and recovery. These approaches include the use of color, chakras, sound, humor, or meditation. The usage of these approaches has witnessed significant improvements in some patients as they enhance the medicinal treatment. Numerous researchers have found that these methods greatly better patients’ outcomes. The study seeks to discuss the usage of the above integrative healing approaches for drug treatment and recovery.
Primarily, color may significantly help a patient during the process of recovery. Color in the environment of a patient is crucial as it has psychological and physical effects. Nightingale argues that a variety of brilliance and tones of color in the objects presented to patients are an actual means of assisting patients in recovery. The cortical and hormonal activities, as well as the automatic nervous system, heavily influence the response of the mind and body to color. The main role of color is that it evokes emotional responses that stimulate the production of serenity feelings or agitation. These feelings are responsible for reducing or accelerating stress in a patient. Color also affects an individual’s mood as it can evoke cheerfulness, calmness, or agitation. Most healthcare providers use brilliantly colored flowers or environments as a healing therapy for recovery. For a long time, a number of cultures have been employing color as a healing means. In the ancient Egypt, there were chambers specifically designed to produce a ray of light used to heal the sick (Fitzpatrick & Tusaie, 2013).
On the other hand, assigning different colors to various energy centers of the body comes from the Indian culture. According to Indians, color has electromagnetic energy that influences healing in similar ways sunlight does. For example, chromotherapy is known as a type of alternative medicine that widely uses color in the therapeutic treatment of certain disorders. Additionally, colors are often applied in patients’ rooms to improve the existing natural or artificial light and further contribute to the healing. Specialists recommend using calm colors as they promote rest and healing in intensive care units. These colors include green, blue, and violet. They also act as stress-reducers to the patients. On the contrary, bright colors, such as yellow, red, and orange, induce excitement, can cause fatigue, and increase blood pressure; therefore, they are not recommended for use in hospitals. In addition, painted ceilings in the wards for patients to observe as they are lying in bed also help influence their psychological state. Thus, the use of such ceilings can hasten the patient’s recovery process. Among integrative healing approaches for drug treatment and recovery, color is the most effective one.
Chakra is an Indian word that means a spinning wheel of energy in the human body. It is believed that seven major chakras directly affect the body’s mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional self. Each of them performs specific functions in the organism of a human being. If a chakra is defective, it cannot manifest itself properly; nor can it receive energy in a normal way. Therefore, if a person has defective chakras, he or she will feel emotional and physical closedown. When someone is lonely and depressed, their heart chakra recedes in their chest. On the other hand, if a chakra appears to be excessive, it overworks the heart to the point that it does not operate normally. The same way, if someone has an excessive throat chakra, they have the tendency to speak much and are unable to listen effectively. If he/she has the deficiency of the chakra, difficulties and restraints this person has during communication are evident (Gellman & Turner, 2013).
There are various chakras in the body of a human being. The first chakra is aligned with the spine and found near the coccyx. The excess or deficiency of this chakra affects grounding and stability, survival instincts and the skeletal structure. This chakra is highly affected by abuses and traumas or poor bonding with the mother. There are various yoga poses that can be used to correct these chakra imbalances, bringing back the bodies of the patients to normal condition and helping them experience safety. The second chakra is Svadisthana, which refers to hips, genitals, and the sacrum. It controls all watery processes in the human body, such as circulation, menstruations, orgasms, and urination among others.
The third chakra three can be found above the navel at the solar plexus. Deficiency or excess of this chakra can be a result of the abuse and trauma of shaming or domination of will, while physical abuse can cause ulcers, hyperactivity, poor sense of self, attraction to sedatives and eat disorders. Yoga offers solutions to help people to listen to their body’s needs and to help nourish the body with the aid of the appropriate practices that produce more energy or provide relaxation. By ensuring that this chakra is balanced, the patient gets back to normal life. The fourth chakra, which is the heart, opens and helps one experience harmony and peace. The other chakras are connected with the throat, third eye, and crown of the head. Taking this into account, one can say that the chakras techniques are useful in integrative healing approaches for drug treatment and recovery for patients by incorporating yoga practices. These techniques help to supplement the drug treatment prescribed to patients.
In addition to creating conducive environments for healing, usage of sound or music therapy can help patients in recovering. Some sounds in the patient’s environment may cause negative responses. However, the use of therapeutic sound demonstrates that not all sounds negatively affect patients. Moreover, certain rhythmic patterns of music have significant positive effects on the human psychophysiology. For example, some sounds can calm and even soothe the pain. Music or sound therapy is classified as a noninvasive nursing intervention, which is used as an adjunct to medical therapy. Music that is used rhythmically with even pulses that duplicate the normal heart beat of a patient under medication has a calming and healing effect. Music therapy can be used to harmonize or bring back a patient’s body rhythm by synchronizing it. Entertainment takes place with synchronization of two musical elements to vibrate at the same sound frequency. Music with relaxing beats and coordinated body moves provokes a decrease in the metabolic, respiratory, and pulse rates, as well as reducing the rates of blood pressure and oxygen consumption.
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Numerous studies support the idea that the impacts of music on the people with various diseases can be critical. For instance, adjunctive music therapy positively influences respiratory and heart rate, as well as the anxiety levels. In addition, the incorporation of music therapy in the treatment of patients can also decrease their perception of pain. A study in a Swedish hospital indicated that over sixty female patients who were undergoing a gynecological surgery required fewer painkillers when the music therapy was used during the operation. In particular, such traditional music therapy as ‘psychoacoustic therapy’ is an ancient noninvasive nursing intervention. It is comprised of harmonies of therapeutic tones. Natural sounds, such as those of birds, rainfall, water, or waves, when combined with soft classical music, significantly reduce tension and anxiety in patients. It also reduces the anxiety of visitors waiting to see their friends or relatives being examined or operated in the intensive care units.
However, it is unclear whether therapeutic sounds provide distractions or synchronize the body rhythms. They can offer a meaningful stimulus that is responsible for producing harmony and alleviating pain. When using music in nursing intervention, it is important to recognize that not all music can produce an effective result. The act of listening to music evokes different feelings and emotions that are rooted in an individual’s personal experiences. Notably, calm and relaxing music produces the desired anxiolytic results. The use of music as a treatment therapy should adhere to several considerations. Firstly, the music needs to have a link to the nature of geographical background that the patient originates from. Secondly, the linking of the music to the patients’ cultural, economic, educational, and religious characteristics must be taken into consideration as well. In addition, the reaction of a particular patient to the music therapy needs individual consideration. In this light, it is highly advisable to give the patient a sense of respect and control of his/her personal music preferences. Thus, the family members and friends should be able to provide music that would fit the patient’s taste and therefore optimize the effectiveness of music therapy.
Humor and laughter is significantly beneficial for health. They have increasingly gained acceptance in the medical field as an effective form of therapy. Scientific researches have provided conclusive evidence to prove that laughter or humor therapy indeed has significant effects on the well-being of a patient. However, laughter therapy is not time consuming as there are different things that make people laugh. In this light, it has proven to be effective as it does not need too much time and financial resources to administer as compared to other techniques. Therefore, due to its cost-efficiency in patient care, laughter therapy is widely adopted. To distinguish between the two words, humor is the psychological personality quality that substantially varies and allows people to positively respond to various types of stimuli. On the other hand, laughter is the ability to respond psychologically to humor stimuli.
According to Gellman and Turner (2013), the therapeutic effectiveness of laughter has various benefits to patients. First, it leads to direct physiological changes in the immune, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, which has durable beneficial effects to the body. Laughter is beneficial in this model even without humor. For this reason, the more one laughs, the more beneficial it is for their health. Second, laughter leads to more positive emotions, which also has direct benefits. However, in this case, laughter is not as essential as it should be. The desired positive emotions can be achieved through humor, happiness, love, and amusement. Therefore, approaching life through a playful perspective is beneficial to the patient.
Third, laughter improves the patient’s strategies of managing stress and reinforcing personal pain acceptance. These strategies help to reduce the negative impact on health for every person. In this model, laughter may have indirect impacts on a person during non-stressful periods. Lastly, laughter indirectly increases one’s social competency, which, in turn, increases their interpersonal skills. Undeniably, greater levels of social support may improve health. In this model, laughter is not patent as it mainly focuses on the social skills. These seem to be the main potential effects of laughter. The efficacy of health-related benefits of laughter has been reported in a variety of fields of medicine (Fitzpatrick & Tusaie, 2013). These fields include oncology, neurology, dentistry, epidemiology, public health, and anatomy among others. In addition, laughter has numerous physiological benefits. First, laughter exercises and relaxes the body muscles. Second, it increases and strengthens the immune system. In addition, it reduces pain and tolerance in the body of a patient. Lastly, laughter significantly improves respiration.
Over the past years, the use of laughter therapy has proven to be successful in promoting patient care. Mediation refers to the practice of emptying one’s mind of any feelings and thoughts. This practice can help a patient recover as it provides relaxation. There are diverse types of meditation that all work together to quiet the mind and promote mental clarity, as well as relaxation. Such methods as the transcendental meditations have been significantly effective in reducing the rate of relapse. In addition to reducing anxiety and tension, transcendental meditation enhances a sense of control in anxiety-provoking situations that strengthens the future resistance to stress. These mind-and-body practices include various procedures taught by trained personnel. They include yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and chiropractic manipulation (Gellman & Turner, 2013).
Meditation can encompass various aspects of the human life. Firstly, it provides the ability to control attention, which is crucial in everyday life. In its turn, this ability can be used in more complex practices. By trying to focus their attention on particular objects, practitioners learn to monitor their attention and determining the reasons for interruption in this focus. Within a short period, less energy is required to maintain focus, but as time elapses, much more energy is needed. This significantly increases the capacity to monitor attention and sensitivity. Secondly, the meta-cognitive capacity to monitor attention is entirely central to open monitoring, which is responsible for achieving internal and external experiences. Practitioners begin the practices with the focused attention and then gradually shift from monitoring directed attention to the entire monitoring experience (Fitzpatrick & Tusaie, 2013). In this practice, all aspects of monitoring receive similar attention. During meditation, feelings, thoughts, and sensations occur and are observable. However, the practitioner does not engage or react to them. In this light, during an open monitoring session, a practitioner may spontaneously recall an argument they previously had with a friend and compare it to the situation at hand (Fitzpatrick & Tusaie, 2013).
Lastly, in kindness and compassion practices, the practitioner focuses on connecting with others. At the beginning, the practitioner receives training on how to focus on the basic and neutral source and then gradually shifts to phenomena that are more complex. The main goal of this method is to cultivate feelings of closeness and compassion. The forms of this method vary in the identity of the target and achievement of intimacy. Love and kindness are offered to patients regardless of whether they are experiencing good or bad luck. The mediator may attempt to concentrate on their target, as well as the desire to ease the suffering of the victim (Gellman & Turner, 2013).
From the above discussion, color, chakras, sound, laughter, and meditation are integrative measures used to supplement drug treatment. The use of warm colors in the environment of a patient may significantly help in creating a sense of calmness and relaxation, thus enhancing medication. There also needs to be maintained equilibrium of chakras in the body to avoid negative effects that come with either their excess or deficiency. Besides, coordinated and rhythmic sound patterns within the environment of a patient serve to create a feeling of relaxation. This relaxation helps the patient to get over the pain and further enhance their recovery process. What is more, laughter and humor play an integral part in influencing various body activities, such as pulse and respiratory systems. Lastly, meditation serves to help a patient to deeply focus on other aspects of life, and hence reduces the instances of thinking about their conditions.