Addiction Recovery and the Relaxation Response
In the last few decades several traditional mind-body protocols have been studied for addiction recovery. Studies using mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation or yoga have been the most popular. In all of these cases, the Relaxation Response is activated.
A simple, free and easy alternative to these traditional mind-body protocols are the open protocols of the Simple Protocol and the Benson-Henry Protocol. The section below shows some of the advantages of these open protocols.
Advantages of Using Open Protocols for Addiction Recovery
A Simpler Way to Overcome the Stress of Addiction
Scientific studies have shown that an increase in our stress response is connected to addictive behaviors. Scientific studies using open protocols for the Relaxation Response have been shown to counter the stress response. Therefore, it makes sense to use and study open protocols for addiction recovery.
Open protocols can be refined more easily than traditional protocols. Traditional protocols may have complex or hidden teachings. Traditional protocols are often linked to belief systems and cultures. The complexity or belief system may lead to constraints on learning or changing the protocol.
However, open protocols are simple. Open protocols are focused more on what will just work in reducing stress, improving health, and overcoming addiction. Open protocols can be easily understood and modified as needed. Open protocols can continue to be modified until the goal of stopping or at least decreasing the addictive behavior is reached.
Good for 12 Step Programs
It has also been shown that 12 step programs are better overall than therapy for addiction recovery. One of the main ideas of 12 step programs is finding a "higher power", or "God as we understand God". Different traditions usually have their own concept of this higher power. Therefore, if someone in a 12 step program has a different concept of a higher power than what is supported by one of the traditions, then there could be some discomfort or mental conflict during recovery. The person using the 12 step program may not be able to take advantage of the traditional practice because of this discomfort. As a result, the person using the 12 step program may not experience the healing power of the Relaxation Response.
This is where open protocols can be quite helpful. Open protocols make no assumption about someone's higher power. Open protocols should therefore be comfortable for people working a 12 step program who may not feel comfortable with traditional protocols or who just want the freedom to explore the Relaxation Response on their own in a more open or scientific manner.
The 12 step program is the most widely used program for addiction recovery. Therefore, having a greater awareness of open protocols for addiction recovery can be a major benefit for many people.