How to overcome addictions: “I know what I’m doing is harming me, but I just can’t seem to stop.”
Over the two decades in which I’ve been working as an Ayurvedic practitioner, I’ve heard this line more than I can count. People often know what healthy choices look like. Even with this knowledge, people can’t stop overeating, having too much sex, shopping, drinking, taking drugs, being on social media, or other behaviors that are damaging their health.
Addictive and compulsive behavior in clients has grown steadily in recent decades. I have seen firsthand how the holistic application of this ancient wisdom of Ayurveda assists people to overcome these challenges.
The power of Ayurveda to overcome addictions is in a practitioner’s ability to see the underlying imbalance, no matter the issue, and apply an appropriate treatment.
Whether it is alcoholism or a condition such as boils, Ayurveda gives us the tools to address the issue on all levels of being.
The five koshas, or bodies, offer multiple levels of healing. It is critical that we address imbalances at each level. The theme of modern culture is: if you cannot see it, then it’s not real; pushing us away from our intangible truth as Spirit.
Ayurveda is built on a foundation of both the subtle and gross levels. This perspective gives us the opportunity to heal on a deeper level.
Addictive behaviors manifest as the klesha of raga, attachment to the material, and to fleeting pleasures. As has been shown repeatedly in society, the grip of the kleshas cannot be broken just by working on the physical and mental bodies. At their root, addiction and compulsive behaviors are the results of a disconnection from one’s personal power. Feeling disempowered leaves many people in a cycle of insecurity and shame that causes them to seek relief through external sources.
In order to break this cycle, a process of rediscovering their personal power is necessary. A process that is based on their ability to see what they can and cannot control. It is through alignment with their spiritual Self that they regain this power.
Many practitioners and students of Ayurveda understand this need to address health on a subtle level but lack a modality. Nearly three decades ago, I began working with a system of energetic healing that formed a central part of the foundation of my personal and professional work. I call this Intuitive Energy Practice. Working with the flow of prana as it relates to the koshas, the chakra system, and the aura, the result is a release of energetic pictures that keep people stuck in ways of being that no longer serve them.
Intuitive Energy Practiceconsists of a set of simple tools that anyone can use. The focus is on opening blocked channels and releasing energies that are not aligned with the individual’s truth; energies that may be directing their lives.
Intuitive Energy Practice offers the power to bring incredible results for clients struggling with addiction and compulsion. I have witnessed beautiful transformations over the decades of teaching these tools in combination with pranayama, meditation, and changes in diet/lifestyle, through personal consultation, workshops, and week-long immersions.
In the same way, the physical body holds ama, toxins, that prevent a person from achieving true health, the subtle bodies hold energies that create the same obstacles. Ayurveda gives us the ability to approach healing on all levels of being, and we need to address both the tangible and intangible bodies with equal regard.
Addressing the health of the whole being allows us to reclaim the truly holistic nature of Ayurveda – body, mind, and spirit.