Health Education & Practice
In assessing all aspects of your health and wellbeing our dietician will review your eating and nutritional habits and, working with the Chef, will come up with a plan tailored to your needs. The aim is for you to develop good nutrition and eating habits which you can practice and then take with you into your life beyond treatment.
Evidence is steadily accumulating that emphasises the importance of good sleep. We know that mood is affected by the quality of sleep and regulation of mood plays a key part in addiction. Poor sleep also has an effect on general health. Having understood any problems you may have with sleep, we will help you to incorporate beneficial, sleep-friendly behaviours into your personal routine.
If we are to judge according the World Health Organisation’s benchmark, around two-thirds of the adult population in developed nations are generally not getting enough sleep; enough being an average of eight hours of sleep a night.
It was not until fairly recently that the effects of this lack of sufficient sleep have been well understood. The consequences turn out to be potentially severe.
For those people who don’t manage to get six or seven hours of sleep, the immune system takes a significant hit making them more prone to illness.
Inadequate sleep is implicated in a number of other major ailments, including heart disease and stroke as well as in mental ill health and accidents that may even prove fatal.
We have also come to understand that a lack of sleep may lead to use of substances, a response which may become problematic. We know also that use of substances can themselves interfere with healthy sleep patterns.
Apart from wishing to ensure that patients are restored to overall wellbeing, the quality of sleep has become a necessary concern of addiction treatment providers because problems with sleeping have been found to affect the way a person engages in treatment.
Feeling tired or even exhausted for too long a period may lead to the person quickly resorting to the substance use that brought them to treatment.
At Clinic Les Alpes we will want, with you, to assess your sleep patterns and its effects and to collaborate on finding ways for you to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
This will increase your chances of obtaining benefit not just from sleep itself but from the other aspects of treatment.
The old saying about a healthy body contributing to a healthy mind has a lot of truth to it. Fitness is an important resource when it comes to sustaining recovery. There are plenty of opportunities at Clinic Les Alpes for you to improve your level of physical fitness:
- Outdoor exercise and adventure
- Fitness room
Stress management is about balancing the demands we allow to be placed on us or that we place upon ourselves and our fitness to cope with those demands. Excessive demands threaten fitness. Inadequate fitness intensifies the demands.
Anyone who has become involved with addiction will be no stranger to stress. Addiction is stressful almost by definition.
The person with the addiction and the people relating closely to them will experience a great deal of stress – or strictly speaking, distress – in one way or another.
As indicated, addiction is inherently stressful from a psycho-emotional perspective because at its centre is the futile struggle to control the uncontrollable. On top of that is piled the stress placed directly on the body and brain by a variety of ingested chemicals and/or behaviours.
People who relate closely to colleagues, friends and loved ones suffering from addiction will have a similar experience of stress because of the persistent collateral harm but also in many cases due to the way in which they relate to that person. So often the struggle to control the uncontrollable is played out in these relationships; the person standing in for the substance or behaviour.
Harmful stress results from an unbalanced interplay between stressors and the capacity to cope with them. The stressors can be thought of as the demands placed upon the system and its resources and the capacity is the degree of fitness that system has to cope with those demands without breaking down.
The quantity and quality of demands must be considered. As demands increase and/or intensify the capacity to deal with them can reduce, especially if fitness is neglected or abused.
If fitness decreases, the valence or weight of charge of the demands inevitably increases. This is why stress management requires attention to both sides of the scale. Reduce the quantity and intensity of the demands while increasing the fitness and therefore the capacity to cope with them.
Improving fitness requires a holistic approach that encompasses the wellbeing of body, mind and spirit. Demands include what is asked of you by others or by circumstances. They also include what you ask of yourself, which may be conscious and recognised or unconscious and perhaps with origin in early life.
Recovery from addiction involves working, preferably with support, on achieving a manageable balance between fitness and demands that begins with an honest personal reassessment of both.
The Serenity Prayer often recited by those who participate in the anonymous 12-Step fellowships may not have been written as such but it is a naturally compelling stress management aid. The word God can be used or not as preferred.
(God) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
Its quiet recital can help in all manner of futile and debilitating struggles.
We make available a variety of materials in written or recorded form that provide useful insight in to addiction and recovery and perspectives on how to move from one to other, as well as how to maintain that direction.
We provide talks in person or on screen or by audio on aspects of recovery.
Smoking tobacco is one of the most damaging addictions, particularly in its wide-ranging and long-term impact on health of individuals as well as on passive smokers.
While we permit smoking in certain designated areas only, it is essential to offer the opportunity and the support to give up smoking. Being in an addiction clinic with all the resources it has to offer is perhaps an ideal time to quit.
We have perfect spaces and instructors for you to start meditation and mindfulness sessions if helpful for you.
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP)
MBRP is a novel treatment approach developed at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours.
The programme is designed to bring practices of mindful awareness to individuals who have suffered from the addictive tendencies. MBRP practices are intended to foster increased awareness of triggers, destructive patterns, and “automatic” reactions.
The mindfulness practices in MBRP are designed to help individuals to pause, observe present experience, and bring awareness to the range of choices before acting in every moment. The program makes them learn to respond in ways that serves them, instead of reacting in ways that are detrimental. The aim is working towards freedom from deeply ingrained and often very harmful habits.
Similar to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for depression, MBRP is designed as an aftercare program integrating mindfulness practices and principles with cognitive-behavioural relapse prevention.
The primary goals of MBRP are:
- Develop awareness of personal triggers and habitual reactions, and learn ways to create a pause in this automatic process.
- Change the relationship to discomfort, learning to recognize challenging emotional and physical experiences and responding to them in skilful ways.
- Foster a non-judgmental, compassionate approach toward ourselves and our experiences.
- Build a lifestyle that supports both mindfulness practice and recovery.
The MBRP program is not in conflict with the 12-Step approach. There is more in common between the two approaches like emphasizing acceptance, letting go, and the value attributed to meditation / prayer.
In addition, the MBRP approach incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention, which focus on building the individual’s capacity to cope, and on increasing self-efficacy.
Besides help with the psychological aspects of stress management, the Clinic Les Alpes’ Medical Spa offers a variety of physical therapies including:
- Swimming pool with panoramic view
“Serenity” is the name given to a quite extraordinary space carved out of the mountain side with spectacular mountain views and is reached only by a tunnel from the treatment level. It is a place in which to meditate, reflect quietly, rest or partake of Light Therapy.