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Rehab Centers That Offer Biophysical Treatment

Dr. Gerardo Sison

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gerardo Sison

April 1, 2019

Drug and alcohol use exerts a toxic overload on the body’s delicate balance which can cause damage to various systems and processes throughout a person’s entire being. In order to treat damage that is done on the cellular level, some rehabs offer biophysical treatment to address all levels of addiction treatment.

As the chemical burden in your body rises from the onslaught from the drugs or alcohol, so do the effects to your body. The toxicity that occurs can, after a certain period of substance abuse, cause dangerous and sometimes long-lasting damage.

Generally, when people think of this, they think of things such as the numerous illness and diseases that may result from heavy substance abuse. These things are without a doubt very serious concerns, but beyond that, there is a more hidden risk and underlying problem that may fuel an individual’s struggle to remain sober and put them at a higher risk for relapsing back to substance abuse.

Are Drugs Stored In Your Body Even After You Quite Using?

Yes, with some drugs, heavy drug use will actually leave residual traces of the substance within a person’s body, specifically within their fat storage, even after their use has ceased. As your body strives to protect itself against the influx of toxins a drug introduces into your system, your body recognizes that the typical elimination systems, such as the liver, cannot handle this load alone; due to this, the body shifts some of these chemicals past the body’s fat cells where they continue to reside.

Initially, this is beneficial to the body as it protects it from more immediate damage to certain organs; however, for those contending with an addiction and seeking recovery, it can become a stumbling block down the road. As these deposits are slowly released into the body via the bloodstream, a person may continue, or begin again, to experience physical and mental cravings ranging from low to severe. This can be exacerbated by intense physical exercise.

While these stored drugs are released into the body, a person can experience what is essentially a reactivation of the same neurotransmitters within the brain that had been impacted by the drug use when it was current. This can cause a person to feel stimulated again in a capacity that is similar to and reminds them of their past use; it is this “flashback” that can begin the cycle afresh, causing them to begin craving the drug and even the lifestyle again.

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Due to this, a person may also experience mood swings or impairment of their cognitive functioning. In addition to the cravings, these things may further frustrate and push a person towards their past substance abuse as they consider trying to self-medicate to alleviate the symptoms.

Within your body, tissues that are high-fat take a longer amount of time to turn over or regenerate. This is why a person may continue to, or begin to experience these things a significant amount of time after drug use has ceased. This has been known to occur within the months following the initial sobriety, but some claim that it can happen for years, or even decades. Left untreated, these cravings could even trigger a relapse.

An article in Forensic Science International (FSI) spoke of this phenomenon; the study centered around experiments performed on adipose (fatty) tissue that was collected post-mortem from individuals that had died from drug-related deaths. It stated that “qualitative and quantitative analysis on extracts of adipose tissue and skin were performed… in all cases, the adipose tissue was found to contain drugs at concentrations lower than, approximately equal to, or even greater than the concentrations of the same analytes found in the blood, which may reflect a consequence of long-term chronic exposure, or acute intoxication, or some combination of both.” Cocaine and heroin were two drugs that were found to be present at this time.

It is for that reason, when a person seeks help and desires recovery, that the detoxification process is as in-depth and complete as possible in order to alleviate and mend any damage that has occurred from the substance abuse or addiction.

What Is Biophysical Treatment?

An addiction causes physical dependence. Various chemical and biochemical processes have been altered by the addiction and onslaught of the drug on the body. Your liver and kidneys are the two organs at the forefront of detoxification, and sadly, these are two that are also most commonly overwhelmed and overburdened by substance abuse, to the extent that it impairs the body’s ability to regulate this important process properly. Biophysical treatment allows your body to regain balance so that these systems may once again function properly and protect and grant your body wellness.

Biophysical treatment has been around for nearly forty years; it is based on the premise that in order for long lasting sobriety to occur, treatment must occur on a mental, physical, and cellular level. The World Health Organization speaks of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Biophysical treatment seeks to not only to create an absence of substance abuse (sobriety), but to instill the mindsets and practices that are necessary for a person to have an optimal state of health for the entirety of their life.

If this happens, and a body is cleansed and detoxified on a cellular level, it is proposed that the physical and even mental cravings will virtually cease.

The biophysical treatment module is a non-traditional, non-twelve-step, holistic approach; instead of adhering to the more conventional theory that addiction is a life-long battle, and recovery a never-ending journey, it believes one can beat addiction for good. Biophysical treatment facilities have some of the highest success rates. This method employs the perspective that addiction can be permanently cured, in many cases indefinitely, through this treatment. These alternative rehabilitation programs generally last around 90 days, allowing ample time to treat the physical and mental demands of a person.

The first half of treatment focuses on the physical aspects; for a recovery to be successful, a person must have enough time to properly progress through detoxification and withdrawal, with the support and knowledge the trained rehabilitation staff offers.

The second half focuses on the more emotive aspects and mental health concerns. Again, this occurs in a non-twelve-step way that recognizes that a person is the entirety of their parts. Instead of just treating one facet of a person, this methodology recognizes that a person is complex and their mental and emotional states are based off of each other and revolve around the sum total of their experiences.

These issues may underlie the greater problem—their substance abuse; a trained mental health practitioner can help you examine these situations and your potential triggers and achieve a clarity of mind, paired with the resolve and skills that are needed to contend with your life and achieve permanent, lasting sobriety.

What Methods Does Biophysical Treatment Utilize?

This treatment does not utilize any medications or drug-replacement therapies as substitutes within its protocol. For those who do not feel comfortable substituting a legal drug as treatment for an illegal, or even an abused prescription medication, this can be an appealing benefit. Instead, it uses the following approaches to facilitate this process and bring about health and recovery.

Light Exercise: Exercise helps to release the toxins that are stored in the fatty tissues. Certain exercise stimulates your lymphatic system; in fact, the lymphatic system only works from movement and exercise. This system is comprised of a network of blood vessels that run throughout the body. A substance called “lymph” runs throughout; this fluid carries nutrition to the cells that reside within it—additionally, it also carries cellular waste and toxins to and from the bloodstream so they may be eliminated.

For these reasons, exercise is a pertinent part of a biophysical regime; cells are granted nutrients to repair themselves from the damage incurred from the substance abuse, the toxic waste is carried away, and the person has increased endorphin production which will further increase their well-being. Light exercise is stressed, because if an individual overdoes it and exercises too rigorously, they may in actuality release too many toxins too fast, thus overwhelming their body. The staff at a facility that specializes in biophysical treatment are trained in the exercises that work best to enable this important cleansing process.

Nutritional Supplements: Substance abuse and addiction depletes your body of essential nutrients, vitamins, amino and fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which are elemental to health, wellness, and recovery. Many of these may be bolstered by a supplement. It is import, prior to taking any supplement, to consult with a trained medical professional, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions or are taking any medications.

Counseling: Your mental and emotional health have likely been severely compromised by your substance abuse; in fact, there may have even been preexisting conditions such as depression or anxiety that fueled or precipitated your use in the first place.

Engaging in behavioral health sessions can help you to understand these factors and gain the skills and understanding that is necessary to contend with these potential triggers, situations, and relationships as you strive towards recovery, and also for the upkeep after you achieve it.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that “addiction counseling works by first helping the client recognize the existence of a problem and the associated irrational thinking. Next, the client is encouraged to achieve and maintain abstinence and then develop the necessary psychosocial skills and spiritual development to continue in recovery lifelong.” This perspective and support, paired with the biophysical detox, lends a person the tools and platform they need to live an addiction-free life.

Education: A person will become educated on substance abuse, mental health, nutrition, proper exercise methodology, and practices and life skills to encourage positive thinking.

Medical Sauna Procedure: This treatment may not be for everyone, as there are some people who may have certain medical conditions including, but not limited to liver failure, kidney disease, or cardiac conditions. If you have any present health concerns, or a negative medical history, please speak to a physician before engaging in this treatment. For anyone beginning this, it is important to start slow; start at a lower temperature for shorter intervals of time, gradually increasing both. It is safest if you are not alone within the sauna.

A fair amount of research suggests that sweating can be very beneficial towards the pursuit of detoxification as it facilitates the expulsion of toxins; it may also lower blood pressure and elevate stress as it relaxes the mind, two things that may be helpful to those in recovery.

All of the above can be beneficial to anyone striving towards recovery. Some even claim to feel more rested and energized after a biophysical detox than they have in years. Not only will these practices help you as you detox and work towards sobriety, but they can be useful in helping you to maintain your sobriety in the years that follow.

Please remember that each person and their circumstances are unique; there is a wide variety of rehabilitation programs out there today, and for that reason it is important to ask questions and do research so that you can find the one that is right for you.

Take Control Of Your Addiction Today

Do you desire to have a clean body and a healthy mind? Is your substance abuse or addiction taking its toll on your life? Have you a tried a program before and found yourself relapsing? If you have these concerns, or if you have any questions on this or any other form of rehabilitation, please allow us to assist you today so we can help you find a program that serves your needs. Reach out to us at and start a healthy new life.

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