The Wedge Garden treatment centre’s occupational therapy (OT) department is expanding the mindfulness sessions it holds every morning with the recovering addicts in its care, by implementing more active-meditative, mindfulness practices.
Active-meditation can be more grounded and comfortable for people who are new to mindfulness as the process can feel a lot less daunting and demanding. Currently, the OT department engages in predominately still, silent meditation with the patients, with yoga once a week. The hope is to enrich the mindfulness programme with a walking labyrinth to introduce the patients to the multiple ways in which a person can practice new skills.
Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. “Numerous research studies support the benefits of practicing mindfulness, with the most pertinent benefit being that of developing the ability to self-regulate: train attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control, thereby fostering general mental well-being,” says Kendra Neethling, who heads up the centre’s OT department.
“Researchers theorise that mindfulness lessens stress and enhances working memory. These cognitive gains, in turn, help people better control and regulate emotional responses to events.
“These skills are exceptionally useful for individuals facing today’s challenges, and within an addiction rehabilitation centre like Wedge Gardens, they can be the foundation to preventing relapse,” says Kendra.
The OT department was recently in touch with Pebbles for Africa and have been fortunate enough to receive a discounted rate on large rocks that will help form the border of the labyrinth.
“However, we need to secure the funds to complete the project and as such, I ask anyone interested in helping to please contact me. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated – and recognised – on completion of the project.
“Your help can change lives!”
* Wedge Gardens can be reached at 011 430 0320. You can also ‘like’ Wedge Gardens on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WedgeGardensTreatmentCentre) or follow them on Twitter (@WedgeGardens)