At Journey, we carefully blend traditional forms of therapy with holistic approaches, understanding that some types of treatment will resonate with some clients, while others will not. For clients who want to explore non-traditional, spiritual approaches to recovery, Journey provides an exercise in mindfulness within the hot, healing confines of a traditional sweat lodge.
Led once a month by a Native American elder, the sweat lodge ceremony is an opportunity to explore the effects of quiet meditation and reflection while experiencing the cleansing properties of heat and steam. As a result of time spent in a sweat lodge, many report having gained profound insight into the nature of their addiction, as well as the clarity and desire to recover. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
What Is a Sweat Lodge?
A sweat lodge is a dome-shaped structure fashioned from the branches of young trees and covered with animal hides or other natural materials. At the beginning of the ceremony and at set intervals, hot stones that have been heated outside will be placed in a pit inside the lodge. Throughout the ceremony water is poured over the stones to produce steam, similar to a sauna. The structure is designed to retain heat and steam, allowing participants to experience physical cleansing as their spirits undergo cleansing and detoxification.
In many cases the sweat lodge will be situated next to a water source so that those involved can cool off when they emerge. Some will come out between rounds while others will remain in the lodge for the entirety of the ceremony.
What Happens in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony?
The spiritual ceremony that accompanies the physical experience is integral to the process of personal healing and self-discovery, and the components of it have been passed down through tribe leaders or acknowledged elders. The ritual will vary somewhat between tribes, but through prayer and song, the natural spirits acknowledged by Native American tradition and the dignity of the human participants are honored.
The ceremony includes a series of rounds or sessions, typically 30 to 45 minutes in length. The number of rounds is unique to the particular tribe, but four is common. Each session has a particular focus and its own set of prayers and chants. As the lodge warms and the prayers and sayings are recited, participants begin to find clarity and focus.
The Benefits a Sweat Lodge Experience
Native Americans believe the sweat lodge tradition to be healing, cleansing and detoxifying, not only to the body but to the mind and soul as well. As we get caught up in life we lose touch with our true selves and what we really need in order to be well. In Native American culture, the sweat lodge is used to help the individual reconnect with the self for healing, and can help in breaking the bondage of addiction or other unhealthy habits.
The elements of the ceremony are designed to promote oneness with the self, the other participants and humanity, as the barriers that separate individuals from their true selves and others are intentionally set aside. In this way the ceremony is both a personal journey of self-discovery and a collective experience of unity and harmony. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
How Can a Sweat Lodge Experience Enhance Addiction Treatment and Recovery?
The sweat lodge is intended to be a haven of safety and acceptance where participants can seek personal healing while getting in touch with themselves and the emotional and spiritual struggles that may be contributing to their addictive behaviors. As the participant gains clarity and personal awareness, he or she may be able to begin letting go of past trauma, resentment, shame and fear. The sweat lodge ceremony provides an experience that is not only cleansing and clarifying, but also a rehabilitation option beyond traditional talk therapy.