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Alcoholism refers to addiction to alcohol. It is a chronic disorder, in which a person is unable to refrain from frequent and excess consumption of alcohol for physical or psychological reasons.
The chronic alcoholic first of all must make a firm resolve to stop drinking. He should abstain from alcohol all at once for the habit cannot be got rid of in gradual stages. The most effective way to treat alcoholism is to build the body’s nutritional integrity soaps to prevent craving for stimulants like drinks. The patients should be put on a cleansing juice fast for at least ten days in the beginning. During this period, he should have juice of an orange every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The juice may be diluted with warm water, if desired. If orange juice does not agree, vegetable juices may be taken. Each day while fasting, bowels should be cleansed of effete and poisonous matter thrown off by the self-cleansing process set up by the body. This can be achieved by warm water enema.
During the juice fast, the patient will usually feel no craving for alcohol. This will give a good 10 day start towards breaking the drinking habit and would help remove not only the physical dependence but also the psychological factors. After the initial fast on juices, the optimum diet of vital nutrients is essential. Such a diet should consist of whole grains, cereals, nuts, seeds and sprouts, fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is advisable that in the beginning of the treatment, the patient is given a suitable substitute to relieve the craving if and when such a craving occurs. The best substitute drink for alcohol is a glass of fresh fruit juice, sweetened with honey, if desired. In the alternative, wholesome candy may be taken. The patient should always have easily available juices, candy, or other snacks to be taken between meals if he feels a craving for a stimulant.
All refined foods such as sugar, white rice, macaroni products and white flour and meat should be avoided. The patient should eat several small meals a day in preference to two or three large ones and avoid strong condiments such as pepper, mustard, and chilli. He should not smoke as this will only increase his desire for alcohol.
Apples are considered valuable in the treatment of alcoholism as their use removes intoxication and reduces the craving for wine and other intoxicating liquors. The raw celery juice is also considered helpful. It has a sobering effect and is an antidote to alcohol.
In addition to proper nutrition, plenty of rest and outdoor exercises are necessary. The healthy condition of the appetite centre, which controls the craving for alcohol is improved by exercise. Yogic asans for general health such as padmasan, vajrasan, vakrasan, paschimotanasan, yogamudra, bhuajangasan, halasan and shalabhasana and yogic kriyas like jalneti, kunjal and simple Pranayamas like kapalbhati , anuloma-viloma, shitali and sitkari will be beneficial. Copious drinking of water, hot fomentations on the stomach and abdomen with a wet girdle pack between applications are also effective water treatment for alcoholism.
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