Meditation for Alcoholism Therapy: Its Effectiveness

Meditation for alcoholism has a long tradition. It has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation (MED) long been linked with Eastern religion and philosophy.


I.   Meditation

II.  Effectiveness of Meditation for Alcoholism

III. Resources

I. Meditation

meditation for alcoholismSome people practice it to help deepen their understanding of what they consider to be the sacred and mystical forces of life. Many use it for increasing their level of calmness and physical relaxation. Others use it for improving psychological balance. Some use it for coping with problems. Perhaps most use it for enhancing overall health and well-being. It appears that meditation for alcoholism as a therapy might be effective

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that there are many forms of MED. Most have four things in common.

    1. Use of a quiet place with few or no distractions.
    2. A comfortable but specific position.
    3. A focus of attention. (A word, object the sensations of breath.)
    4. An open attitude. (Not judging distractions as they come and go.)1

A common goal is to achieve a relaxed state of being and inner peace. The procedure is easy to learn and can be performed virtually anywhere. This could make it easy to do meditation for alcoholism.

     Ways to Meditate

The ways to MED can include, among others.2

Guided MED involves forming mental images of relaxing places or situations. It uses as many senses as possible. This is sometimes called guided imagery or visualization.

Mantra MED involves silently repeating a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.

Mindfulness MED involves an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. The goal is broaden conscious awareness by focusing on what is experienced during meditation, such as the flow of breath.

Qi gong generally involves combining meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises.

Tai chi involves performing a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.

Transcendental MED involves silently repeating a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way.

Yoga involves performing a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a flexible body and a calm mind.

II. Effectiveness of Meditation for Alcoholism

There is some evidence that MED may be useful in these ways.

    • Reducing stress.
    • Improving sleep.
    • Relieving distress.
    • Reducing anger and hostility.
    • Improving coping ability.
    • Lowering blood pressure.
    • Reducing the perception of pain.

The evidence is not good about any value of MED for smoking cessation. Nor is is good regarding meditation for alcoholism.

     Potential Problems with Yoga

Meditation for alcoholism can be practiced with yoga. But yoga can cause medical problems. In other cases, it may  make them worse.

    • Torn ligaments.
    • Back injuries.
    • Degenerative arthritis.
    • Damage to major nerves.
    • Headaches.
    • Spinal stenosis.meditation for alcoholism
    • Thoracic outlet syndrome.
    • Torn muscles.
    • Strokes
    • Torn retinas.
    • Knee injuries.
    • Torn arteries in the neck.
    • “Yoga foot drop.”3

Before beginning to practice yoga, many people choose to discuss the matter with their doctor.

III. Resources


1. Nat Cent Comp Inte Health. Meditation.
2. Mayo Clinic. MED.
3. Broad, W. The Science of Yoga. The Risks and the Rewards.

    • This site gives no advice.