Meditation Therapy

Meditation Therapy

APEX Rehab

It’s our belief that exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body. That’s why daily meditation is a part of our holistic addiction treatment. Whether guided by one of our therapists, joining in on group meditation or meditating solo, we provide a calming, beautiful environment in which to clear the mind. As part of our integrative treatment programs, meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and helps patients focus more clearly on their end goal: recovery.

Daily meditation is useful in all stages of recovery. During rehab, it can improve the patient’s clarity of mind and give them more control over their emotions. Early rehab is a sensitive time, when the body and the mind alike are struggling to get used to a life without alcohol or substances. For physiological and psychological reasons, the thoughts and emotions of a patient can feel as if they were on a roller-coaster.

Meditation is about mindfulness. That means directing one’s attention to their body and mind in the present moment. It is about being aware of and paying attention to one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in an accepting, non-judgmental way. That is a new skill for a recovering addict for two reasons – addiction is for the most part a method of running away from one’s body and mind and secondly, addicts have to learn to accept what they think and feel.

APEX Rehab is one of the addiction treatment centers in San Diego that boasts beautiful surroundings filled with fresh air and lush greenery which promote meditation. Our meditation experts will guide every patient and provide ample opportunity to experience the gamut of benefits offered by meditation.

Meditation is part of holistic healing. First off, the breathing aspect raises the level of oxygen in the body, which is good for the immune system and the heart. It also causes the blood pressure to drop, which is important for former cocaine users, for example, whose addiction is very likely to cause heart issues.

Individuals who are going through a rehab for abusing prescription medication could greatly benefit from meditation in the way that they can learn how to manage pain effectively without substances.

Meditation also teaches concentrating on the signals our body and mind are sending us, which is an important skill that guards against giving in to cravings. What is also helpful is that it teaches how to manage stress.

All these skills have been found to contribute positively to how the recovering addict deals with life challenges and those specific to their recovery, but some also report that meditation helps them function better in relationships and the community.


Meditation Therapy

Outdoor Program

Outdoor Program

APEX Rehab

The mild climate of Southern California makes APEX Rehab in San Diego the perfect location for addiction treatment. In addition to conventional therapies, we offer an outdoor program for our alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego, which allows patients to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings of the area. From beach outings to nature hikes and more, our holistic care offers the perfect mix of outdoor activities. Getting outside in nature helps patients relax and destress, get much needed vitamin D and get in touch with their spiritual side, all of which aids in their healing.

The healing powers of nature were recognized ages ago. In ancient Japan, there was a practice rooted in the philosophies of Shintoism and Buddhism which literally translated as “forest bathing”. The outdoor therapy as such was formally established toward the end of the seventies with Colorado Outward Bound’s Alcohol and Drug Courses. However, the beginnings were documented somewhere in 1800s, when the psychiatrists working in mental health institutions noticed that their patients were much calmer and more sociable in nature.

Doing some physical activity in the nature is part of holistic healing. Activity improves the level of fitness, lowers stress hormones and increases the levels of oxygen in the blood, all of which contributes to well-being and clarity of mind. Connecting with their thoughts and bodies, patients can process the insights from the more traditional forms of therapy.

Outdoor therapy is interesting not only because of the variety and a change of setting, but also because it uses the natural challenges to allow patients to practice their self-reliance and control. This is something a recovering addict works on in therapy – how to control negative thoughts, how to resist the impulse to start using again and how to trust oneself. Outdoor therapy enables them to experience these notions in a different, hands-on context.

Outdoor activities like hiking, mountain climbing or rock climbing provide a metaphor for the challenge that recovering users are dealing with. Conquering the goal increases self-esteem, which tends to be low with alcohol and substance users.

Outdoor activities have a social element to them, too. Group activities foster teamwork and a sense of community. Feeling closer to the other members of the group, they feel less isolated, which is beneficial for the treatment.  

Spending time outdoors is similar to meditation and yoga in the sense that it can help the individual to find a path of spirituality. The feeling of being one with the nature is difficult to explain, but easy to feel.

Finally, exploring what nature has to offer is a chance for the patient to find something positive to do in their free time. Boredom and a lack of direction easily set the mood for relapse, while outdoor activities can provide a way to fill that time in an affirmative way.    

Outdoor Program

Physical Fitness Therapy

Physical Fitness Therapy

APEX Rehab

Our counselors and therapists encourage patients to get and/or stay active during their treatment. Not only does exercise aid the body in drug and alcohol detoxification; it also relieves stress and anxiety, improves sleep and can ease depression. We provide daily opportunities for our in-patient residents to exercise, either through cardiovascular activities, weight training and/or yoga.

Our treatment programs for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in San Diego start with helping the body get rid of toxins. The physical aspect is the most superficial and the most notable level of addiction. Healing the body at APEX Rehab includes appropriate medication, nutrition and an exercise regimen. Why? Exercise is said to be one of the pillars of health. When people are abusing alcohol and drugs, they generally ignore their health and the state of their body. Exercising helps them restore the physical well-being.

Recreation is also important for the brain physiology. Addiction alters the natural production of chemicals in the brain and disrupts the mechanisms for producing hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel calm or happy. When we exercise, the brain is again encouraged to produce endorphin, which is a “feel good” chemical. At the same time, it lowers the production of cortisol and adrenaline, which are stress hormones. This is the way exercise fights off anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

There is a host of other, indirect benefits to exercising during addiction recovery.

Exercising can fill up the patient’s free time. Once individuals are out of rehab and back to their lives, every day is a battle to stick to sobriety. They need all the help they can get – counseling, psychotherapy, alternative therapies, meditation and exercise. If they have something positive and constructive to do and occupy themselves with, recovering addicts will stay better focused on their recovery. With a well-structured day, they will have less opportunity to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions.

Exercising is also called “meditation in motion” by the Mayo clinic. It’s impossible to keep negative thinking at bay all the time, but it’s best to engage our mind with thoughts when we are exercising. Negativity is naturally released through our activity – at the end of the practice not only do we leave the disturbing thoughts behind, but we are filled with the natural high from endorphin.

Exercise gives the individual opportunities to reconnect with their body and listen to its signals. On the other hand, it is also a chance to socialize. Isolation is an enemy of recovery and drastically reduces the chances of success.

Even though exercise is highly conducive to addiction recovery, it’s important to have a professional who can guide and monitor the patient’s exercise regimen. A qualified and trained professional can assess what plan would suit the patient’s level of fitness and health state and also provide the right amount of challenge. There is a risk of overtraining when former addicts start exercising, because they can become overly enthusiastic. This can result in injuries or them running out of steam – neither of which is desirable. A professional will also monitor the patient’s progress, because the true benefits of recreation can only be reaped through regular commitment.


Physical Fitness Therapy

Art Therapy

Art Therapy

APEX Rehab


In APEX Rehab art therapy, creativity and art-making processes promote healing and encourage the development of insight into life situations and traumatic experiences. It is the stories in the images that help lead the process of healing. An art therapy session begins with the therapist working with the client to create a safe, healing environment and a trusting relationship.


According to the American Art Therapy Association, art is made in this way “within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living”.


Clients are encouraged to use materials such as clay, paint, markers, and other artistic supplies to explore memories, life stories and experiences. This gives the client the opportunity to transform conflicts and crisis into healthy solutions and perspectives.


Creating images is an especially old form of communicating, older than writing. By creating imagery through doodles, and playing with colors and shapes, clients may safely express what is too difficult to talk about. This process facilitates not only the expression of feelings, but addresses how to deal with feelings in the right context – in a way that is not destructive to the individual or others. This can be of singular help in combating the urge to relapse.


The art therapy process teaches clients the skills to manage their emotions and assists in dealing with serious addiction issues such as anger. The concrete nature of art materials and art making naturally enables patients to remain in control of their own processes, thus allowing them to feel a sense of control as they learn to cope with these intense emotions.


Art therapy can be conducted in a group and in that case, it has the added benefit of promoting sharing and closeness. Not only one’s own artwork, but the artwork of other members of the group can bring the individual closer to valuable insights and revelations.   


When it’s done outside group, the creations can be used as an excellent starting point for self-reflection and journaling. It is an additional opportunity for the patient to dig deep into how they are feeling about their past, present and future and the conclusions reached can facilitate the progress in other therapies that seek to change the negative thought patterns and balance accepting painful emotions and working to change them.


It wasn’t until relatively recently that art therapy has been recognized as a valuable and respected form of therapy in clinical context. It is now used not only in addiction recovery centers, but also in mental health institutions, prenatal classes, prisons and grief counseling centers.



Art Therapy

Music Therapy

Music Therapy

APEX Rehab

As integrative practitioners, we believe that healing involves all aspects of mind, body and spirit. In conjunction with traditional therapeutic treatments, APEX uses complementary music therapy to help patients recover from addiction and mental illness. Whether they’re listening to or creating music, our patients find music helps them relieve stress and focus on the beauty around them, allowing a brief reprieve from everything involved in their alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego.

No proof is needed to corroborate that music has healing properties. Everyone has experienced the power of music at least once in their life. What makes music such a unique tool of communication is that it allows the listener to express their feelings, which could otherwise be more difficult.

Music therapy, however, is an evidence-based approach that enables the patient to accomplish their individual psychological, physiological and emotional goals by using music in a controlled way with a trained therapist. No musical skills are needed for the patient to be able to harness the full potential of music therapy. Someone who has never played an instrument can still learn how to make music and maybe discover a secret talent.

Music is useful in holistic healing. Studies have shown that it has favorable effects on the body, reducing stress levels and encouraging the relaxation response. It is said to boost the immune system, probably as a result of relaxation. It is possible to bring down high blood pressure with music and treat hypertension. This protects the heart and is useful in combating depression and anxiety, making music a great ally in preventing relapse.

Individuals who abused prescription drugs can learn how to use music to handle pain, which is an important coping skill for them.

Alcohol and drugs make the brain addled and even in recovery, patients can experience a lowered ability to concentrate. This is something music can help with, in particular fast-paced music.

Music is also known to increase the level of optimism and dispel boredom and loneliness. Boredom, loneliness and stress are major relapse triggers for those in recovery. 

Managing emotions is distinctly difficult for someone who is recovering from an addiction. It is partially the reason why they got addicted in the first place. Since abstaining from alcohol and substances makes this problem even more obvious, music can aid the individual in venting destructive or painful emotions through listening to or creating music. 

Lastly, music can serve as a tool to reach spirituality, some higher power. This aspect also encourages sobriety, because an individual who feels whole and a part of something bigger is much less tempted to resort to drugs or alcohol.


Music Therapy

Rock to Recovery

Rock to Recovery

APEX Rehab

At APEX Rehab, we believe in utilizing art as a tool to recovery. Rock to Recovery is an exciting new program that allows clients to express themselves through the art of songwriting.  It is available only in select alcohol and drug rehab centers in San Diego. Founded by Wesley Geer, formerly of Korn and Hed PE, the program allows clients to experience fun in sobriety. Clients get to write songs, sing, and play instruments, all while communicating feelings and working together as a group. Rock to Recovery is an enjoyable experience with many therapeutic benefits, including garnering social and communicative skills, becoming more self-aware, learning different means to express a full range of emotions and finding an enjoyable way to relieve stress. Music can be a natural medicine for the soul and a great part of the recovery process.

Wesley Geer, the founder of the technique, has been through the process of rehabilitation after leaving the band Hed PE. Even though he had always been profoundly passionate about music, it was only when he was in recovery that he fully realized the healing potential of music. He was also a skilled teacher and decided to come up with a technique that could support everyone who was fighting their cravings.

The procedure is as follows. A group of patients forms a band with the task of writing and recording a song about recovery. Everyone can and should participate even if they are not musical. The “band” has the help of the Rock to Recovery’s staff of professional musicians.

The therapy resonates well with recovering patients, especially the young population. One of the many benefits of this technique is that patients learn to have sober fun. When they are recovering, patients are often overwhelmed with issues they need to resolve and they are generally afraid that the life of sobriety is a life of boredom and non-creativity.

It is particularly important to note that the professional musicians who are the staff at Rock to Recovery are also recovering addicts. They share their stories with the participants and discuss the fears and challenges connected with recovery. As successful musicians who have shaken off their addictions, they are role-models for participants and they prove that sober living isn’t the end of creativity and fun.

These are some of the most salient advantages of this therapeutic method:

·       allowing patients to connect with others who are in a similar situation

·       a safe and enjoyable way of expressing negative emotions

·       a natural, positive “high” reached through creativity and togetherness

·       reducing stress levels

·       exploring hidden talents

·       stepping out of one’s comfort zone and learning how to cope with that

·       raising self-esteem

·       exploring the inner self, promoting self-awareness

These benefits make indirect contributions to the results achieved in other forms of therapy, that focus on replacing negative thoughts with positive, accepting negative emotions and working through them and handling craving. It also reinforces the coping skills taught in therapy and the relaxation skills trained in yoga and meditation. 

Rock to Recovery

Yoga Treatment

Yoga Treatment San Diego

APEX Rehab

Along with massage and other holistic treatments, APEX offers yoga as part of our integrative treatment therapies. We’ve found the mind-body-spirit approach of yoga to be a great adjunct therapy to conventional treatments for drug and alcohol abuse and addictions. Yoga offers patients peace and serenity, helps the body’s lymphatic system to aid in detoxification and creates a heightened sense of awareness. Combined, these benefits can greatly enhance recovery progression.

Addiction disconnects the user from their body, allowing them to focus only on signs telling them to use. With long-term abuse, the pleasurable sides of the addiction get less and less notable, pushing the user deeper into addiction. Yoga is, therefore, an excellent way for a recovering addict to get in touch with physical sensations. It opens the body and the mind together, and many former addicts who practice yoga say that they stopped feeling like prisoners in their own self.

There is evidence that yoga can regulate the levels of stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline. Imbalance in these hormones is associated with anxiety, depression, trauma and addictive behavior. So, if the patient is able to stabilize cortisol and adrenaline through yoga, they will be less tempted to start using again.

There has also been a small pilot study that looked into the impact of yoga in neurotransmitters. Although more research is necessary, the results suggest yoga increases the levels of GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for producing the feeling of calm. This is particularly important for those who abused benzodiazepines, because their addiction caused their brain to shut down natural production of this chemical. 

Yoga also provides a path to spirituality. The positive feelings it induces are also a sort of “high”, but a healthy one. The philosophy of yoga can help the patient to fill the hole within them – the one they have been feeding through abuse.  

Yoga is also known to promote mindfulness, which is important in other therapeutic approaches as well – such as Relapse Prevention Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The breathing exercises in yoga teach the individual how to control obsessive thoughts through acceptance, which is a great complement to what the patients learn in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Finally, yoga is a training in self-discipline, which recovering addicts sorely lack. Addiction is characterized by impulsivity and cocaine addiction is best known for that. Practicing yoga gives patients an opportunity to combat negative impulses and channel their energy into something positive – thus empowering them to claim a life of sobriety.


Yoga Treatment

Massage & Acupressure Therapy

Massage & Acupressure Therapy San Diego

APEX Rehab

For the average adult, there are numerous benefits of massage and acupressure therapy. For the patient recovering from addiction, these benefits are multiplied. Offering more than just relaxation, massage and acupressure can go a long way in helping a patient heal from their addictions. Our certified massage therapists bring years of experience in alternative treatment methods to our patients. Massage has been proven to aid the body in detoxification and help to alleviate anxiety and depression. These therapies also reduce stress, which is a key component to successful recovery. Patients who do not address stress as part of their treatment are more likely to abuse again, in the hopes of easing those thoughts and feelings.

Addictions of all kinds leave a mark, temporary or permanent, on the body. The chemicals abused rewire the brain’s mechanisms for producing the feelings of calm, pleasure and joy, but they also impair physical health. Alcohol and substances increase blood pressure and pulse rate and they can also damage internal organs. Indirectly, the abuse has a detrimental effect on the body metabolism, because a typical addict will lead a life that revolves around obtaining the substance and completely disregard proper nutrition, sleep and exercise.

Massage and acupressure in our San Diego alcohol and drug rehab will be used strategically by our massage specialists to improve the blood flow, boost the immune system, exfoliate the skin and aid the body in getting rid of toxins.

Massage and acupressure don’t only alleviate physical pain – they can also relieve emotional pain. Emotional pain is stored in the body. Stresses and traumatic experiences almost invariably cause muscles to contract and harden, turning the body into an armor that protects the fragile and vulnerable inner self. When that happens, energy cannot flow freely and if that perpetuates, health issues arise. With these alternative practices, the individual can get in touch with the wounded parts of themselves and work through the pain to heal. That also makes the individual more aware and engaged in counseling and psychotherapy.

These ancient techniques are highly beneficial in addiction recovery. Substance abuse is unfailingly an attempt to avoid pain and induce pleasure. Having massages and acupressure sessions provide healthy ways of easing pain and venting tension.

They also work in the opposite direction from alcohol and substances. Since users want to escape something, often their own body, massage and acupressure allow them to reconnect with themselves in the present moment.

There are also tried and tested points on the body that, when stimulated through pressure, improve stability, reduce cravings and strengthen self-esteem and willpower – which are vital in maintaining sobriety.


Massage & Acupressure Therapy