The Camp Recovery Center Now Offers HeartMath Biofeedback Therapy to Teens as Holistic Complement to Addiction Treatment

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After positive results treating mature adult clients with HeartMath, The Camp will now provide teenage clients with this holistic tool that can aid in recovery by relieving stress and stabilizing emotions.

"I keep using the portable HeartMath device; I just grab it when I feel anxious like I used to grab the pill bottle.

I don't think I would have gotten through everything these last few months without it."

The Camp, a unique residential drug and alcohol treatment center located on 25 peaceful acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, recognizes the value of holistic therapies that complement standard addiction treatment. By addressing the needs of the body, mind and spirit, holistic therapies show clients how to control their feelings without drugs.

The newest of The Camp's holistic tools is HeartMath's emWave2® Personal Stress Reliever (PSR), an advanced handheld biofeedback monitor that measures subtle changes in heart rhythms. This measurement reflects heart-brain interactions caused by changes in an individual's emotional state. Using HeartMath's monitor to recognize irregular heart-rhythm patterns that signal stressful emotional states, patients at The Camp learn how to calm themselves naturally, creating a feeling of calm and balance that is more conducive to recovery.

The Camp introduced HeartMath into their adult program in July of 2011. The Camp is now proud to announce that it is integrating HeartMath into the teen program. Staff members have reported the following benefits of HeartMath:

  •     Provides a treatment tool to cope with anxiety, insomnia, grief, anger and other negative or intrusive thoughts.
  •     Helps staff respond to crisis interventions and agitated detox patients.
  •     Helps client’s self-sooth and cope with cravings.
  •     Provides a diversion from routine group topics and formats. Gives clients a chance to play, feel good and succeed.
  •     Supports more rapid development of meditation skills by providing immediate feedback on attempted techniques.

HeartMath is especially effective as a meditation aid for those in recovery. Meditation improves focus, mood, and resilience. It enhances creative insight, athletic performance, and sleep. Patients who are able to eat, sleep and play will find themselves better attuned to enjoying life without drugs or alcohol. Also, being able to focus, be hopeful, and plan makes it more likely that patients will succeed in recovery. HeartMath provides a structured but low-key way to introduce alternative therapies and self-soothing tools to a potentially resistant population.

According to staff member Cynthia Smith, "I have been startled by how successful HeartMath has been in our population. I thought it would be helpful, but I frequently have trauma patients tell me it is the first time their mind has been quiet in years. It has given patients at risk for leaving “against medical advice” (AMA) a chance to think and recommit. I see them move from being explosive and disruptive to being able to communicate and evaluate in 40 minutes. Restless detoxers frequently settle down during HeartMath. Laughter is common during HeartMath sessions. A sense of peaceful and playful fellowship is apparent as the group leaves my cabin after a HeartMath session and heads back into the community.”

Patients at The Camp who have been introduced to HeartMath have provided positive testimonials. A patient suffering from anxiety who was abusing Xanax reports, "I keep using the portable HeartMath device; I just grab it when I feel anxious like I used to grab the pill bottle. I don't think I would have gotten through everything these last few months without it."

The Institute of HeartMath (IMH) is a non-profit education and research organization that has been helping people reduce stress, regulate emotions and build resilience for happier, healthier lives since 1991. HeartMath has produced peer reviewed clinical data on the benefits of their methodologies for the treatment and management of anxiety, depression, anger, stress and hypertension.

The Camp Recovery Center offers clients the use of several types of alternative therapies as a complement to conventional addiction treatment. In addition to HeartMath, these include yoga, acupuncture, amino acid therapy, personal training, gardening, art, poetry, and journaling. Clients at The Camp are encouraged to explore a wide range of conventional and holistic therapies and to find the tools that will help with the process of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

More About The Camp

Nestled among the majestic Northern California redwoods, The Camp Recovery Center has provided an intimate and effective setting for addicted men, women and young adults since 1984. An experienced group of rehabilitation professionals, addiction counselors, nurses, and family therapists have helped thousands of clients become free from the grip of addiction to cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substances of abuse.

The Camp is a member of CRC Health Group, the nation's leading comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare. Since 1995, CRC's passion for delivering advanced treatment has helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

Please call 877-557-6237 or visit The Camp Recovery Center website ( for more information.


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