Addictions are unhealthy attachments, dependencies, or habituations that can cause intense mental, physical, and emotional suffering. Causes of addictions can be broken down into two categories: biochemistry and/ or a lack of spiritual enlightenment. What is superb about nutritional balancing programs are they address both biochemical and spiritual aspects of health. This article focuses on the “lack of spiritual enlightenment” cause of addictions because of my personal experience with an addiction (eating disorder) for nine years. BIOCHEMISTRY I recommend anyone who is suffering an addiction to unhealthy food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and more, start a nutritional balancing program first to address any biochemical imbalances such as a mineral deficiency/excess or toxic metal excess and more in the body that could be causing your cravings. Some examples are: Those suffering bulimia and anorexia usually have a copper imbalance and zinc deficiency which causes a reduction in appetite. Weak adrenal glands and low blood sugar can cause sweet cravings A low zinc level is associated with alcoholism. Arsenic and mercury are found in those who use alcohol heavily. Those with a low sodium and weak adrenal glands may be attracted to the cadmium in cigarettes or marijuana. Cadmium tends to raise the sodium level by its toxic effect on the kidneys. Exercise addiction can be caused due to a stimulating effect on the adrenals that quickly stops feelings of fatigue and depression that are due to slow oxidation and adrenal exhaustion. Toxic metals are often high in drug users. The list of biochemical imbalances goes on and on. Nutritional balancing can help those suffering with addictions by improving the body’s vitality, balancing the oxidation rate, supporting the adrenal glands, restoring nutrient minerals, and reduce toxic metals, chemicals, and infections from the body. It is recommended you read Dr. Lawrence Wilson’s “Addiction” article and other articles pertaining to your specific addiction at www.drlwilson.com to find out what the biochemical imbalances are that may be causing your cravings. If you have been on a nutritional balancing program for some time addressing diet, water, nutritional supplements, lifestyle, and detoxification and feel it has not helped you with your cravings, then we move on to the second cause of addiction which is “lack of spiritual enlightenment.” This was the cause of my past eating disorder which lasted nine years. LACK OF SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT Cravings associated with addictions are spiritual wake-up calls for individuals and are created by the mind/ego. When a craving is present, your spirit is telling you the following: “Wake-up,” “ I’m not Spiritually Enlightened,” “Something is not right in my life,” and “Get out of your mind!” The first step that you want to take when you feel a craving coming on is to meditate immediately. Meditation is nothing new and has been taught in monasteries and other places for thousands of years. The goal of meditation is to quiet the mind and to connect with the spirit, where inner peace is felt. Buddha’s simple definition of spiritual enlightenment is “the end of all suffering.” The end of all suffering is to be free of your mind. Addictions and other forms of mental/emotional suffering can be caused by compulsive thinking, most of which we are unaware of due to our unconscious minds. Eventually the more you meditate, you will witness one or more thoughts that are being repeated over and over again in your head that you never knew existed prior to meditation. These particular thoughts are the ones that created the addiction in the first place. My thoughts that I became aware of when meditating were “I’m fat.” Those thoughts started off in my head and were repeated over and over again until the cravings started, which led into a full-blown eating disorder. I never realized these repeated thoughts were occurring in my mind for many years. Meditation is a discipline and must be practiced on a daily basis. It is recommended for all individuals, even those who are already spiritually enlightened because there are new heights to ascend to. For those with addictions, meditation will take a lot of practice and the cravings will not disappear overnight. In time, they will slowly vanish away. What is most important to remember when a craving comes on is to realize your ego/mind has taken over (you are having compulsive thoughts) and you must meditate immediately to quiet the mind. For most individuals once or twice daily of meditation is sufficient. However, for those with addictions, meditation is recommended numerous times daily because the cravings will be frequent. In time, when the cravings subside, meditation can be practiced once or twice daily. It took me three years of meditation daily to eliminate my cravings and eating disorder permanently. STEPS TO TAKE Step One: For those with addictions, the first step that is highly recommended is to to get a hair analysis test done to see if any biochemical factors are involved. Start a nutritional balancing program. If you start to feel your cravings are subsiding, then most likely the cause of your addiction is biochemical. If you do not notice an improvement, then most likely the cause of your addiction is “lack of spiritual enlightenment” or ego-based. Continue on your nutritional balancing program since we believe all people will benefit from it, however proceed to step two if you are still experiencing cravings. Step Two: Read the #1 New York Times bestseller book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, a guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author. Mr. Tolle conveys simple messages in his teachings: “there is a way out of suffering and into peace and “we are not our mind.” He recommends various meditation techniques to quiet the mind, connect to a state of inner peace, awareness, and the present moment where problems do not exist. This book transformed my life and helped me overcome my addiction. Before reading this book, I tried the following hoping they would heal my addiction, however they were unsuccessful because they addressed solutions externally instead of the answer coming from within: counseling, nutritional supplements, support groups, many diets, saw a nutritionist and hypnotist, attending church, volunteering, admitting myself to an eating disorder treatment center, reading many books, and more. I recommend reading the book because it will provide you with a spiritual understanding of how the ego is causing your addiction and suffering through unconscious compulsive thoughts. Step Three: Meditate daily. If you are suffering with an ego-based addiction, meditation is recommended frequently throughout the day until the cravings subside. In time, the frequency can be reduced to once or twice daily when your cravings have been reduced or eliminated. The only meditation I recommend is the “Meditation Observation Exercise” that is part of a nutritional balancing program. GROUNDING & CENTERING TECHNIQUES The following meditation techniques which I also call grounding and centering techniques, in Eckhart’s “Power of Now” book, helped me overcome my addiction by quieting my mind: Observe the Rhythm of your breathing; feel the air flowing in and out, feel the life energy inside your body. Allow everything to be, within and without. Allow the “isness” of all things. Move deeply into the Now. When you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence. Keep some of your attention within. Don’t let it all flow out. Feel your whole body from within, as a single field of energy. It is almost as if you were listening or reading you’re your whole body. To become conscious of being, simply take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt as the invisible energy field that gives life to what you perceive as the physical body. Every time you walk in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. These meditation techniques can be used as part of a nutritional balancing program since they involve grounding and centering. Grounding is connecting one firmly with the body by bringing energy away from the ego (mind) and moving it down into the body. Centering causes one’s attention to remain inside of oneself so that one is in a calm place less affected by outer events. Deep breathing we recommend in nutritional balancing to provide more oxygen to the body and it is grounding. Additionally, keeping some attention within your body and walking slowly are very grounding and centering. By practicing grounding and centering, it can assist in building up the health of our first chakra and assist in spiritual development, which we consider the expanding of our seven main chakras into beautiful high frequency energy centers, which will lead to a long, healthy, and happy life full of wisdom. Read more about “Grounding and Centering” by Dr. Lawrence Wilson. These techniques should not replace the Meditation Observation Exercise, however they can complement it. It is recommended that the Meditation Observation Exercise be done daily since it is extremely grounding. If one is not interested in the above grounding and centering techniques, it is not mandatory. It is just recommended to read “The Power of Now” book to gain understanding on spiritual enlightenment and to do the Meditation Observation Exercise daily. In summary, hair analysis and nutritional balancing will address both the biochemical and ego based causes of addiction. Diet, lifestyle, nutritional supplementation and detoxification will address the addict’s biochemical needs and the Meditation Observation Exercise will release the ego and all of its pain and suffering.