Many of us who come to Hope rehab feel a bit hesitant when we first hear about the availability of Muay Thai training. We are often terribly out-of-shape physically when we first arrive, due to years of addiction, and we may worry the training is going to be too much for us.
The reality is you are unlikely to have any real problem with Muay Thai due to your current physical fitness level or age – there are even people in their seventies who take up Muay Thai for the first time. Your personal training program takes into account your current condition, and you will be amazed at how quickly your body can adapt to this type of training.
What is Muay Thai Boxing?
Muay Thai Boxing uses almost every part of the body, and it is for this reason that it is sometimes referred to as ‘the art of the eight limbs’. It is one of the deadliest martial arts on the planet, but it is also something you can learn for fun. Muay Thai can be viewed as a sport, art, fitness routine, self-defense practice, or even a spiritual path. It is one of the activities you are going to get to experience during your time with us here at Hope Rehab Center.
When most people mention the term ‘Muay Thai’, they are referring to the sport where combatants (known as ‘nak muay’) fight in a ring wearing gloves. This is the national sport of Thailand, and there are fights shown on TV about three times a week, but this is not the only type of Thai Boxing. There is also traditional Muay Boran which is more of a fighting art than a sport, and it includes spiritual practices such as meditation. Closely related to Muay Boran is a martial art known as Krabi Krabong, which uses weapons as well as fists, elbows, shins, knees, and feet.
It is an excellent physical workout that uses every part of your body – if you make this a regular part of your life, you are likely to achieve a high level of fitness.
Muay Boran or Krabi Krabong is moving meditation
It improves self-esteem
It can be an effective way to manage stress levels
It’s a nice way to learn more about Thai people and their culture
Joining a Muay Thai gym is a way for you to meet some new people
In order to progress in this martial art, you need to learn patience and humility
It can teach you some self-defence techniques
It can be a cure for insomnia – a common experience in early recovery
5 ways Muay Thai will help you fight addiction:
- Muay Thai Offered an Escape from the ‘Sick and Tired’ Feeling of Addiction
I felt sick and tired for so long that it became my normal state – I forgot what it was like to feel well. One of the greatest gifts from the Muay Thai training was I began to experience vastly improved fitness and general physical health. I felt like a new person, and this greatly increased my commitment to sober living.
- Muay Thai Boosted My Confidence
It was almost a novel experience for me to do something positive and then notice how it improved my life. I’d been making the wrong decisions for so long that I no longer really believed it was possible to do something and get good results. Practicing Muay Thai has given me a sense of control over my own body, and this has greatly increased my self-confidence. The fact that I also physically look a million times better, than when I first arrived at rehab, has also helped boost my self-esteem.
- Muay Thai Allowed Me to Experience a Real Sense of Fulfillment
It is such an amazing feeling to make it to the end of a Muay Thai training session – it can feel like my whole body is humming with appreciation. The benefits of this type of physical exertion quickly become obvious. I can clearly see how the training is changing my body and mind. Even though, I am technically in middle age, I am the fittest I have ever been in my entire life and that is something to be proud of.
- Muay Thai Allowed Me to Appreciate My Body Again
I was completely numb to my body during those years of drug abuse. The only times I took any notice of it was when there was aches and pains – this would be a signal to me to increase my dosage of whatever substance I happened to be abusing at the time. Muay Thai has allowed me to appreciate my body again, and it is like discovering a new universe. This must be what it feels like to wake up from the dead – which I suppose isn’t too far from what actually happened.
- Muay Thai Helped Me Become More Mindful
Muay Thai can be a wonderful mindfulness practice. When I focus on the movements, I am completely in my body. I am fully present in the moment rather than being caught up in daydreams about the past and future. These periods of resting in the present moment have greatly increased my ability to handle my thoughts and stress level.