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Dawn Farm Addiction and Recovery Education Series

May 26, 2016

The Recovering Body” was presented on May 24, 2016, by Jennifer Matesa; author, educator and speaker. Discussions of abstinent addiction recovery often focus on developing spiritual approaches to life’s problems and challenges. But, this virtually ignores the experience of the body. The facts are that the body undergoes serious changes and damage during active addiction, and many recovering people wind up frightened that they have wrecked their neurology permanently. Full recovery asks us to change the ways we relate to our bodies, beginning with the discipline of resisting the mind’s obsession about external “solutions” and grounding oneself inside one’s body, which lives only in the present. This presentation explores five approaches to addiction recovery that combine physical practices with the traditional spiritual enlargement of 12-step abstinent recovery. These approaches have abundant scientific research backing them, making them not only a way to gain confidence and “feel better” in recovery but also to prevent relapse and become fit to contribute to society.

Jennifer Matesa has been writing and speaking about addiction and recovery since 2010. Her most recent book is The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober (2014). Her forthcoming book about sexuality in recovery will be published in 2016. She has written about health and life transformation for more than twenty years, including two previously published books, Navel-Gazing: The Days and Nights of a Mother in the Making, chosen by Lamaze International as a top-ten childbirth resource, and Knowing Stephanie, a biography of a young breast cancer patient. Her journalism and essays have appeared in many publications. In 2010 she established the popular blog Guinevere Gets Sober (, for which she interviewed many scientists, practitioners, authors, and ordinary folks with fascinating stories about recovering from addiction. Since 2012 she has regularly educated groups of medical students about ways to prevent, identify, and respond to addiction in their patients. In 2013 she was awarded a year-long fellowship with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in recognition of her writing and public speaking about the human potential to heal.

This program is part of the Dawn Farm Education Series, a FREE, annual workshop series developed to provide accurate, helpful, hopeful, practical, current information about chemical dependency, recovery, family and related issues.  The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of chemical dependency services. For information, please see