Holistic Treatment And Its Benefits For Addiction Recovery

Holistic Therapy for addiction treatment

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Holistic addiction therapies are non-medicinal methods of recovery employed to supplement traditional treatment practices. Holistic recovery centers aim to bring the body, mind, and spirit into alignment. Practitioners of holistic therapy focus on the person’s overall well-being while also helping with the physical symptoms that typically manifest themselves upon withdrawal.

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Table of Contents

What Is Holistic Therapy And What Types Are There?

Еmotional stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are all potential hurdles holistic therapy could help treat. It is a form of therapy that helps strengthen resistance to cravings, promotes physical fitness, improves self-confidence, and reduces the perceived appeal of drug and alcohol use. Holistic addiction treatment centers recognize that a key aspect of recovery is being physically healthy. Tangible healing is given by helping former addicts focus on proper nutrition. Statistics of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health show that more than a third of adults in the US resort to some form of holistic medicine, and this tendency seems to be on the rise. Generally, holistic rehab programs look at a complex mental, physical, and spiritual model for treating substance abuse and addiction. These techniques are also known as complementary or alternative treatments. Often, they are based on practices that are derived from cultural traditions or close to nature.

What is the Process of Holistic Addiction Recovery?

Holistic treatment centers use nutrition, meditation, and exercise to help people overcome their addiction. Forms of therapy may include some or all of the following:

  • Yoga
  • Guided meditation
  • Tai chi
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Spiritual therapy
  • Proper nutrition
  • Routine exercise
  • Art therapy
  • Counseling

These are just some of many holistic addiction treatment methods. The most important similarity between them is that they are aimed at treating the whole person rather than only a separate element of their symptoms or behaviors. Likewise, good addiction treatment should address the entire person rather than just the aspect of their behavior. The goal is to address the reasons that led to addiction in the first place.

How Popular Are Holistic Recovery Programs?

Holistic medicine has proven to be more than a trend as more and more people avail themselves of this philosophy of treatment over time. Holistic recovery programs focus on the mind, spirit, and body to achieve wellness. As mentioned, they will usually involve things like relaxation techniques, nutrition, massages, and even meditation. The purpose is to create a feeling of serenity in the body and mind and help recovering addicts feel relief from stress. Holistic recovery programs counteracting substance abuse and addiction treatment in the USA are no exception to the worldwide trend, and there is now a variety of such programs in rehab centers around the country.

A Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment

Statistics of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine indicate that there are many holistic approaches that can be used to treat people. One of these approaches involves reiki, the harnessing of the life force energy of the ‘universe to make relaxation easier and begin a process of physical healing. Reiki has proven to be helpful in alleviating some physical withdrawal symptoms. Another importation approach relates to nutritional therapy – recovering drug and alcohol addicts suffer from unhealthy diets more than most of us. Many addicts find their substance of choice to be more important than a healthy diet, and the foods they do consume may cause an adverse reaction in combination with the substances they are addicted to. This is why focusing on a healthy diet and nutritional supplements as the individual is going through rehab can improve their outlook to a great extent. Sometimes it will mean doing away with certain types of foods, such as those containing a lot of sugar. Other times it will mean adding herbal supplements that they need to heal their bodies. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Services indicates that a person’s satisfaction with holistic treatment is a motivator to complete a program, which is a key factor for being able to recover in the long-term. In many cases, therapies that a recovering addict would expect to be exposed to at a holistic recovery center, such as yoga and acupuncture, are utilized to augment more conventional addiction treatment therapies like medical detox and individual counseling.

Holistic Treatment: Acupuncture, Massage, Exercise, and Meditation

Message is often used because physical touch helps relieve stress and relax the body, while acupuncture is used to help restore physical balance in the body after a long period of substance abuse. In combination, these treatment methods reduce withdrawal symptoms and help recovering addicts prepare for the journey of sobriety.

As the mind of a former addict is often filled with stress and anxiety, practices like Yoga and Tai-Chi are often recommended not only as exercise, but also to help people suppress negative thoughts. These approaches are a way to balance the body and put the mind at ease. Most holistic treatment specialists would agree that they are most effective in combination with traditional forms of therapy. More information about this is available in the next section.

Can Holistic and Traditional Therapy Be Combined?

Many holistic treatment programs work with a holistically improved framework of more traditional treatment approaches, which can include:

  • Support group participation / 12-step groups.
  • Group therapy.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Art and recreational therapies.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Motivational interviewing (MI).
  • Family services.
  • Experiential therapy.
  • Relapse prevention strategy education.
  • Aftercare planning / counseling.
  • Healthy diet.

Many holistic practitioners point out that our bodies have an innate healing ability, and quite a few of the techniques described above can help unlock that potential. A recovering addict can expect to be exposed to at least one of these types of treatments at a holistic treatment center. More traditional approaches focus on evidence-based clinical interventions to deal with substance abuse disorders. For example, someone receiving holistic alcohol treatment would undergo a period of detoxification and controlled, followed by sober skills training, regular participation in group and individual therapy sessions, and plans for continued recovery post-treatment.

What To Expect At A Holistic Recovery Center

Holistic practitioners believe the optimum method of detox is to introduce as few new chemicals to the body as possible and to embark on a cleansing period, achieved through healthy eating habits and herbal supplements. A recovering addict might encounter a similar period of withdrawal at a holistic recovery center, but more natural methods will be applied, such as herbal remedies, rest, nutritional support, and massage therapy. A holistically managed detox can equate to a less taxing and quicker withdrawal period with proper supervision in comparison to one the person may attempt on their own or using prescription drugs. According to holistic practitioners, more medications can result in extended periods of toxicity and only put off the benefits of being completely drug free.

Risks of Treatment at Holistic Recovery Centers

Any facility can use the holistic label even if it doesn’t provide holistic therapies at all. That means former addicts and their loved ones looking for holistic help will need to research the options open to them thoroughly. Potential clients of holistic recovery centers will need to ask about the therapies offered, the cost of care, and the training of the people providing the therapies. That is the best way to find out if the facility in question can really help. It pays off to spend time doing research online and talking to people with similar issues among other things. Word of mouth can be helpful when it comes to finding a good holistic treatment provider in the area.

Is Holistic Addiction Treatment the Right Choice?

Holistic treatment might be a great choice for if one can embrace the belief in an interconnectedness of mind, body and soul, and see an advantage in a more natural approach to allowing the mind and body to begin their own healing process. The many tools and facets to be used with a holistic approach can be adapted and modified to fit any individual’s preferences and needs. As it augments a more conventional rehabilitation strategy, holistic treatment can provide a very well rounded program and prepare a recovering addict to become part of the outside world again with more emphasis on nutrition, peace, and relaxation.

Help Line Woman

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options.
Call our free and confidential helpline

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Marketing fee may apply

View Sources
  1. https://nccih.nih.gov/
  2. https://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/dis/infoserv/journal/detail/1298


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