Understanding Holistic Therapy
Holistic therapies are treatments that treat the “whole person.” These types of therapies involve treating an individual’s emotional, physical, and spiritual parts to ensure the whole person is healing. Holistic therapy is often used to complement traditional treatment practices found in treatment programs of all types. Holistic therapy aims to bring the mind, body, and spirit into alignment during one’s recovery journey.
Holistic therapy focuses on the individual’s overall well-being while treating the physical symptoms often found alongside substance use disorders, including withdrawal symptoms and medical conditions that may develop while using a substance.
Treatment centers offering holistic therapy use physical exercise, mindfulness-based meditation, spiritual services, and nutrition services to help people enter a recovery journey filled with strong coping strategies to maintain long-term success.
Holistic therapies may include:
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Holistic Therapy For Addiction Treatment
Holistic therapy programs feature personalized, non-medical methods of substance use disorder and addiction recovery. Each method is designed to help with certain areas in which one may struggle, such as emotional disturbances, obsessive thoughts, nutritional deficiencies, spiritual development, and physical decline due to substance use. Many of these methods will be utilized with medical services that treat the equally important physical & emotional symptoms of substance use disorders.
Lack of sleep, poor diet, and emotional stress are all potential obstacles holistic therapy might help someone in early recovery overcome. Holistic therapy plans are flexible and gentle, so they can easily be assimilated with assistance. Holistic therapy generally utilizes five elements in its provision of care, which include:
- Physical: fitness, nutrition, sleep, and healthy behaviors
- Emotional: Emotional balance, healthy coping ability, processing feelings safely
- Social: stop isolation, build safe relationships, create sober networks
- Spiritual: finding purpose/meaning, appreciation, connecting with self
- Intellectual: establishing boundaries, plan development, skill building
Types Of Holistic Addiction Therapies
Holistic therapy encompasses several aspects of healthy living, from exercise to meditation.
Some of the main therapies used in holistic treatment include:
A healthy body is a key requirement of recovery. Understanding proper nutrition needs and establishing a system helps the body mend. Many treatment programs will include this as educational groups alongside dietary nutritional programs to ensure proper nutrients are received in early recovery.
Exercise and Recreational Therapy
Daily exercise can help build a routine, relieve stress, and strengthen the body. Exercise is an important part of many holistic treatment programs. Activities vary from center to center, but some offer rock climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, or hiking. Many programs include some form of gym or gym membership to help build healthy muscle and be a safe outlet for stress.
One of the most powerful tools at our disposal is our brain and its ability to maintain clarity under pressure. Mindfulness meditation is an important part of many holistic treatment programs as the benefits are numerous, as well as evidence-based. In addition, many centers also offer yoga and tai chi as meditative practices to help residents increase focus and clarity of mind.
Massage And Acupuncture
Helping to relieve stress and relax the body, massage is often used in holistic treatment to provide both physical and emotional relaxation. Acupuncture has also been used to help restore balance to the body after long struggles with substance abuse.
The most effective holistic recovery programs build on existing traditional medical treatment methods. These medical methods are important as they also function as the foundation for addiction treatment, especially in regard to safe detoxification services.
Common techniques paired with holistic methods include:
- Medically assisted detox
- Comprehensive medical care
- One-on-one mental health counseling
- Group therapy
Finding A Holistic Therapy Center For Addiction Treatment
Many treatment centers offer holistic therapy as part of their inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
The philosophy behind holistic therapy — finding and maintaining balance in all aspects of one’s life — is compatible with many forms of substance use disorder and addiction treatment methods. Cognitive behavioral therapy pairs well with meditation and yoga sessions in teaching how to manage stress and handle discomfort.
Learning to cope with emotional setbacks in a healthy way is essential in maintaining recovery.
When combined with medically supervised detox and mental health counseling, holistic therapies can help treat substance use disorders of all severity levels. Treatment centers are available across the country, putting together recovery plans for each patient.
Contact a treatment provider today to find a drug rehab center that offers holistic therapy.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience