When it comes to recovery, abstinence is only the beginning.
Holistic treatments focus on healing a person’s mind, body, and spirit. This promotes lasting sobriety by turning attention away from substance abuse and towards a wellness-focused lifestyle.
Benefits of Holistic Treatment in Addiction Recovery
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is typically considered the cornerstone of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. However, holistic treatments can enhance the effectiveness of CBT by advancing specific recovery goals.
Addiction care must be personalized to fit the needs of each individual patient, so the holistic treatments that are used in a person’s continuum of care will vary. Care providers will recommend holistic treatments that focus on addressing the underlying issues that contributed to a person’s abuse of drugs or alcohol. For example:
- Relieving chronic pain
- Reducing stress
- Alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety
- Increasing self-awareness
Types of Holistic Treatments Used to Support Recovery
Some of the most common holistic treatments used in addiction recovery include nutrition therapy, meditation, acupuncture, massage, SMART Recovery, creative arts therapy, experiential therapy, and equine therapy.
Fuel is fuel, so a person’s diet plays a vital role in their overall health. Nutrition therapy focuses on healing past damage from substance abuse while teaching individuals how to plan meals that will boost their energy levels and stabilize their mood. This helps prevent relapse by making it easier to resist cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Meditation promotes mindfulness, which refers to being aware of the experiences that are happening in the present moment. This encourages a healthy perspective regarding the challenges of recovery.
Acupuncture is one of the world’s best-known alternative medicine treatments. It uses needles to manipulate the flow of energy through the body. In treating addiction, the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol is often used to help individuals deal with the effects of withdrawal.
Massage therapists manipulate soft tissues in the body as a way to relieve stress and tension while promoting the release of dopamine and serotonin. This can be helpful for individuals who are searching for more effective ways to cope with chronic pain, as well as those who are struggling with insomnia as a symptom of withdrawal.
Hypnosis is often viewed as a party trick, but SMART Recovery can be a gentle and effective way to help people heal from past trauma. The relationship between trauma and addiction is well-established, which means that acknowledging the role trauma played in the development of a substance use disorder is vital to promoting personal growth and positive future outcomes.
Creative Arts Therapy
Creative arts therapy uses music, art, or drama to encourage participants to process painful emotions, increase self-awareness, and develop a clearer vision of what they want their sober life to look like. Participants do not need to have any formal arts training to benefit from this type of holistic treatment, as long as they are willing to learn and committed to working towards their recovery goals.
Experiential therapy encourages people with substance use disorders to engage in physically demanding activities such as hiking, rock climbing, or completing low ropes courses to learn about problem solving, perseverance, and goal setting. In a group setting, experiential therapy can provide lessons about leadership, teamwork, and communication.
Building meaningful connections with others is an important part of the healing process, but people suffering from addiction often struggle to trust those around them. Horses are highly sensitive creatures attuned to both verbal and nonverbal expressions of emotion. An equine interaction experience lets people with substance use disorders learn about developing rapport, communicating trust, and setting healthy boundaries in a safe and supportive environment.
Building a Brighter Future
English Mountain Recovery’s Tennessee addiction treatment program offers personalized treatment plans designed to tap into a client’s inherent potential for change and growth. Our gender-specific inpatient residential treatment programs help clients heal the spiritual, emotional, and physical devastation caused by the disease of chemical dependence while preparing them for a satisfying lifetime of sobriety.