Equine therapy at holistic rehab: a girl rides a horse in a field
Discover Recovery's Blog

Discover Recovery's Blog

The Holistic Rehab Hype

Why is Everyone Talking About “Holistic Rehab?”

When you’re talking about drug rehab or alcohol treatment, there are some words you hear a lot. One of those words is “holistic.” It sounds nice and for many people it brings up visions of art therapy and petting horses. But what exactly is “Holistic Treatment?” Why do so many rehab facilities use the word holistic? Which ones are really offering high quality holistic treatment?

What Is Holistic Treatment?

According to Merriam-Webster online, holistic means “concerned with wholes, or complete systems rather than parts.” In the medical field particularly, this usually means all the parts of the body. It also includes the mind and sometimes social surroundings. Here at Discover Recovery, we like to say it includes the mind, body, and spirit.

a woman in a Washington rehab does yoga by the ocean

This means that holistic rehab could include art therapy, petting horses, massages, and sunny swimming pools. But by definition, holistic rehab can’t be only those things. Those activities don’t treat the whole person or all the systems that can lead to addiction. Effective holistic treatment still needs to address addiction, mental health, social environments, stressors, triggers, and more.

What Makes a “Good” Holistic Rehab?

High quality holistic rehab programs are going to look at issues such as:

  • Substance Abuse – What substances do you use and how long have you been using and abusing substances?
  • Mental Health – Are there any diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, manic-depression, or otherwise that can affect addiction recovery? Do any of these make you likely to self-medicate with substances?
  • Physical Health – Do you have any physical conditions that present challenges to sobriety such as chronic pain, epilepsy, sleep disorders or high blood pressure? Do you get regular exercise and eat a nutritious and balanced diet?
  • Socio-economic Situation – Do you have income or support to pay for your medicine, doctor appointments, and more after treatment? Does your job require you to work with or around alcohol and narcotics? Do you have people close to you who support your sobriety?

Once you look at some of these issues at holistic rehab, you can start to work on addressing the problem areas. Drug and alcohol treatment is really about learning skills and tools to face these challenges. Specifically to face them and work through them without drugs or alcohol.

Whole Life Treatment

After you start to look at how many parts of a person’s life can affect alcoholism and addiction, it might make you wonder why there was ever any form of rehab except holistic treatment. No amount of treatment can help someone if they can’t sleep without drugs or alcohol. People can’t find friendship and happiness in their sober lives if everyone around them hangs out at the bar. Truly helping someone with alcoholism and addiction requires a look at their whole life.

a girl paints during art therapy at alcohol treatment
You don’t have to be good at art to enjoy doing it.

Many people who choose to go to a holistic rehab treatment center do enjoy it. The activities provide some change from the groups, therapy, and meetings that fill up much of the day. But these groups are the core pieces that should be included in drug or alcohol treatment. The truth is that recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction isn’t easy. No amount of yoga or massage is going to change that. But these new activities do help people exercise, relax, express themselves, and learn about themselves. Overall, the holistic rehab treatment model is helping people across the country effectively free themselves from the pain of alcohol and drugs.

Holistic Rehab: More Than Just Hype

So it turns out “holistic treatment” is more than just a rehab buzz word. It’s a type of treatment that actually makes sense and increases the odds of success in recovery. If you’re interested in a holistic treatment rehab facility, we’re happy to help you at Discover Recovery. Feel free to verify your insurance or you can contact us with any questions.

Have Questions?

Fill out this form to contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Kaye
Kaye
Kaye is a guest writer for Discover Recovery. She's lives in the Chicago, IL area where she's been in recovery since 2016.

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