Holistic addiction treatment is available at alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers across the United States. These programs still offer the staples of a rehabilitation program, but holistic treatment has an advantage that often makes it better for the treatment of addiction.
But what is holistic treatment? How is holistic treatment used? And what are the benefits of attending a holistic rehab?
We’re answering those essential questions in our ultimate guide to holistic treatment for addiction.
What is Holistic Treatment?
When we think about substance abuse treatment, we often focus on the clinical aspects. Psychotherapy, group counseling, and family therapy come to mind. But treatment for addiction often entails more than clinical techniques, especially when the goal is to achieve lasting, stable recovery.
Holistic rehabs offer substance abuse treatment programs comprised of integrated, multidisciplinary treatments and therapies. So whereas traditional drug rehab programs would utilize primarily clinical approaches, holistic treatment addresses a wider variety of physical, psychological, and spiritual recovery needs.
Common Holistic Treatments & Therapies
People often misunderstand holism or mistake it for home remedies. But that’s not the case.
With holistic treatment, all of the patient’s needs are considered and addressed. And perhaps more importantly, holistic care seeks to identify (and address) any physical, psychological, and spiritual causes for a patient’s symptoms. Even when symptoms are related to an addiction or substance abuse problem, this can mean employing a wide range of holistic treatments.
The following treatments and therapies are most often used at holistic rehabs:
- Massage therapy
- Biofeedback therapy
- Neurofeedback therapy
- Tai chi
- Guided meditation
- Diet and nutrition
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
How Holistic Addiction Treatment is Used
As helpful as they can be, holistic addiction treatments aren’t a substitute for the staples of a drug rehab program. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapeutic modalities often serve as the core of a substance abuse treatment center. Then holistic therapies complement those approaches by either addressing aspects of recovery that lie outside the purview of clinical treatment or enhancing those clinical treatment methods.
In fact, there’s clear evidence that holistic therapies are quite effective in a clinical setting.
Several holistic treatments can help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that many patients experience while detoxing. In particular, acupuncture and acupressure can help with some of the general physical discomfort associated with withdrawal. It can even help with muscle aches and joint pain.
Stress & Emotional Strain
Abruptly ceasing one’s alcohol or drug intake causes stress and anxiety by default. Patients also confront the full extent of their emotions — without intoxicants diluting them — for the first time in quite a while. It can be a lot to handle. But certain holistic treatments, such as yoga and guided meditation, can help to mitigate a lot of that emotional distress.
Lack of Spiritual Grounding
Approximately 80 percent of the United States subscribes to one religion or another. Thus, we can ascertain that spirituality is likely important to a lot of people suffering from addiction. Holistic programs take into account the role of religious belief or spirituality can play in a person’s life.
Examples of ways for holistic rehabs to accommodate a patient’s religious inclinations include building the program around the Twelve Steps or offering actual spiritual therapy.
Poor Physical Health & Diet
While in the throes of addiction, people are much less concerned about their physical well-being. This can lead to significant weight loss (or gain) and malnourishment. But in a holistic drug rehab program, there’s nutrition counseling and other similar resources can help patients restore their physical health.
What are the Benefits of Holistic Treatment for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction?
There’s no shortage of evidence supporting the efficacy of holistic addiction treatment. Because when it comes down to it, holistic care treats the whole person and not just the symptoms.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of holistic treatment for addiction.
Highly Individualized Care
Holistic treatment offers much greater potential for customization and individualization. Instead of trying to fit themselves into an inflexible program, patients can pick and choose holistic therapies that best fit their needs. Treatments like acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback, and massage therapy can be mixed and matched to create a customized recovery experience.
In short, holistic treatment offers a level of individualization rarely seen in clinical substance abuse treatment.
One of the main differences between a holistic treatment program and a standard clinical treatment program is that a holistic program is more comprehensive. Conceptually, the idea behind holism is to treat the “whole person” rather than just the symptoms he or she is experiencing. As a result, holistic rehabs help to identify and address certain social, emotional, and spiritual needs that people in recovery might have.
Reduces Risk of Relapse
Since holistic substance abuse treatment represents a more comprehensive approach, you often see lower relapse and recidivism rates with holistic care. Again, this is largely due to the fact that holistic treatment is more comprehensive, addressing both symptoms and underlying causes of addiction.
Provides a Compassionate Environment
Because of the emphasis on emotional and spiritual wellness, holistic programs offer more compassionate, empathetic environments. There’s a focus on how patients are feeling and the role that negative feelings can play in recovery. Most of these programs even encourage relaxation and compassion through the individual treatments offered, such as guided meditation and yoga.
Affords a Wider Variety of Treatment Options
Perhaps most importantly, holistic care affords a much greater variety of treatment options. This means patients have more opportunities to find the treatment methods that are most appropriate or more effective for their needs. And with their needs being met more effectively, patients become more likely to achieve and maintain sobriety.
Discover Your Recovery at Discover Recovery Treatment Center
In spite of the misconceptions, holistic substance abuse treatment remains one of the best ways to overcome addiction. Because even though counseling, group therapy, and other clinical treatments are important, rehabilitation often requires more than just clinical techniques.
That’s where Discover Recovery comes in. We are an addiction treatment center in Long Beach, WA, offering holistic, multidisciplinary programs to help people suffering from addiction to regain their health and independence.
If you’re looking for addiction treatment in Washington or a Long Beach rehabilitation center, don’t wait — call Discover Recovery Treatment Center to discover your recovery today.