When looking at treating substance abuse, it's hard to provide a one-size-fits-all. Certainly, different abuses require different approaches, but even when dealing with the same substance, different people can experience better results with some therapies over others. For this reason, it’s important to offer a variety of different treatments to address individuals’ varying recovery needs. A Holistic approach is the best way to approach recovery in terms of treating patients in an individualized fashion. At Coalition Recovery, we have one of the most wide-ranged options for holistic recovery.
What is Holistic Therapy?
A holistic approach finds ways to treat addiction other than drugs. It might sometimes be bizarre to treat drug addictions with more drugs. If we go by the official definition, holistic medicine is characterized as a method of healing that seeks to bestow optimal health and balance by addressing the individual’s bodily, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Like addiction recovery itself, there are many misconceptions about holism and that’s equally true when it comes to holistic addiction treatment. On the whole, holism is often considered to be synonymous with home remedies that offer negligible efficacy; however, that comparison is actually inaccurate. Physicians who practice holistic medicine utilize all forms of care at their disposal, including conventional medicine and treatments in addition to numerous alternative therapies. To holistic practitioners, whatever is necessary to treat a patient’s symptoms can be applied to holistic medicine.
When it comes to the treatment of addiction, holistic-based substance abuse therapy has become exceptionally popular and is being offered more and more frequently at rehabilitation centers. The thought behind holistic substance abuse treatment is that it can provide more comprehensive treatment to individuals who suffer from chemical and behavioral dependency. Although they’re not always referred to as “holistic” therapy, these types of treatments have proven to be especially popular among the elite and exclusive recovery facilities—where they’re often advertised under the name of “complementary” or “integrative” therapies—and include things like:
- Dietary education and consultations
- Massage therapy
- Yoga Therapy
- Experience or adventure therapy
- Somatic experiencing
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Spinal manipulative therapy
- A wide variety of other holistic offerings.
The Benefits of Holistic Addiction Treatment
If we look only at the single word, “holistic” is used to mean “whole” as opposed to merely treating parts of an individual or only treating specific symptoms, which is more often the case. As we’ve seen, the majority of facilities that offer holistic therapy have actually implemented holism alongside psychotherapy and counseling, using holistic treatment as a complement to more evidence-based rehabilitative treatments. This works to the patients' advantage -
they benefit from this combination of traditional and alternative therapies. In short, holistic substance abuse therapy allows individuals to assess and address the side effects of addiction with more than just counseling and psychotherapy; holistic therapy for substance abuse accounts for bodily, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellness. By some standards, holism could be considered more comprehensive than those programs that only offer counseling and clinical treatments in rehabilitation programs.
According to a study in which alcoholics participated in holistic therapy as part of their rehabilitative treatment, it was discovered that increased physical activity resulted in decreased tension throughout the body, decreased stress levels, improvements in self-esteem and perceptions of self-worth, feelings of greater fulfillment, and a more positive and optimistic outlook. Another study found that when substance abuse treatment programs included nutrition education, recovery success rates improved by a substantial margin. What’s more, a study that analyzed the inclusion of holistic therapies with a spiritual focus—yoga, meditation, and a variety of other mind-body techniques—in 90-day substance abuse treatment programs, found that when given an assessment, participants showed marked improvements in their emotions and thought patterns. While it’s true that the empirical evidence is somewhat sparse, there have been strong indications of numerous benefits to holistic therapy for substance abuse being incorporated alongside the clinical staples of rehabilitation.
How Holistic Therapy Helps With Achieving Recovery
Every individual in recovery will have his or her own needs that must be addressed as part of rehabilitation before he or she can succeed in long-term sobriety. As we’ve learned, the disease of addiction manifests differently in every person who suffers from chemical dependence for a number of personal and situational reasons. Although counseling and psychotherapy will remain essential and foundational to addiction recovery programs, holistic treatments are simply able to account for a number of components to healing that most clinical and psychotherapeutic models can’t.
Among the many benefits of holistic addiction therapy is the fact that it offers those seeking recovery from substance abuse and chemical dependency with a set of tools they can use to achieve spiritual and emotional wellness. With addiction being a comprehensive and progressive brain disease that affects virtually every aspect of the addict’s life, it’s very important for every aspect of an individual’s suffering to be addressed so that they can experience lasting success in recovery. Fortunately, holistic therapy is able to intersect all the different spheres of influence that make up an individual’s addiction while not discounting the importance of psychotherapy; in fact, rather than contrasting with clinical models of recovery, holistic treatments fortify recovery by helping individuals to heal in other ways that can be equally as important. Additionally, since holistic substance abuse treatment includes a variety of different treatments, individuals have the opportunity to personalize their substance abuse curricula according to their interests, preferences, and needs.
There no right or wrong way to achieve stable, long-lasting recovery; however, holistic addiction recovery is specially designed to appeal to a wide variety of recovery needs and preferences. If you or someone you love would like to learn more about holistic addiction treatment, or to schedule a free consultation, call Coalition Recovery today and take the first step toward long-lasting health.