A continuous trend in addiction treatment has been to include holistic treatment practices into more traditional therapies in recent years. A wide variety of holistic healing approaches are now being used in addiction treatment centers across the U.S. The term “holistic” refers to interventions that treat the “whole person” and focus on the mind and body’s totality, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Many addiction treatment centers view mindfulness meditation and yoga practices as an opportunity for persons to address their many needs better. By using these ancillary techniques, individuals may experience improvements in their recovery and other aspects of their everyday life.
What Is a Holistic Healing Program?
Addiction treatment programs that employ holistic techniques use an integrated approach to develop a comprehensive treatment regimen. Many of these services are considered complementary or alternative therapies, some of which are rooted in practices steeped in cultural traditions.
Examples of holistic techniques include the following:
- Nutritional therapy
- Herbal treatment
- Adventure therapy
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
These are but a few of the many diverse treatments considered beneficial for holistic healing. The main element these techniques have in common is that they are all intended to treat the whole person and improve overall satisfaction with life and well-being. This element contrasts with focusing on a single aspect of an individual’s behaviors.
Keeping this in mind, a holistic approach to substance abuse and addiction should seek to curb isolated addictive behaviors. It should also address a wide range of crucial factors that contribute to addiction development.
Using Holistic Healing Techniques in Addiction Treatment
In some cases, holistic practices are employed to augment specific aspects of more traditional recovery treatment. In doing this, these techniques may help with the following:
- Withdrawal side effects
- Depression, anxiety, or other psycho-emotional issues that may have contributed to the development of compulsive substance use
- A lack of spirituality
- Poor eating habits and malnutrition in conjunction with substance abuse
Supporters of holistic practices posit they can improve the chances of long-lasting recovery from addiction. However, it is generally advised that holistic therapies be used in combination with traditional treatments, not merely to be used as a substitution for more intensive approaches, such as behavioral therapy.
How Effective Are Holistic Healing Techniques?
People researching holistic treatment programs may find it challenging to find studies that support the effectiveness of these practices. Indeed, scant research has been performed on many holistic approaches, and that which is out there has had mixed results. As such, some of these techniques in promoting lasting recovery are unknown. For this reason, they have often been the subject of debate.
That said, holistic practices often interest those who would otherwise be leery of more traditional therapies. Likewise, their presence may make an individual more comfortable engaging in conventional talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other treatments. It may foster a willingness to try other research-based approaches that can result in a higher likelihood of achieving long-lasting recovery.
Also, these practices can be entertaining and put persons at ease and more engaged in their overall treatment, helping them better manage rehab challenges. For these reasons alone, holistic techniques can be valuable components in a more extensive, conventional, evidence-based program, despite minimal or mixed evidence to support them.
Holistic and Traditional Approaches in Addiction Treatment
Most experts believe that conventional, clinically-proven intensive treatment for addiction is more likely to help individuals achieve sobriety and maintain long-term recovery. Holistic approaches may include a wide range of therapies that may offer additional support and make treatment programs more interesting and fulfilling in general.
Individuals considering rehab may need to research each specific facility’s holistic healing offerings. They should inquire about the therapies that the treatment center provides and the qualifications of those who will be administering the therapies.
Some alternative treatments indeed do lack evidence regarding their effectiveness. However, when used in combination with more traditional addiction treatment therapies, there are holistic techniques that undoubtedly can contribute to greater treatment satisfaction.
Getting Help for Addiction
Just Believe Recovery Center offers integrated, research-based programs comprised of therapeutic modalities essential for long-lasting recovery. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Individual and family counseling
- Peer group support
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Mindfulness meditation
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning