What Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?

Female doing yoga facing the ocean

When treating Substance Abuse Disorders (SUD), it’s common for the patient to have additional physical and mental health issues. If these additional health issues are serious, they may require specialized medical treatment.

However, for other problems that arise through addiction and the associated lifestyle, a more holistic approach can help to build strength and help the patient better navigate their path to recovery.

A holistic approach to addiction treatment tries to look at the entirety of the person, beyond just their struggle with addiction. Physical, mental, and even spiritual health can all be considered during holistic treatment.

Focusing solely on holistic techniques to treat addiction is generally not recommended by addiction experts. However, incorporating holistic techniques and methods into an existing traditional addiction treatment program can have positive benefits and aid in recovery.

Holistic Addiction Treatment

Holistic addiction treatment is a personalized form of treatment where specific methods are used to address the patient’s overall health. It’s best for these methods to be used in conjunction with standard addiction treatment methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and similar techniques.

The additional holistic treatments for addiction will generally focus on rounding out the overall recovery goals to address the following.

Physical health

Maintaining physical health is important during addiction treatment. There may be sleep disturbances and other issues as the patient adjusts to a sober lifestyle. Providing tools and strategies to maximize physical health during treatment can lead to higher success rates.

With holistic addiction therapy, finding ways to maintain and improve physical health can also provide a benchmark so the patient can better understand the progress they are making during treatment.

Emotional Health

Standard CBT treatments can help with overall emotional health. Additional holistic methods can also address and bolster emotional health by providing coping tools and maintaining a balanced and clear outlook.

A key part of addiction therapy is dealing with underlying misconceptions and incorrect beliefs that can lead to negative behaviors. Improving emotional health helps realign the patient’s outlook which can lead to more positive choices.

Social Support

It’s common for those suffering from addiction to become isolated from friends and loved ones. A part of holistic addiction therapy is to help end that cycle of isolation and create healthy support structures for the patient. 

This can be accomplished by reconnecting with friends and family members over time and rebuilding the relationship. Social support can also be provided by the treatment center through aftercare and group counseling activities

Spiritual Support

This can differ for each patient. For some it may be a connection to religion, for others, it can be becoming more in tune with their own beliefs and staying true to their goals and purpose. 

Types of Holistic Therapies For Addiction

Now that we’ve covered the goals of holistic therapy for addiction, it’s time to focus on a few actual therapies and strategies that are used.

These can vary depending on the treatment center and the needs of individual patients. But overall, some combination of these techniques will be used in most holistic addiction treatment settings.

Exercise

Overall health is always important during recovery. Patients can often enter rehab with poor health due to the lifestyle that accompanies many addictions.

Exercise, when appropriate, can provide a path to better overall physical health. Exercise has also been proven to improve mood and confidence, which can work synergistically with other addiction treatment methods.

Exercise can also provide a tangible way for the patient to see themselves progressing and improving. 

Nutritional Support

During the initial phases of recovery, nutritional support can be very important. There may be disruptions in appetite and other transitory digestive issues. Ensuring the patient is eating properly and receiving the proper nutrients is key to maintaining overall health and mood support during treatment.

Breathing Exercises & Meditation

With treatment, patients may feel anxious or experience generalized anxiety. Breathing exercises and techniques can help with regulating these uncomfortable feelings and stabilizing mood throughout the day and during treatment.

For those who want to take things further, meditation can help to maintain relaxation and manage overall mood and well-being.

This aspect of holistic treatment can be as simple as a deep breathing exercise or can be meditation along with yoga or other therapies.

Benefits of Holistic Addiction Treatment

There are a host of benefits that come from incorporating holistic treatment methods with standard treatment practices. Most of these benefits have long-term effects that can help the patient during treatment and for years afterward.

Relapse Prevention

While relapses during addiction treatment can be complex, incorporating holistic methods can help to reduce or minimize the chances of relapses.

Holistic treatment approaches can help the patient be more in tune with what behaviors and triggers may cause a relapse. The patient’s improved health can also be something they want to protect, further preventing a relapse.

Overall Improved Mental Health

Holistic addiction methods focus on improving overall mental health. Addiction experts agree that mental health and addiction are often related. The better a patient’s overall mental health is, the higher the chances of recovery.

Stronger Social & Personal Skills

Part of addiction treatment is transitioning to a new lifestyle that involves healthy personal relationships and social support structures. Using holistic methods, this transition can be made easier and more accessible for patients who have previously isolated themselves.

Finding Holistic Addiction Treatment Centers

Many addiction treatment centers now incorporate holistic methods into their standard treatment protocols. For many patients, this combination of traditional addiction treatment with holistic methods can yield the best outcomes.

At Ocean State Recovery, we combine proven addiction treatment methods along with an overall holistic approach to the patient’s health and well-being. The combination of these strategies offers a flexible and highly effective path to recovery.

If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction and you want more information about addiction treatment and holistic approaches, contact us today.

Our expert and compassionate staff can walk you through our treatment options and methods so you can start on your path to recovery.

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12924747/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215253/

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