Drug addiction treatment usually uses conventional medical and therapeutic practices to help individuals overcome addiction. While standard forms of addiction treatment are effective, some people prefer to use non-medical and alternative therapeutic practices when it comes to their treatments. For the people that prefer to use non-medical and alternative therapeutic practices for addiction treatment, there is holistic treatment and holistic medicine.
Holistic treatment is treatment for addiction that doesn’t use conventional medical and therapeutic practices. Instead, holistic treatment uses alternative practices to treat addiction without any medicine.
The goal of holistic treatment is to treat the “whole” person, body, mind, and soul rather than just the body. Just as standard addiction treatment mainly entails various forms of standard addiction therapy, holistic treatment mainly entails various forms of holistic therapy for addiction.
Because holistic therapy focuses on treating the whole person, body, mind, and soul, holistic therapy can be physical, mental, and spiritual in nature. To really break down some of the major types of holistic treatment, holistic therapy can even be described as creative in nature.
Holistic therapy that treats the body is usually physical. Thus, individuals will likely have to move their bodies during these types of holistic therapy.
Common physical types of holistic therapy include:
Regular cardio exercise is not only good for the human body, but it’s very therapeutic for people that are in addiction treatment and recovery. This is because cardio exercise keeps the heart and body in good shape.
Cardio exercise also causes the body to release endorphins, which are bodily chemicals that cause the body to relieve itself of stress and pain. Endorphins also cause the body to experience a euphoric effect similar to that of certain substances such as opioids. Thus, cardio exercise is a great way for people that suffer from an addiction to substances to get some of that euphoric sensation that they crave, but in a healthy manner.
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on flexibility and stretching the body. This form of exercise also focuses on becoming one with the human body. Although much less intense than cardio exercise, yoga is still a physical form of holistic therapy that helps make the human body healthier for those suffering from addiction.
Receiving a massage is another type of physical holistic treatment. This is because massages are physical ways to help relieve the body of stress, anxiety, and tension. In fact, receiving a massage can decrease a person’s heart rate and blood pressure.
Massages can also decrease the amount of cortisol that the body releases. Thus, massages can help individuals that are going through addiction treatment cope while in recovery.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into a person’s skin to hit certain pressure points. Hitting these pressure points causes the body to relieve itself of stress and tension.
This release of stress and tension relaxes the human body in a way that also helps individuals cope while in addiction treatment and recovery. Because acupuncture requires something physical to be inserted into the skin, it can be considered a physical form of holistic therapy.
Holistic therapy that treats the mind is mental in nature. When holistic therapy is mental, it helps keep the mind calm. That way people can cope with triggers in addiction treatment and recovery.
Common mental types of holistic therapy include:
Meditation is one of the most popular types of mental holistic therapy. This is because meditation helps people relax, slow down their minds, and focus. As a result, meditation is helpful to individuals that need to find ways to mentally cope with anxiety and past trauma.
Meditation can also help people in addiction treatment and recovery find the mental capacity to manage their addiction triggers. This is because meditation can help people in addiction recovery slow down their train of thoughts and impulses enough to avoid addiction triggers.
Similar to meditation, breathing exercises help individuals relax, slow down their minds, and focus. Therefore, breathing exercises are also an effective way to calm down, treat past trauma and anxiety, and slow down one’s thoughts. That way individuals can focus on the decisions that they’re making and not give in to addiction triggers.
While it may not appear to be at first thought, spending time in nature is an effective type of mental holistic therapy. This is because, in nature, there are little to no distractions.
Therefore, in nature, individuals can really take the time to get their minds right and contemplate on where they are in their addiction recovery journeys. Individuals that aren’t where they want to be in their addiction recovery journeys can take the time in nature to come up with ways to get to be where they want to be.
Spiritual types of holistic treatment are holistic therapies that help treat the soul of a person in addiction treatment or recovery. Spiritual types of holistic treatment can be religious or non-religious. Common types of spiritual holistic therapy include:
Praying to some sort of higher power can help individuals maintain both perspective and hope while in addiction treatment and recovery. This can, in turn, help individuals that are recovering from addiction maintain sobriety even when they are feeling down, discouraged, or triggered.
Believing and praying to a higher power is such an effective coping mechanism for individuals in addiction treatment and recovery that it’s a main component of the 12 steps. This is evident in step 11 of the 12 steps which states, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Furthermore, throughout the other 12 steps, connecting with God is mentioned several times.
Attending religious services is also another type of spiritual holistic therapy. This is because, once again, people use the time during religious services to communicate with a higher power.
This can refuel the hope and dedication that individuals have to maintain sobriety.
While communicating with God during religious services, individuals can complete several of the 12 steps. For example, while attending religious services, individuals can complete step 3 in the 12 steps which states, “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Nearly all the other 12 steps are spiritually based in some shape or form. Therefore, there is no harm in attending a religious service during addiction recovery. All it can do is help give people enough hope and conviction to avoid triggers and maintain sobriety.
If a person in addiction treatment or recovery doesn’t feel comfortable enough to attend religious services, he or she can participate in religious social groups. Religious social groups create a more casual format in which a person can connect or communicate with a higher power. People in addiction treatment or recovery can even build upon their support groups through the individuals that they meet in religious social groups.
Some types of holistic therapy are creative in nature. This is because some types of holistic therapy use the arts to help people work through their thoughts and emotions so that they can find a way to change negative behaviors into positive ones. Common creative types of holistic therapy are:
Music therapy is the use of music to help people in addiction treatment or recovery redirect their negative thoughts and emotions so that they can cope in the face of addiction triggers. Individuals can write, play, or create music during music therapy.
Art therapy is the use of art to help people in addiction treatment or recovery alter their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into positive ones. This form of therapy ranges from drawing to painting, and more.
Holistic medicine is any alternative treatment for addiction that doesn’t use traditional forms of medicine. Although holistic treatments don’t use typical forms of medicine, they do use holistic medicine. Holistic medicine comes in the various types of holistic therapy services that we discussed in this article. Holistic medicine can also come in the form of all-natural Western and Eastern medicines.
The main principles of holistic medicine is that:
Therapy that is holistic is a great tool to use during addiction treatment. This is because holistic therapy treats the “whole” patient. This makes it less likely for the person receiving holistic therapy for addiction treatment to relapse due to mental or spiritual reasons.
Often addiction treatment centers incorporate holistic treatment methods into their regular addiction treatment programs so that patients get the best of both worlds. This is particularly true at dual diagnosis treatment centers that treat both substance use and mental health disorders.
Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center. Therefore, we here at Grace Land Recovery use forms of addiction therapy that help treat substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Sometimes this includes holistic therapy methods.
Some of the other forms of addiction therapy that we offer here at Grace Land Recovery include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, trauma therapy, family therapy, anger management therapy, experiential therapy, and more. Grace Land Recovery offers all of these forms of addiction therapy within its specialized and individualized addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
The substance addictions that the addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs here at Grace Land Recovery specialize in include everything from cocaine to alcohol, to benzodiazepines, to heroin, opioids, and more. To learn more about the different addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs offered here at Grace Land Recovery, contact us today!