The Many Benefits of Holistic Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Holistic therapy for addiction is a treatment approach that focuses on the idea of a unified mind-body-spirit. Holistic treatment programs are distinct from the traditional approach used by many addiction treatment centers.
Holistic therapy methods champion the idea that every person, as a whole, is more than just a sum of their parts. When combined with other treatment modalities such as individual therapy, group counseling and 12-step support groups, holistic approaches help support recovery efforts and maintain long-term sobriety.
Benefits of Holistic Therapy
People turn to drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons, and oftentimes they are not completely aware of what those reasons are. A holistic approach to substance use disorder treatment works to heal the “whole person,” not just individual symptoms of addiction.
The physical and mental risks of drug and alcohol use are well-documented, but substance abuse also affects energetic and spiritual well-being. The White House Anti-Drug Plan promotes holistic techniques to promote dopamine boosting, which supports reward and happiness in the brain.
The importance of spiritual healing is not a novel concept. Meditation, yoga and other holistic healing practices have been used for thousands of years to promote overall wellness. Holistic approaches to drug rehab allow therapists and counselors to develop individualized treatment plans for every clients’ unique physical, psychological and spiritual needs.
Share this Image On Your Site
Holistic rehabilitation methods can take a variety of forms including:
Healthy Meal Plans
People with alcohol or other substance use disorders may be suffering from nutritional deficiencies or even malnutrition. Incorporating healthy meal plans, and nutritional supplements, into a rehabilitation and recovery plan can help address any dietary deficiency issues.
A healthy diet supports a healthy mind, and a healthy mind supports the strength needed to fight substance abuse. Nutritional deficits can lead to bouts of hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness – all of which can thwart recovery efforts.
Nutritionally speaking, people in treatment should focus on a nutritional plan that includes:
- Less sugar
- Fewer refined carbohydrates
- More protein
- More fiber
- More healthy fats
- Fewer processed foods
- Less caffeine
Antioxidants in particular can help people stay strong in rehab. Common forms of antioxidants include:
- Beta-Carotene / Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Physical activity not only improves fitness and general health among people in rehabilitation, it also promotes and improves:
- Physical function
- Mental health
- Social function
- General health perception
- Other quality of life indicators
Mindfulness is the process of being actively aware of the current situation and living in the moment. Mindfulness exercises help to combat depressive symptoms for people in the early stages of recovery. Mindfulness interventions have been shown to produce similar results as evidence-based treatments when it comes to symptoms of addiction.
Mindfulness exercises include:
- Mindful breathing
- Mindful observation
- Mindful awareness
- Mindful listening
- Mindful immersion
- Mindful appreciation
Massage helps to control feelings of anxiety, which is often a symptom of withdrawal and cravings. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the benefits of massage for people with addiction include:
- Increased serotonin
- Increased relaxation
- Reduced agitation
- An easier time falling asleep
- An ability to be in better touch with yourself through touch
- Trust building
Creative interventions like expressive therapies, such as art, music and dance, can help people in recovery express themselves in a healthy and productive manner. They offer alternative means of communication. Creative writing in addiction treatment helps with goal-setting, coping-skills, facing traumas, self-disclosure and therapeutic alliance.
The meditative and athletic components of yoga can help people during both detoxification and the long-term management of substance use disorders. Yoga is a low-cost, low-risk adjunct to traditional substance abuse therapy. The benefits of yoga for people in recovery include discipline, heightened intuition, increased circulation, balance and stress relief.
Tai chi can be described as meditation in motion. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that promotes focus, relaxation, concentration, improved mental health and well-being. It helps to combat depression and anxiety.
Healing the Mind, Body and Spirit While in Recovery
Holistic therapy offers a mind-body-spirit approach to addiction recovery. Our Serenity Lounge uses the science of stress relief to relax the body, quiet the mind and calm emotions. During a 30-minute session in one of our serenity beds, clients experience a combination of vibro-acoustics, music therapy and guided imagery to bring about a balanced state of harmony.
Transformations Treatment Center offers a variety of holistic supplemental programs including:
- Chiropractic Care
- Adventure Therapy
- Guided Meditation
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Critical Analysis of White House Anti-Drug Plan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649359/
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). How to Use the ASAM Criteria. https://www.asam.org/resources/the-asam-criteria/how-to-use-the-asam-criteria
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. The Importance of Nutrition in Aiding Recovery from Substance Use Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28806640
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Benefits of Exercise for the Quality of Life of Drug-Dependent Patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26595433
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Predictors of Depression Outcomes Among Abstinent Methamphetamine-Dependent Individuals Exposed to an Exercise Intervention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25907813
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Psychiatric Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29126747
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Chair Massage for Treating Anxiety in Patients Withdrawing from Psychoactive Drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20799900
American Massage Therapy Association. Massage and Addiction. https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/2729/massage-addiction
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. The Use of Auricular Acupuncture in Opioid Use Disorder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28051842
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. A Treatment Improvement Protocol TIP 41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64220/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK64220.pdf
Temple University. The Use of Creative Writing Interventions in Substance Abuse Treatment. https://sites.temple.edu/rtwiseowls/files/2014/12/the-use-of-creative-writing-interventions-in-substance-abuse-treatment.pdf
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Yoga and Substance Use Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28262148
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Effectiveness of Yogic Breathing Intervention on quality of Life of Opioid Dependent Users. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26170596
Hindawi. Effects of Qigong on Depression. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/134737/abs/
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIDA-Drug Addiction Treatment Outcome Study Relapse as a Function of Spirituality/Religiosity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455957/