Can Holistic Therapy Help Recovery From Addiction?
Author: GIA Miami
Published: September 15, 2021

The benefits of holistic therapy during addiction recovery are often little understood. Are they supporting the recovery process, or are they simply good for our well-being?

What Is Holistic Therapy?

Holistic therapy has a variety of forms, from yoga and meditation to alternative medicines and acupuncture. Holistic medicine aims to combine conventional and alternative therapies to treat physical and psychological illness symptoms, but more importantly perhaps, to tackle the root causes of illness and prevent them in the first place.

The American Holistic Health Association defines the Principles of Holistic Medicine as:

  • Valuing a variety of safe, effective options in all stages of treatment, including:
  • education for lifestyle changes and well-being
  • complementary alternatives
  • conventional drugs and surgery
  • Finding the underlying cause of disease rather than only treating symptoms.
  • Emphasis on understanding the client, not just the disease.
  • Prevention is preferable to treatment and is often more cost-effective.
  • The success of healing is often determined by the relationship between the client and therapist.
  • Valuing love, hope, humor, and enthusiasm.
  • Let go of hostility, shame, greed, depression, prolonged fear, anger, and grief.
  • Unconditional love is life’s most powerful medicine.
  • Optimal health is much more than the absence of sickness.

How Does a Holistic Approach to Recovery Look?

A holistic approach to addiction treatment looks at the individual as a whole person rather than simply treating the symptoms of the addiction. Sometimes referred to as complementary treatment, holistic therapy looks to alternative methods outside of mainstream medicine.

The primary care method in holistic therapy is to empower patients to heal themselves by concentrating on the root cause of their addiction and establishing healthy lifestyle changes.

Diagnosis usually incorporates an evaluation of the person’s medical history and current physical and psychological health. Additionally, medical data is obtained as in conventional medical diagnosis.

In the first instance, treatment looks at giving attention and care to the mind and body. This is through physical factors, diet, exercise and environmental changes, emotional and psychological factors, behavioral modifications, relationship, and personal counseling, mindfulness, and grounding techniques.

Further treatment includes herbal medicines, acupuncture, homeopathy, conventional medicine, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

A holistic approach to recovery is not a quick fix; commitment to a lengthy healing journey is necessary to see positive results. However, if followed through adequately, it becomes the most sustainable and accessible form of treatment. Those in recovery learn to take responsibility and agency for their health and find a therapeutic way of preventing and treating chronic disease, ultimately improving overall well-being.

Some Alternative Approaches In Detail

Usually, holistic therapy is combined with traditional medical therapies, allowing them to complement each other effectively. Integrating a number of alternative approaches into your recovery increases the chances of a full and sustained recovery.

Some alternative approaches for addiction include:

  • Acupuncture – Research shows that acupuncture is effective in relieving both physical and psychological alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Hypnosis – While in a hypnotic trance, the person undergoing hypnosis is more relaxed and open to suggestions by the hypnotherapist, which can give a new perspective on their addictive behaviors. Under hypnosis, people can become more imaginative, more questioning, and can sometimes access memories that have been long suppressed.
  • Yoga – Using breathing, stretching, meditation, and relaxation can increase your flexibility, calm your mind, and increase your sense of self – giving you a solid foundation from which to grow your recovery. The practice of yoga may help balance some parts of the brain and body impacted by drug abuse in a natural way.
  • Meditation – When withdrawal-related symptoms arise, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, meditation can help to create a sense of groundedness in the individual and calm the nervous system. A calm nervous system improves sleep quality and boosts positive feelings during wake hours.
  • Herbal therapy – Herbs such as lemon balm, valerian root, skullcap, and mugwort can be used to increase the rate of detoxification, combat negative feelings during anxious moments, and help with sleep during withdrawal-related insomnia.

Holistic Treatment As A Crucial Healing Tool

Holistic therapy is an immersive and powerful way to recover from addiction. It considers the person in a holistic and caring way which conventional medicine often lacks. It sets you up for an achievable and sustained recovery by helping you build a strong and resilient foundation that you can rely on in difficult moments while on the road to recovery.

If you or a loved one is concerned about addiction  GIA can help. Call to make a FREE appointment today: 833-713-0797

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