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?
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:
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.
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:
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.
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