Holistic Treatment for Drug Addiction

Holistic rehab is typically not delivered in isolation, but rather in combination with other evidence-based forms of treatment like MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Holistic therapy is based on the concept that the various systems in your body are considered as whole entities instead of separate, unconnected body systems. The practice of holism or holistic therapy views these various systems as working together in harmony to support your overall health and wellbeing.

In the case of addiction treatment, holistic rehab treats all parts of the individual instead of purely focusing on troublesome symptoms triggered by substance use.

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What is Holistic Recovery?

A holistic approach to addiction therapy, then, involves a mixed bag of experiential, alternative, and complementary therapies all gathered under the umbrella of holistic therapy. You will find the approach usually also includes traditional elements of the medical practice as well.

The whole-person approach involved with holistic healthcare interventions can address your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. This is a much more comprehensive and probing approach than the traditional method of relying only on medication or psychotherapy without any holistic aspect.

As you’ll find out below, here at Renaissance Recovery Center, our treatment programs for alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, and dual diagnosis all offer you the chance to supplement evidence-based treatment with more holistic elements for a wider-reaching treatment for addiction.

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Some of the different approaches commonly used for holistic rehab include:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Tai Chi
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Guided meditation
  • Biochemical restoration
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Hiking
  • Surfing
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Herbal therapy
  • Massage
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Sound therapy
  • Sports and exercise
  • Nutritional education

To explore some of the various ways that holistic therapy can help you fight back against addiction, we’ll focus on how you can benefit in the following ways:

  • Treating your body
  • Treating your mind
  • Treating your spirit

Treating your body

For the vast majority of people looking to engage with a holistic treatment program, the root cause for seeking treatment is:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Substance use disorder
  • Mental health disorder

When addiction co-occurs with a mental health condition, this is known as co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.

All of these issues impact the body in some way. With alcohol, for instance, excessive consumption can affect the liver, kidneys, and heart. All drugs abused long-term will exact a battery of physical effects, too. Physical dependence on substances is also integral to most addictions.

The physical treatment of addiction takes on many forms, depending on the specifics of the issue at hand. In the case of alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, holistic rehab usually starts with medical detox. You can purge your body of toxins under close medical supervision, with the assistance of medication if appropriate.

There are three core goals to treating the body with holistic rehab:

  1. Repairing damage: If substance abuse or a behavioral addiction has caused any physical damage, treating the body can sometimes trigger it to self-repair to some extent. You’ll also strengthen your body to better ward off future damage. Prescription medications and some forms of physical therapy can be beneficial, but this needs assessing on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Improving your overall health: By treating your body as part of a holistic rehab program, you can expect to notice improvements in your overall health. Even if some damage inflicted by substance abuse is permanent, you can make massive strides to improve your overall physical health.
  3. Maintaining your health: The stronger you are today, the better equipped your body is to cope with any illness tomorrow.

Treating your mind

While treating the body in the aftermath of addiction is reasonably straightforward, treating the mind is more nuanced.

With physical problems, it’s possible to take advantage of physical tests to determine what’s wrong and to establish how to fix it. The mind is much more intangible, and as such resistant to such binary testing and diagnosis.

Fundamentally, all addictions and mental health conditions impact the mind. Addressing the mental aspect of the condition is vital if lifelong recovery is the goal.

Substances like alcohol prescription medications, and illicit drugs can all alter the way your brain functions. Imagine someone with a demonstrable addiction who plainly denies they have a problem. They may not be lying, but the substance they are using to excess clouds the mind and they may not perceive any legitimate problem.

While treating the body is beneficial, it’s essential to also tackle the flawed thinking and irrational behaviors that are holding you back.

With mental health disorders, these are profoundly based on issues in the mind rather than physical problems. Treating your emotions in tandem with your body is key.

Treating your spirit

The spiritual component of holistic therapy is arguably the hardest of all these aspects to treat.

Even defining the spirit is challenging for some people. If you’re unsure, think about what animates and motivates you, what makes you the personality and person that you are? All of this derives from your spirit.

In many important ways, your spirit determines how you hope for the future and how you view your purpose in life. Often, addiction results in the loss of hope, a sure recipe for depression. As both issues then feed into each other, an absence of hope and a misplaced sense of purpose can leave some people feeling like recovery is a hopeless and insurmountable barrier instead of a challenging but manageable journey.

Treating the spirit in holistic rehab does not necessarily involve any kind of religious component. For some, this may be the approach they take, typically those with firm existing beliefs. For others, simply acknowledging the existence of the spirit is enough without entering the realm of religion.

To round out today, we’ll highlight some of the chief benefits of engaging with a holistic rehab program.

5 Benefits of Holistic Therapy

  1. Combines physical, psychological, and social elements
  2. Holistic therapy empowers you
  3. You’ll still benefit from traditional therapies with a holistic approach
  4. Learn more about yourself while in recovery
  5. There is an evidence base for holistic treatment

1) Combines physical, psychological, and social elements

As mentioned above, holistic healing is predicated on the concept that your body, mind, and spirit all need to be healthy for you to enjoy the most fruitful and successful life possible.

In the context of addiction treatment, holistic rehab does much more than address burdensome physical symptoms. It also probes deeper and wider than examining your emotions. You’ll benefit in all areas, physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Don’t let the idea of the spiritual component put you off this form of addiction treatment. This will never be forced upon you, and it will certainly not involve overtly religious elements. The focus instead is on becoming more spiritually aware.

By combining all of these areas, you’ll maximize your chances of a successful and sustained recovery. Think of holistic therapy as the opposite of a quick-fix, and as capable of helping you affect lasting change.

2) Holistic therapy empowers you

If you have found yourself feeling helpless and hopeless during the course of an addiction to drink or drugs, holistic rehab allows you to reclaim responsibility for your life.

You’ll discover that you hold the power to change in your own hands, and you’ll learn to take control of your recovery and your future.

3) You’ll still benefit from traditional therapies with a holistic approach

When you choose to engage with a holistic therapy program, this doesn’t mean you sacrifice traditional evidence-based forms of treatment.

Medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy are both evidence-based forms of therapy that are used so widely because of their proven success.

With a holistic rehab program, you’ll expand upon these aspects for a whole-person approach to substance abuse treatment.

4) Learn more about yourself while in recovery

You may have found that you’ve lost sight of who you are and what you value as alcohol or drugs consumed more and more of your life.

When you undertake holistic rehab, you’ll have ample opportunity to reconnect with your emotions, and to work on repairing and ultimately strengthening your interpersonal relationships. The tools and skills you’ll develop during treatment will be beneficial throughout your ongoing recovery.

5) There is an evidence base for holistic treatment

A 2020 study reviewing 69 different studies evaluating various methods of treating addiction found that treatment efficacy increased when a multi-dimensional and holistic approach was utilized.

Most addiction experts agree that there are many contributing and interlinked factors underpinning addiction. It makes sense, then, to take a multi-pronged approach to treatment.

Holistic Therapy Services at a Drug Rehab

Rehab doesn’t need to be purely functional and boring. With the right holistic therapy program, especially when it’s based in Southern California, you can powerfully connect with nature through hiking, rock climbing, or surfing. You’ll find all these components and more as part of experiential adventure therapy program here at Renaissance Recovery Center.

Taking part in outdoor activities that stretch you and take you outside your comfort zone can help instill in you the skills needed to overcome the rigors of recovery without relapsing. You’ll sharpen your ability to build relationships, and you’ll learn how to work more effectively as part of a team.

Often, you’ll encounter hobbies or activities you can use to relieve stress and to occupy yourself with when you leave rehab. If you have found active addiction has plundered your happiness and robbed you of experiences, engaging with a holistic treatment program can do more than set you going on the road to recovery. You may also find this form of treatment reignites your love for life, too, showing you how it’s perfectly possible to have fun and regulate your emotions substance-free.

Regardless of the scope and severity of your addiction, we’re here to help you at Renaissance. Our holistic therapy programs for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder also involve the proven effective combination of medication-assisted treatment and talk therapies.

Here are some of the different areas in which you can benefit from holistic rehab at Renaissance:

To get things started, reach out to the admissions team here at Renaissance Recovery Center at 866.330.9449.

Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction

Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.

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