An ongoing trend in addiction treatment in the past few years has been to incorporate alternative or holistic treatment practices into more conventional therapies. In fact, a wide variety of holistic approaches are being used in addiction treatment centers across the United States.
What Is Holistic Healing?
The term “holistic” refers to interventions that address the “whole person” or a concurrent focus on the mind and body for total healing. Many addiction treatment centers view holistic practices as an opportunity for people to better address their physical, psychological, spiritual, and sometimes social needs. By using these complementary techniques, people may experience improvements in their recovery and other aspects of their everyday life.
What Is a Holistic Healing Program?
Addiction treatment programs that employ holistic techniques make thorough use of an integrated physical, emotional, and spiritual approach to develop a comprehensive treatment regimen. Many of these services are categorized as complementary or alternative therapies, some of which are rooted in practices that stem from cultural traditions.
Examples of holistic techniques include the following:
- Nutritional therapy
- Herbal treatment
- Art and music therapy
- Adventure therapy
These are just a few of the diverse treatments that are considered to be beneficial for holistic healing. The key element that these techniques have in common is that they are intended to treat the whole individual and improve overall well-being. This element contrasts with a focus on a single aspect of a person’s symptoms or behaviors.
Keeping this in mind, a holistic approach to addiction should, essentially, seek to curb isolated addictive behaviors. It should also address a broad range of factors that play vital roles in the development of addiction.
Using Holistic Healing Techniques for Addiction Treatment
In some instances, holistic techniques are employed to augment specific aspects of more traditional recovery treatment. In doing this, these practices may help with the following:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Anxiety, depression, or other psycho-emotional problems that appear to have contributed to the development of compulsive substance use
- A lack of spirituality
- Unhealthy eating habits and malnutrition in combination with substance abuse
Supporters of holistic practices contend that they can improve the chances of long-lasting recovery from addiction. It is generally advised, however, that holistic therapies be used in conjunction with traditional treatments, in contrast to merely using them as a substitution for more conventional approaches, such as behavioral therapy.
How Effective Are Holistic Healing Techniques?
People who are investigating holistic treatment programs may find it challenging to locate research that supports the effectiveness of these practices. Indeed, scant research has been conducted on many holistic approaches, and research that is out there has had mixed results. As such, the efficacy of some of these techniques in promoting lasting recovery is unknown. For this reason, they have often been the subject of debate.
Holistic practices may interest those who would otherwise be leery of more traditional therapies. Likewise, their presence may make a person more comfortable with receiving more conventional treatments. It may promote a willingness to try other evidence-based approaches that offer a higher likelihood of long-lasting recovery.
Also, the use of these practices can put people at ease and more engaged in their treatment, making them better able to deal with the challenges of rehab. For these reasons alone, holistic approaches can be beneficial components in a more extensive, conventional, evidence-based program, despite the lack of evidence supporting them.
Holistic and Traditional Approaches in Addiction Treatment
Most experts contend that conventional, clinically-backed intensive treatment for addiction is more likely to help a person to achieve sobriety and maintain recovery. Holistic approaches may include a broad range of therapies that may offer additional support and make treatment programs more interesting and fulfilling in general.
People who are considering rehab may need to research each specific facility’s holistic healing offerings. They need to inquire about the therapies that the treatment center provides and the qualifications of those who will be administering the therapies.
It is true that many alternative treatments do lack evidence regarding their effectiveness. However, some holistic techniques, when used to complement more conventional addiction treatment therapies, certainly contribute to greater treatment satisfaction.
Getting Help for Addiction
Harmony Recovery Center offers integrated, research-based programs comprised of therapeutic modalities shown to be essential for long-lasting recovery. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual and family counseling
- Peer group support
- Health and wellness education
- Substance abuse education
- Mindfulness meditation
- Art and music therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Aftercare planning
Our caring staff specializes in the facilitation of both traditional and holistic recovery approaches. If you or someone you love is ready to end the vicious cycle of addiction, contact us today—we can help!
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