Have you faced addiction yourself? The majority of people who have experienced any kind of addiction, get scared when trying to remember their feelings or emotions. Addiction for many of us sounds threatening, ghastly and frighteningly. You may be the one who was addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, electronic devices, etc., or you might have experienced the burden of trying to prevent the person you love from one of these types of addiction. It is always difficult to confess you are addicted, or that your loved ones are.

The first step you can take after understanding that addiction has entered into your life, is to try talking to the person and make them give up their addiction. In most cases, it is not effective, because addiction works on different levels. Addiction is has both emotional and physical needs. Therefore, the voice of reasoning does not work here. Here comes the moment, when you would try to ask for ‘external help’. Many people have already given up on traditional methods for kicking addiction. This is where holistic recovery programs may help.

You may be quite critical about such approaches, but try to keep an open mind, and you will understand that holistic addiction treatments aims to get your harmony back. Let’s figure out how this method works and what results are expected.

What is holistic treatment and what changes do you have to overcome if you try to participate in some of the holistic recovery program?

Holistic treatment is a potential way to cure a wide range of diseases, including different types of addictions. This kind of treatment can piece together traditional and alternative methods. Those, who practice, say that they incorporate many methods of treatment just to heal not just a person’s body, but also their mind and spirit. The truth here is that addiction is not only a habit, which is caused by habituation to a certain substance but also a certain state of mind, which appeared because of some inner doubts and inner turmoil. The feelings of frustration, disillusionment, disaffection and loss of time, sometimes triggered by age, emotional stress or depression can prompt people to act this way and surrender to their addiction. Specialists say that a different holistic recovery center aims to make a person feel happiness, satisfaction and being an integral and self-sufficing person.

To get a holistic treatment, you would have to change the way you live including not only traditional but also other evidence-based therapies (such as exercises, art, equine-assisted psychotherapy, theatre, diet, and other experiential methods). These methods are comparatively new, though there has been enough time to do research on many of these methods. Many scientists and doctors now believe these methods are effective and try to recommend these activities to patients with different diagnoses. A minority of holistic alcohol and drug rehab also use some forms of alternative and complementary medicine, such as eastern medicine.

What do doctors and scientists mean by the term ‘alternative therapy’?

In fact, this notion is quite wide. We will talk about the most commonly applied methods of holistic or alternative therapy approaches which involve modalities such as:

Tai Chi is a special Chinese martial art based on special breath practices and physical exercises. Doctors, who incorporate this into their holistic recovery programs, believe that this method helps patients pacify hostile spirits in their bodies and set their good spirits free. This may also help to defend yourself physically, because of a special system of exercises.

A Fitness approach is not only popular nowadays, but also useful for addiction treatment. It is no secret that when exercising, our body produces certain hormones which can help us to deal with stress. Involving fitness in holistic recovery programs is one of the ways to reduce stress. In addition, it helps a person to stay motivated. A patient comes to understanding that if they started consuming drugs or alcohol again, they would not be able to reach the same result as they did before moment. Like any other sport, fitness keeps you self-disciplined and increases your self-control.

Energy work (e.g., Reiki) aims at relaxation and making a person’s mind more harmonious. Practitioners believe that they may transfer some kind of ‘universal energy’ through their hands to heal the emotional stance of a patient. Their technique is called palm healing or hands-on healing. Many scientists however consider such practices as pseudoscience.

Herbal therapy helps to correct your nutrition and develop a healthy diet and is widely used in holistic detox centers. Food supplements assist with detoxication greatly and patients may also use herbs while having a bath or doing other daily tasks.

Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback (the technique of controlling bodily functions, such as heart rate), which assists in teaching self-regulation. The most common way is through the use of electroencephalography, but other real-time displays of brain activity are used as well.

Ayurvedic medicine (or at least such aspects of it as meditation and yoga) seems to be useful because it helps to develop all three aspects that the holistic approach is aimed at achieve. They involve body (by exercising and stretching, which help to release stress and pain), mind (by relaxing and breathing) and spirit (because of being relaxed and calm after meditation and yoga).

Holistic alcohol and drug rehab may also include different kinds of traditional therapies. There are individual or group therapy sessions, art psychotherapy, EAT (equine-assisted psychotherapy), the involvement of family members, MNT (medical, nutritional therapy), MI (motivational interviewing), cognitive or dialectical behavioral therapy, etc.

Experts believe that the main advantage of the holistic approach is that it works directly with the needs and problems of a particular person. The methods used in each case may vary, and this diversity is a key success factor. The best result from holistic alcohol and drug rehab we can get is when the recovery program is created individually for each patient.

The other benefit is that holistic approaches allows you to get directly to the root of the problem. Statistics say that at least 40% of people, who suffers from addiction, also have some type of mental disorder. For them, it is not enough just to stop using drugs or consuming alcohol. These people need to become a healthy part of society again.

These are the main reasons why holistic addiction treatment centers are so popular nowadays. They work more effectively than traditional ones. People, who participate in such programs, receive great support and they get rid of different complexes and fixations.

About the Author

Jeffrey Buckley is a blogger who investigates human health issues and behavioral anthropology. He researches substance abuse problems and the ways to overcome addictions.