Holistic Addiction Treatment

holistic treatment

Holistic addiction treatment is a form of healing that considers the person as a whole. When we say “whole,” we mean the body, mind, spirit, and emotions. True wellness and optimal well-being start from within. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, the central focus of holistic treatment is gaining balance in the body, mind, and spirit. 

Holistic addiction treatment recognizes and addresses these three aspects. Another belief of the holistic medicine philosophy is that if one part is out of balance, the rest will be affected as well. Treating addictive disorders is far more than just tackling the addiction itself. 

Human beings are complex creatures. Drug dependency often stems from underlying mental and emotional roots. Thus, a holistic addiction treatment takes all of that into consideration. If you’re a person with addiction, we encourage you to view the healing process as a positive journey. 

Challenges present us with an opportunity to grow into better and more empathetic people. Regardless of where you’re at, there’s potential for you to improve and find fulfillment. Holistic addiction treatment aims to help you find fulfillment and conquer addiction.

What is the Holistic Approach?

To reiterate, the holistic approach is a natural form of healing that focuses on the body, mind, and spirit. There are many different methods used in holistic addiction treatment. From yoga to journaling, these are alternative methods that promote self-healing.

We understand that, for some people, hearing about holistic medicine for the first time may sound a little out of the ordinary. After all, we’ve adapted a culture that tends to throw prescriptions at issues and promotes “quick-fix” solutions. 

It is certainly crucial not to overlook western medicine and appreciate evidence-based methods such as regular therapy and medical care. However, we must also acknowledge that as complex humans, we require a more in-depth approach to addiction treatment.

The holistic approach can be categorized into four categories:

Alternative Medical Systems/Biologically-Based Therapies: This is a form of medicine that is outside of the Western biomedical approach. For example, herbal medicine can be used to supplement an addiction treatment program. Herbal medicine focuses on plants that have medicinal benefits, such as the chamomile flower for relaxation and reducing anxiety. Aromatherapy has also become a trend in which essential oils are used to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Mind-Body Interventions: This consists of behavioral, psychological, social, and spiritual approaches. More specifically, it uses practices such as yoga and tai-chi. There are many proven benefits to incorporating yoga into your routine. As stated in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a study of 131 people showed that 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also aided in increased quality of life and mental health.

Body-Based Methods: These methods focus on the touch or movement of the physical body. For example, massage therapy is a proven method that has been used to increase relaxation, as well. Our levels of stress can affect much more than just our mental health. There’s a physical toll on our bodies as well. Thus, incorporating relaxation-based methods is key to a full recovery in holistic addiction treatment.

Energy Therapies: Energy therapies are centered around the belief that energy and touch can be used to promote healing. This includes practices including electromagnetic, ultrasonic, thermal, or subtle energy. Reiki is a popular approach to energy-based therapies.

Holistic Addiction Treatment Options

Our licensed professionals can help you navigate the different options in holistic addiction treatment. We encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have, so we can guide you along the recovery journey. 

Regardless of your beliefs, there is a part of holistic medicine you can benefit from. Even something as simple as journaling or taking five minutes to meditate in the morning can have enormous benefits. The beauty of holistic addiction treatment is that it puts a major emphasis on self-care. There is no “wrong” way to go about it.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and you get to choose that starting point. If meditation is something that you feel no inclination in trying, feel free to start with yoga (or vice versa). There are plenty of options available.

Yoga

Yoga is a popular method in holistic addiction treatment for individuals suffering from drug dependency. Yoga is a form of exercise that consists mainly of postures, often connected by flowing sequences called vinyasas (smooth transitions). These postures are oftentimes accompanied by rhythmic breathing and often conclude with relaxation or meditation. 

Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of individuals in the United States incorporating yoga as a practice increased from 9.5% to 14.3% in adults. Furthermore, the 2012 National Health Interview Survey reported that around 94% of people who practice yoga in the United States do so to promote their well-being. 

Respondents stated that yoga benefits their health by:

  • Encouraging them to exercise more
  • Motivating them to have a more nutritional and healthy diet
  • Improving their quality of sleep
  • Decreasing stress
  • Motivating them to reduce alcohol use and smoking

Mindfulness

Introduced by the Buddha as a path to spiritual enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago, mindfulness has grown into a common practice in our world today. Mindfulness can be described as the art of being present in our own lives. It’s a gentle way of opening our mind to greater awareness, to a truer and a more in-depth understanding of ourselves and our world.

Studies have depicted that mindfulness activities can “rewire” the brain in positive ways, enhancing both physical and mental health. Besides, mindfulness can also alleviate anxiousness and help people to cope with difficult emotions. It is a powerful tool in holistic addiction treatment. 

Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation. Meditation is a focused mindfulness exercise, and there are a variety of ways to practice it. You can begin by finding a comfortable seated position. This may be cross-legged on the floor, or you might find it easier to sustain the position by sitting in a hard-backed chair. 

You’ll want to sit up tall with a straight back. Shut your eyes, and begin to focus on your breath. Take long inhales and long exhales. Take notice of the way that the breath sounds and feels. This simple awareness can help bring you down to your roots.

Remember, start small! Don’t feel pressured to sit for an extended period. You can begin by meditating for two minutes and gradually increase how long you sit for each day. This is a practice made for you, so you get to decide how meditation helps you.

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön

Journaling

Journaling, as a form of holistic addiction treatment, is a wonderful supplement in the recovery journey. There are many advantages to taking the time to journal and write down your thoughts. One may prefer to simply jot down what they’re thinking and vent on a piece of paper. Others may appreciate the use of writing-prompts and taking the time to answer meaningful questions. 

As stated by the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing in a journal provides “an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.” Here are a few of our favorite writing prompts that can help to promote positive healing during the recovery journey:

  • What are you most grateful for today, and why? 
  • What’s one major lesson you’ve learned in recovery so far, and how you plan to apply it after treatment?
  • What are you most proud of about yourself?
  • How can you offer kindness and healing to those around you today?
  • What excites you about tomorrow?

There are many other writing prompts online, as well. One of the best parts about journaling is that the ideas and inspiration are never-ending! There’s no shortage of topics to write about and questions to ask yourself.

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy is the application of the latest theories and research in nutrition and health sciences for the management of chronic disease, as well as the promotion of optimal health. Nutritional therapy in holistic addiction treatment is focused on improving various systems throughout the body, thus improving overall mental well-being as well. 

As mentioned above, the body and mind must work together for proper balance. The general recommendations for nutritional therapy include:

  • Avoid anti-nutrients, such as processed foods
  • Stick to whole foods: unprocessed, raw vegetables and fruits, beans, legumes, raw nuts, raw seeds, whole grains, free-range, grass-fed organic animal products, and small wild fish.
  • Eat a variety of whole foods, without as much attention to calories, carbohydrates, and fats.

About Us

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we pride ourselves in our well-rounded approach to not just addiction, but co-occurring mental health disorders as well. We will care for you from the moment you step into treatment from the moment we set you off. Our community is founded on support and encouragement. 

There’re many unique benefits to treatment at our recovery center. Our members will receive core parts of treatment, including, but not limited to:

  • EMDR trained therapists, specifically the DURT (desensitization of triggers and urge reprocessing)
  • Naturopathic remedies including yoga, nutritional replenishment, acupuncture, aromatherapy, acupressure
  • Nutritional and health menus created by a licensed nutritionist
  • Access to a spiritual mentor/guide who specializes in helping members explore their spirituality 
  • Relationship with Washington University’s Brown’s School of Social Work, for interns, and outcomes – We measure our treatment outcomes to continually improve upon our clinical programming.
  • Medical Director with a certification in addiction medicine

Seek Help Today 

If you’re struggling with substance dependence, please remember that pain is temporary. Embracing the pain, learning from it, and moving forward positively is key to a fulfilling life. Challenges are a part of life. Although you may feel lost, we assure you that many others are going through similar obstacles. 

We believe that recovery is possible for each individual. With the right personalized treatment plan, you’ll notice your life improving for the better. However, you must take that first step in deciding to seek help and remain free from addiction.

Our community support specialists can help you navigate all the ins and outs of holistic addiction treatment. You can contact us at Sana Lake Recovery Center here and begin your recovery journey today.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17544857

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-are-holistic-practices

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db325-h.pdf

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/wellness/yoga

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2976542/

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.