Holistic care approaches for treating addiction focus on healing the entire person, rather than treating only the symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. Holistic care works to balance the body, mind, spirit, and emotions in pursuit of optimal health and wellness.
Holistic treatments typically combine traditional forms of addiction rehab therapy with alternative therapies. In terms of effectiveness for treating substance abuse and addiction, holistic treatment programs are proven to be more supportive, more engaging, and known to provide a solid foundation for recovery.
Holistic addiction treatments are rehab programs which focus on the entire individuals life and all areas where they have been affected by addiction. From the physical to the psychological dependence, holistic addiction recovery programs provide a multitude of therapies, various levels of care in treatment and strong relapse prevention services to ensure a connection between the patient and their course of recovery.
Acupuncture: commonly used to treat pain, acupuncture treatments can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms that may arise during the drug detox process. Acupuncture can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote healthier sleeping patterns. Studies conducted at the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association indicate that acupuncture treatments can be effective in reducing cravings during opiate withdrawal.
Meditation and mindfulness: many 12-step programs and addiction counselors strongly recommend meditation as part of a relapse prevention strategy. Meditation techniques enhance mental well-being and improve concentration during addiction recovery. Mindfulness meditation also regulates mood and reduces stress at the same time as promoting relaxation.
Massage therapy: therapeutic massage helps to calm the body and mind while also encouraging the recovering person to become more in touch with their physical body.
Nutrition therapy: it is common for many recovering drug addicts to struggle with malnutrition, as the body’s resources are depleted by substance abuse. Nutrition therapy works to meet the nutritional needs of a person in recovery in conjunction with a regular exercise program. Improving nutrition in recovery feeds the body essential vitamins and minerals needed to speed up recovery and boost the immune system.
Yoga: practicing yoga combines physical postures, breathing control techniques, and mindful meditation in an effort to bring the mind, body, and spirit together in a healthier alignment. Studies indicate that yoga can reduce stress, promote relaxation and mental well-being, and relieve anxiety and depression. Tai chi and chi gung can produce similar results.
Daily Exercise: even small amounts of daily physical activity can provide significantly positive results during addiction recovery. Exercise is known to boost mood and stimulate the brain’s neurotransmitters to release endorphin’s and dopamine into the body. This helps a person in recovery learn to achieve a ‘natural high’. Exercise is also known to have numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular and respiratory systems that may have been damaged during drug abuse.
Holistic addiction treatment programs are overall more effective than programs which provide a single method of recovery or a single level of care such as detox. This is because holistic programs entail both the traditional and alternative therapies which are proven effective in the treatment of addiction for some individuals. Holistic addiction treatment programs focus on the recovery of an entire person and use different levels of care and therapies to ensure all areas of the patients life that addiction affected on treated. Everyone has varying reasons for developing an addiction and the same goes for why individuals relapse, in an alternative treatment program patients have the ability to explore which treatments work best for them and find therapies that address their needs. The right combination of traditional treatments and holistic therapies used during recovery will differ between people. In order to learn which holistic care options provide the best results, a person in recovery should be encouraged to try several until the right combination of therapies is discovered.
Regular attendance of holistic treatment programs as part of a rehab aftercare plan can help a person in recovery maintain motivation to stay clean and abstinent over the long-term. Many holistic treatments induce a sense of mental well-being that reduce stress and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, all of which can be triggers for addictive drug abuse behaviors. By focusing on holistic therapies that promote relaxation and stress relief, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of relapse.
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