A holistic approach to substance abuse treatment focuses on the entirety of a person. That focus is a balance of the spirit, mind, and body in order to achieve a healthy state of being. Some of the more sophisticated approaches to addiction treatment today offer programs to help guide individuals or couples towards tailoring a unique treatment plan designed for healthier, more balanced outcomes in their lives.
During addiction treatment, an addict or alcoholic may encounter challenges beyond just dependency on a particular substance. A holistic treatment approach may guide a person towards better coping skills, accelerated healing, and a healthier outlook. A holistic approach may also help to improve sleeping patterns, elevate mood, boost physical immunity, and reduce stress or anxiety.
For example, the effects of physical exercise in addiction recovery cannot be overstated. Exercise can release endorphins in the body. This can produce a natural high which helps promote good feelings and may enhance self-esteem. Exercise helps reduce stress and may also decrease stress related cravings. Physical exercise can also function as a healthy distraction. If you’re jogging, swimming in the ocean, surfing, playing volleyball, or riding a bicycle (in other words, staying active), you may be more likely to focus on the task at hand then on your cravings for a substance.
In addition, yoga, reflexology, massage, stretching, breathwork, aromatherapy and relaxation exercises may all fit into the category of a holistic approach to treatment. These various techniques have been shown in some instances to improve heart function and even lower cholesterol. As the mind and body are connected, the program at a progressive, holistic based treatment facility will focus on both to help as an aid towards achieving sustainable recovery.
The practice of incorporating meditation in a holistic treatment approach has long been known to be highly useful as an aid to recovery. Meditation is helpful in slowing down or clearing an alcoholic or addict’s racing thought process. The practice of meditation can also improve impulse control and low frustration tolerance. This is extremely useful for addicts in fighting cravings and dealing with stressful situations in early recovery. As advancements have been made in addiction science beyond a singular 12-step approach, cutting-edge addiction treatment centers have followed suit, adopting holistic concepts to their programs.