Holistic addiction treatment offers the patient an opportunity to recover through alternative techniques and practices. Holistic addiction treatment centers might not be the first thing to come to mind when it comes to treating addiction but is just as important.

Within traditional addiction recovery services, a continuum of care is provided to ensure positive outcomes for patients. A person can expect to go through psychotherapy along with inpatient/residence, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare. Detoxification is the process of eliminating addicting substances from the body to proceed with addiction treatment.

Withdrawal symptoms are varied from the type of substance, length of use, and even mental health conditions. Managing withdrawal symptoms is practice patients can expect from the moment they begin recovery. Holistic rehab programs employ the evidence-based approach, tailored to address the root cause of addiction and provide treatment options for those to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Life can pose many challenges, especially for those in recovery as they navigate old ways of thinking and living without substance use. Holistic treatment bridges the gap with healthy structures that people can take with them after treatment.

What Is a Holistic Treatment Approach?

The purpose of holistic addiction treatment is to provide optimal attention and care to the mental, physical, and emotional needs of the patient. Health and wellness are integral for substance use recovery, especially mental health in holistic therapies.

A holistic addiction treatment center approach can involve many different techniques and methods. Each is centered around building optimal health and wellness through each approach.

Nutrition and Wellness as a Holistic Approach

Restoring the body is one of the main principles of holistic addiction treatment to prevent substance use. For patients at an addiction treatment center, detoxification alone can be exhausting for the body. This could influence their determination to continue treatment while dealing with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The immune system can take a huge hit from the medication, stress, withdrawals, and even pre-existing conditions.

Addictive substances can ignite a barrage of different short-term and long-term health effects including liver failure, mental health complications, poor hygiene/tooth decay, and insomnia.

The education surrounding nutrition can reinforce positive health goals in the future, promoting recovery through small daily choices such as eating an apple instead of over-processed sugars in the morning. Cooking can serve as an important outlet and bring awareness to the vitality of self through meaningful practice. Poor mental health and eating habits might influence the triggers to use an addictive substance.

Restoring the Body After Alcohol Abuse

For example, alcohol is recognized for its changes in metabolizing nutrients and minerals such as zinc — if dependence begins in a patient, they could experience malnourishment. Bringing a patient to healthier standards allows them to start recovery with a balanced effort. A water-enriched diet can provide hydration throughout the body for clean energy.

Nutrition at a holistic treatment program can anticipate ranging foods and meals including:

  • Dairy, fruit, and vegetables (dark leafy greens) for calcium
  • Lean protein such as fish or poultry
  • Cereals and eggs for Vitamin A and B12
  • Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains
  • Foods high in fiber
  • Supplemental multi-vitamins

There’s no question about how significant nutrition is in the path towards recovery for substance abuse treatment.

Exercise as a Holistic Treatment

Exercise is necessary for the body to maintain the best functioning against substance use. The increased release of brain chemical messengers such as serotonin and dopamine from exercise can rewire the brain for healthier coping.

Dopamine is recognized as the reward chemical in the brain. It’s common for traditional addiction treatment programs to offer group or individual exercise incentives such as tennis or swimming. Building a community through active movement has many mental health benefits. A patient at a private treatment center could expect a gym and personal trainers.

Yoga For Holistic Treatment

Yoga is a complementary practice used in holistic addiction treatment; however, it is administered as an evidence-based practice. It has become a prevalent tool to reduce substance cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Life will launch so many stressors at you, specifically during the recovery process. Finding an outlet to transfer these feelings and thoughts can be beneficial.

Benefits of Yoga in Holistic Addiction Treatment

Yoga has many benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. By focusing on the body and being present through shapes, you invite an opportunity to view yourself as a vessel. Yoga can be therapeutic by giving yourself the freedom to play and reflect. It can be done alone or with others to promote participation.

Yoga is an inexpensive way of stress management, which can be done virtually anywhere.  The human body can only withstand so much, which makes addiction recovery troublesome as your body needs the substance or behavior to remain afloat.

Yoga for Addiction Recovery: What Can I Expect From a Class?

holistic addiction treatment programs

A typical class can be from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours. GABA receptors serve as transmitters to reduce anxiety and stress in the body. Yoga has been shown to naturally increase production through practice.

This practice can be misinterpreted as religious but can be spiritual, calling for holistic recovery programs to implement it. Yoga can enhance the spiritual experience through connectivity in the brain and body. Think about how flexible your mind and body will be after 2 weeks of practicing yoga.

With origins in India, the term yoga is derived from Sanskrit, translating to mean “union”. Yoga is a promising technique used in addiction treatment programs to promote wellness and interconnectedness through movement.

Yoga is a perfect routine to

improve your balance, concentration, sleep quality,


confidence through unique postures.

Meditation For Substance Use Disorders

Meditation is an effective method of

reflection and breathwork to propel the person into greater self-awareness. In a world dominated by immediacy, meditation can be a helpful tool to relieve stress, analyze problems, and provide a break from the hustle in holistic treatment. Mental health should always be a priority.

Meditation can be varied, especially through guided meditation

through the media or instructor. Medication requires you to be in the present moment to observe your thoughts. Meditation allows the practitioner to hone in on what’s in their mind and a chance to recognize patterns. Our minds are designed to repeat rewarding behaviors, dwell on negativity, and wonder about what’s going to be eaten for dinner.

holistic addiction treatment programs

Meditation is the practice of breathwork through intention. Meditation can be done virtually anywhere, as long as you’re free from distractions to be present. The present moment has value in understanding that you don’t have to act on thoughts because you are not your thoughts.

Every decision you make has an underlying reason and stimuli to back it. Meditation has many documented benefits such as reducing stress and activity in the brain. Addiction is a disease that infects the brain to assume that everything you need is only external.

Acupuncture As a Holistic Approach

Acupuncture is the craft of inserting thin needles into the body at specific points to reduce chronic pain. Again, I know what you are thinking: An afternoon with needles in your body…for addiction treatment. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in Eastern cultures and now in Western cultures within holistic treatment. The principle of acupuncture is that energy flow builds up and releases throughout the body.

From a Western perspective, the principle of acupuncture is based on endorphins being released to produce a high-like effect. However, this isn’t much data on acupuncture to express its total effectiveness. The stress release for chronic pain could be beneficial for those with opioid addictions. Acupuncture is recognized as an alternative therapy so it’s vital to research the practitioner by ensuring their accreditation.

Massage Therapy For Holistic Treatment

Massage therapy is a complementary form of treatment similar to acupuncture because of the passiveness a patient experiences. This practice has some surprising benefits when it comes to addiction treatment. Stress can build up in the body, making the recovery process uncomfortable for patients.

Stress is often noted for encouraging patients to use it to retreat to old coping mechanisms. Massage therapy is recognized for its calming effects on the body and mind, due to the natural release of dopamine. The brains of those with addiction can become reliant on external stimulation to produce chemical messengers such as dopamine.

A patient can expect the massage therapist to knead and press into specific muscles and trigger points for treatment. Massage therapy is a method of bringing connectivity through awareness of the body. The effects of massage therapy not only target the tissue but the skin; enhancing the attachment to the self through stimulation. Additionally, massage therapy has the added benefit of releasing toxins that build up in the body from addiction.

Reiki For Substance Use Disorders

Originating in Japan, Reiki is an alternative form of practicing medicine through energy healing and stress reduction. The term reiki translates to “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous energy”. Since there’s less evidence to prove its success, reiki is recognized as a complementary form of treatment. Reiki is noted for its benefits of interconnectedness throughout the body and mind. Reiki serves as a spiritual guide for the energies flowing within. A trained practitioner will place their hands above or on the patient, directing the flow of energy to promote healing.

Each reiki session will vary from facility to practitioner. Patients should expect a calm environment with sessions lasting from 20-90 minutes.

The benefits of reiki include:

  • Improved memory
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Decreased physical pain
  • Energy boosts

If you believe that addiction must be treated on a spiritual level, reiki could be a solution for you or a loved one. However, Reiki is not recommended to be used as the only method for addiction treatment. Reiki can be used as a method to calm patients during detox, particularly alcohol dependence but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Neuro/Biofeedback As Holistic Treatment

Neurofeedback is an incredibly efficient approach to holistic addiction treatment because it’s non-invasive and does not require medication. Biofeedback is the process of recording the brain activity through software to develop treatment measures for neurological conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Movement Disorders
  • Strokes
  • Addiction

An EEG (or electroencephalogram) is attached to the patient through electrodes on the scalp. After a couple of sessions, the medical staff will interpret the data from the brain activity to determine where the issue is stemming from. Think of neurofeedback as a radar for the brain to detect the damage or lost ships. The mind can heal in a healthier environment but the trained staff must find where it is coming from by examining the brain waves and patterns that are off-balance.

After diagnosing the unhealthy brain activity, the expert will collaborate with the patient to rewire their behavior. For example, an EEG would be used to monitor theta waves (waves that relate to concentration) in a patient who has trouble staying focused to witness what changes are different compared to healthy ones. This awareness provides the benefit of educating the patient on their brain function and how compulsive behaviors affect them.

Art Therapy As a Holistic Approach

Although not proven, art therapy is best described as a supplementary form of addiction treatment. Art therapy is a perfect outlet for managing symptoms and expressing yourself during these times. Developing healthy coping mechanisms is the highlight of recovery.

The time after your treatment is completed is determined by how well you embody this healthy lifestyle. Each facility approaches art therapy differently. The freedom of making art translates through painting, music, dancing, and even sculpting. Art therapy might serve as a break from the immense personal work that recovery demands.

Some of the benefits of art therapy could include:

  • Exploring inner emotions
  • Stress management
  • Increased insight into personal experiences
  • Reduced anxiety

What Are The Principles of Holistic Care?

The principles of holistic care revolve around taking care of the whole person, rather than tackling individual symptoms. The concept of the “whole person” challenges the language of treatment, focusing on the patient’s unique needs. The wellness of the entire individual encompasses the ideals of holistic addiction treatment. Addiction is a complicated disease that channels the physical, mental, and even spiritual aspects and distorts them for a quick fix. Since each case is different, addiction treatment is highly individualized.

Addiction is a growing issue globally, as many people are seeking to rid themselves of their woes. The uncertainty of our global health, pressing wars, and conflict leave room open for people to seek comfort, but that varies from person to person. Addiction treatment for substance use should be seen as education to combat the coping mechanisms you learn throughout development.

Holistic drug rehab centers are a subtle approach to handling addiction treatment through complementary or alternative methods. These types of addiction treatment centers are geared to prep your body for a full-fledged recovery. Holistic addiction treatment centers are blooming throughout the U.S. If you find that your addiction treatment needs are better suited for a holistic recovery program, then reaching out is the next step.

What Are the Benefits of Holistic Care?

There is growing evidence that suggests that individuals who maintain recovery as those who continue to participate in the continuum of care. Holistic treatment supports the continuum of care and offers individuals a more well-round recovery. Retention in addiction treatment programs is a directive for these facilities to ensure recovery.

Although holistic recovery programs for substance use are recognized for their great alternative methods, there is an inconclusive body of evidence to showcase the effectiveness. Retention rates in rehabs vary from program to program.

Holistic recovery is seen as a complementary form of treatment in comparison to conventional treatment. You could find yourself at an inpatient residence for severe alcohol addiction. This is your first time dealing with withdrawal symptoms and you find that the medication has been helpful but you need an extra push. The art therapy and yoga sessions have piqued your interest and decided to experiment. These methods are common in holistic addiction treatment.

Holistic Treatment Can Deter Relapse

Holistic addiction recovery could be a fresh perspective on recovery for those who have recently relapsed. Relapse is a common denominator for those with substance use disorders. Relapse invades the body emotionally before any returned use begins. With roughly 40-60% of recovering addicts relapsing, the allure of holistic care can spring about.

Drug and alcohol detox centers are a growing resource in addiction recovery. By approaching your needs through a comprehensive view, you could unlock discoveries about yourself.

BRC Healthcare Is Here to Support

Addiction is a disease that can strip apart the best of us. We might watch a good friend or loved one dissolve into someone you don’t recognize. This can be heart-breaking but there is a beacon of hope. BRC Healthcare understands that recovery can be demanding. Each day can be an immense step towards progress, as you are treated through one of our facilities. If you or a loved one are struggling with the grips of addiction, please contact us today.