Holistic Approach To Substance Use Recovery

Holistic Treatment

Holistic Treatment for Total Mind, Body, and Spiritual Healing

Holistic treatment takes the whole person into consideration, as opposed to simply addressing the symptoms of the illness – or, in our case, the addiction. When we talk about “whole person,” we mean their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

The goal of holistic treatment is to eventually inspire the patient to take responsibility for his or her well-being in order to achieve optimal health. To accomplish this, a variety of conventional and alternative therapies should be used – whichever are eliciting the best results for the client.

Holistic Addiction Recovery Services at Elevate

At Elevate Addiction Services, our counselors are trained in a wide variety of holistic forms of treatment – some well-established, and some more modern processes. In total, these are the holistic services our clients have available to them at our Northern California facilities:


The concept and practice of Mindfulness goes back thousands of years in eastern philosophies. In our modern, high-tech world we can get easily distracted and scattered. When drugs or alcohol are added into the mix, the idea of “living in the moment” can seem impossible.

At Elevate our clients (and staff) practice Mindfulness daily, from short 5 minute sessions to longer and more rewarding experiences. Clients who were used to their minds racing and constant emotions overwhelming them find themselves living more in the moment and are finding peace with themselves. It is an incredible and fundamental skill to be able to practice and all clients at Elevate get plenty of time to work on this life tool that is so rewarding.


Addiction is a symptom of imbalance within a person. Thus, yoga is effective for recovering addicts because it integrates the body, mind and spirit to restore and rebalance the individual. A yoga session requires you to remain still, focus on your breathing and feel all parts of your body. The practice instills alertness and relaxation, which further allows you to respond with a clear mind, rather than direct impulsiveness.

Yoga can cultivate inner strength, confidence and discipline, all of which should replace feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem. Yoga can quiet the mind and help you discover who you are, determine where you want to go and how you will get there without the need for harmful substances.

Breathing Exercises And Meditation

Through years of research, scientists have discovered that people display a variety of breathing patterns depending on how he or she feels. At Elevate we will teach you specific breathing techniques that can be used as a coping mechanism throughout your entire life. By changing your breathing patterns, you will notice an increase in energy, improved concentration and a decrease in stress.

Similarly, we also lead clients in group meditation as part of their treatment. This practice can be continued individually for years and years once the client graduates and returns home. Meditation helps foster relaxation, mental clarity, optimism and a sense of calm.

Additionally, practitioners usually develop a greater sense of non-judgmental self-awareness, inner peace and tolerance. When it comes to addiction and mental health, frequent meditation helps fend off drug cravings as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Body Rejuvenation Therapy

A large percentage of people who are suffering from addiction have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Poor dietary habits often go along with addiction and can lead to major health problems. Elevate seeks to reverse these problems through what we call Body Rejuvenation therapy. Scientifically, the process is called “Biochemical Imbalance Repair” as the client is fed supplements to address and replete these cellular deficiencies, assisting in the body’s natural healing process.

When the body is nourished to a high degree, natural feelings of well-being are restored.

Art And Music Therapy

In some cases, it’s incredibly difficult for an addict in recovery to open up to a therapist, no matter how safe and secure the environment is. For those who have trouble expressing themselves verbally, art and music therapy can be a means to introspection and communication through these two mediums.

This form of treatment, one of the most popular at our treatment center, provides clients with immense opportunities to express themselves in a non-verbal way. It also helps them identify and address issues that were previously difficult to discuss. Art and music therapy at Elevate is overseen by a licensed therapist and has been extremely effective in helping clients who have suffered from addiction and related issues.

Exercise And Physical Fitness

We strongly believe physical fitness is one of the cornerstones of rehabilitation. At Elevate, you’ll constantly see staff members and clients hiking, running, peddling, lifting weights and playing basketball and volleyball. Clients are not required to participate in every activity, but we certainly have enough options that they will find something that suits their fitness level.

Our expansive campus makes it easy to do all of these activities right in our backyard, and since we’re located alongside the Santa Cruz Mountains, hiking trails are available. The agreeable climate in our area also means that we’re able to be outdoors for most of the year.

Adventure And Experiential Therapy

Discovering new, healthy pursuits is a major priority in achieving long-term sobriety. This is especially important in the case of:

  • People who spent most of their days acquiring and using drugs
  • Those who responded to stress, depression and anxiety by isolation or self-harm

Adventure therapy is a unique form of experiential therapy that involves the real-life exploration of various activities outside of the confines of a rehab center. We take clients to different locations both on and off our facility’s campus to do some supervised self-exploration while enjoying the outdoors.

Every Sunday, clients are treated to a special day trip to a designated location such as a beach, forest or lake to reflect on the beauty of nature and our role in the world. Experiential and adventure therapy helps clients ultimately discover new and productive ways to fill leisure time, process stress and relieve any daily life pressure.

The Elevate Philosophy

At Elevate Addiction Services, we believe the proper path to recovery from addiction involves breaking free of dependence on all unnecessary medication that may serve as a crutch to recovery. 

Medication can sometimes mask or hide symptoms that should be dealt with and can make recovery seem more stable than it really is.

For instance, you may think using a prescription every once in a while is perfectly normal and doesn’t affect someone. That may be true, but for an addict, there may be a psychological dependence on “taking a pill to solve your problems.” 

That is why we believe the ultimate goal should be to allow the body to adjust itself naturally by abstaining from any prescriptions that are not medically necessary. 

Of course, a diabetic needs insulin and someone with high blood pressure needs their meds, but we find that many things that people once thought were “necessary” are okay to be without and that the body responds better. Any decisions in this regard are made between the doctor and client.

At Elevate, we take a holistic approach to rehabilitation (as opposed to medication-aided), once a client has completed detox. Our goal is to have each client graduate our inpatient program completely substance-free, since we know this is the best way to ensure long-term sobriety. 

When they don’t need any outside substance to live a happy and balanced life, our goal has been achieved.

This page does not provide medical advice

Alok Krishna MD Medical Review

Medically Reviewed by

Alok Krishna, MD

December 11, 2020

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