You’ve heard them all before, and usually said with a gesture of air quotes. “Think outside the box.” “A catch-22.” “Pushing the envelope.” And of course, the subject of this particular blog, “The holistic rehab approach.”
All of these are examples of buzzwords or phrases with the latter being a staple of the addiction and recovery community. And while a holistic approach to recovery is a very valid and powerful tool in a person’s recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, there are aspects of this method that get lost or uncommunicated, which can lead to several misconceptions and lack of understanding.
That’s the problem with buzzwords. The more we use them, the less weight they carry.
In the case of the “Holistic Approach” that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Holistic rehab has garnered much-deserved attention throughout the medical world. According to PsychCentral, addiction can be counteracted by managing pleasurable behavior. Growing discipline levels, exercising and engaging holistic practices are proven to work. Moreover, modern holistic recovery centers are proving that holistic treatment treats the complete person with in-depth holistic rehab options.
Holistic alcohol treatment —and holistic drug treatment, in general—isn’t a modern fad. “Holistic” isn’t a buzzword, and we feel you deserve to know the ins and outs of holistic rehab to gain a better appreciation of it. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, a holistic recovery center may be one of your best recovery options. Below, we’re covering the eight reasons why this is the case.
Reason One: Holistic Rehab Treats the Mind, Body, and Spirit
A holistic addiction treatment center prioritizes each patient’s mindset, targeting the behaviors responsible for addiction and relapse. Then, these behaviors are altered, reduced or even eliminated.
Because holistic approaches utilize individual counseling methods, patients can uncover the reasons behind addiction. In doing so, they can better avoid substances while coping with the difficulties of relapse. Many holistic drug rehab programs offer one-on-one time with a counselor, helping patients acquire new psychological skills to deal with very real problems. Because addiction recovery revolves around re-learning problem-solving skills, the holistic approach works on several levels.
Addiction, itself, isn’t only physical. While a biological state exists in which the body adapts to a drug’s presence, a rather strong mental effect is formed. Over time, the brain will garner an overreaction to drugs. A person suffering from alcoholism, for example, may be triggered to drink by entering a bar. These neurochemical responses, ultimately, create the behavioral problems which holistic treatment centers attempt to treat.
Reason Two: Holistic Rehab Often Focuses on Exercise
Holistic rehab centers such as Elevate also utilize exercise as a recovery tool. The addicted mind, eventually, impacts the body. For this reason, holistic drug treatment centers—as well as holistic alcohol treatment centers—use nutritional education, exercise, massage and healthy diet education to promote each recovering individual’s well-being. Some common holistic exercises include:
- Hiking and jogging
- Outdoor sports
Of course, holistic drug rehab centers vary based upon location. Commonly, however, patients engaging holistic drug rehab or holistic alcohol rehab report quicker recovery times due to these exercises. Many experts have underscored exercise’s importance on recovery, too, pinpointing it as a vital component of modern treatment programs. When combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise can offer a number of effects by addressing both physiological and psychosocial needs which promote substance use.
As per studies reported via the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Some of those components focus directly on the individual’s drug use; others, like employment training, focus on restoring the addicted individual to productive membership in the family and society.”
By exercising, recovering individuals learn to experience the reward of substance abstinence. Many modern holistic drug treatment centers carefully craft exercise programs around the individual addict’s needs, creating the custom-tailored fitness experiences needed to promote these mental rewards. Of course, these programs revolve around other recovery practices. Treatment for drug and alcohol use comes in a variety of ways, and holistic rehab centers fully understand this.
Reason Three: Holistic Rehab Involves Evidence-Based Therapies
Any facility which uses holistic addiction recovery practices doesn’t neglect evidence-based therapies. In fact, many holistic drug rehab centers celebrate their practices in conjunction with such options. Drug-addicted individuals seeking holistic help aren’t robbed of scientifically supported programs. Rather, they’re supplemented with holistic approaches to further enforce positive behavior.
Upon arrival, a patient is encouraged to ask their holistic provider about the different therapies offered. Similarly, they’re encouraged to ask about the training each holistic provider has. A holistic recovery center normally employs the following features of evidence-based therapies, assuring each patient benefits from today’s leading practices:
- Methods which are rigorous, systematic and objective.
- Practices which are grounded in logic and evidence.
- Support by research designed to provide reliable results.
- The benefit of practices made from data analysis methods.
- The benefit of peer-reviewed, repeatable practices.
These evidence-based therapies are statistically proven to work, and they’re often empowered by the many options holistic therapy, itself, provides. When paired with massage therapy, yoga, meditation, and nutritional therapy, these therapies become even more effective.
At the same time, holistic care providers are constantly working to improve upon these methods, relationships and individual care options. Because holistic care spans across a wide range of treatments, innovative addiction treatment options appear constantly. Because holistic therapies focus on addressing the underlying reasons for addiction, the above-mentioned, scientifically supported therapies are never out of sync with a holistic provider’s objectives.
Reason Four: It’s Not a Fringe Movement in the World of Rehab
This might be surprising, but approximately one-third of today’s addiction rehab centers already use holistic treatment methods. Of these centers, roughly 58 percent use meditation as a treatment cornerstone. While holistic rehab is still gaining ground within the addiction recovery world, many providers have adopted its components due to their astounding potential.
Holistic addiction treatment aims to identify a variety of factors which contribute to addiction—as do a majority of modern treatment centers. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:
- Emotional imbalances
- Physical addiction and withdrawal symptoms
- A lack of spiritual support
- Environmental toxins
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits
These factors are scientifically proven to contribute to the likelihood of substance addiction, but each can be targeted via therapy sessions, rigorous case-by-case research and each patient’s examination. In some cases, holistic therapies involve examining energy imbalances—energy imbalances which may occur to nutritional deficits, poor environments or unhealthy lifestyles.
In most cases, holistic care is combined with conventional care tactics to create powerful, research-based detox programs. These programs, in line with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, promote the patient’s well-being while additionally reducing—or, hopefully, eliminating—their chance of relapse.
Reason Five: Holistic Rehab Treatment is Individualized
Many patients seeking holistic rehab centers do so because they offer custom-tailored addiction treatment options. People abuse drugs for a variety of reasons, and holistic care providers acknowledge these reasons while crafting individualized recovery approaches for them.
Recovery from Emotional Numbing
A majority of drug abusers rely on substances to numb their emotions, preventing a healthy approach to feeling management. Essentially, addicted individuals “run” from negative feelings, utilizing substances to avoid processing them. This often results in stress, anxiety or depression. Holistic treatments focus on these underlying issues, helping addicted individuals remove the core of their addictive tendencies.
Recovery from Crutch-Using
Other addicts may use substances as a crutch to aid their interpersonal relationships. When others express worry, concern or care for their situation, an addict’s behavior may shift. They may retreat to drugs, escaping the encounter. As a result, an addicted individual’s social network may be in tatters—damaged by repeat substance abuse.
Holistic therapy approaches can re-craft these relationships, furthering the individual’s ability to maintain them over long periods of time. Many holistic recovery care providers understand the importance of a strong social and familial network, and they assist recovering individuals by helping them re-examine their choices while creating new, positive, social habits.
Recovery from Drug-of-Choice Usage
Those addicted to substances are very “in-tune” with their favorite substances. This said, they’re often less in-tune with their body’s many needs. Often, drug users neglect their physical health. When this happens, their livelihoods may be in danger. Unhealthy diets, doctor avoidance, and exercise avoidance combined can contribute to an addict’s poor lifestyle—and poor health.
Many holistic programs rebuild good lifestyle habits, helping recovering individuals craft firm foundations upon which their futures can grow. By offering nutritional guidance, exercise support, and even medical intervention, these care providers can assist recovering individuals in their pursuit of healthier, drug-free lifestyles.
Recovery from Mental Issues
Many addicted individuals suffer from mental health issues—either undiagnosed or diagnosed. Holistic recovery approaches help patients identify these problems, assisting them in their journey towards recovery. Often, underlying conditions like depression or anxiety can result in long-term substance abuse problems. For this reason, holistic care providers assist with the slew of mental difficulties which might promote further usage. More importantly: They help identify the substance use habits which may agitate, or create, additional mental health issues.
Reason Six: Holistic Rehab Treatment Offers a Spiritual Approach
While religious and spiritual treatment approaches aren’t always sought after, holistic rehabilitation programs offer them to individuals who are either religious or spiritual. The process of becoming addicted to substances is emotional, mentally and spiritually draining. Many recovering individuals may feel they’ve “failed” due to their inability to overcome their own addictions.
Holistic care providers are available to step in, assisting patients by helping them build the coping mechanisms responsible for emotional management. In managing these emotions, patients can learn to live healthier lifestyles—then focusing on the spiritual aspects of their lives to create new lives.
Because many holistic programs teach patients meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices, they often help patients become more in-tune with their emotional needs. They also help patients cope with negative emotions which might otherwise hinder their emotional, spiritual or religious development.
Many treatment programs similarly help patients re-identify with previous spiritual or religious groups, helping them overcome the social roadblocks which may isolate them from their community. It isn’t unusual for patients to be resistant to the idea of religious-based, or spiritual-based, treatments. For this reason, holistic provider ease into these methods slowly. No patient is ever “forced” to take a spiritual approach to recovery.
Interestingly enough, however, many often turn to these recovery methods with enthusiasm. They learn the power of meditation. They learn to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression symptoms by embracing their spiritual side. If a patient has low self-esteem, revitalizing their self-worth through spiritual exercises can help.
Holistic treatment, at its core, focuses on helping patients reconnect with themselves. Sometimes, a spiritual approach can provide the meaningful pathway required for recovery.
Reason Seven: Holistic Rehab Therapies Focus on Past Trauma
Unfortunately, many modern addiction recovery methods fail in recognizing the power of past trauma. Programs like AA are based upon cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of talk therapy may help the individual recognize their negative thinking patterns—assisting them with adapting, and responding, to challenging situations in new, better ways.
These approaches don’t address the trauma a recovering individual might’ve faced, however. They fail in assessing the body’s physiological and psychological “scars.” Meanwhile, holistic and somatic recovery programs attempt to integrate both of the brain’s hemispheres, identifying post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms—which are concurrent with drug addiction cases. Even if a recovering individual isn’t diagnosed with PTSD, they may still have trauma in their background.
In working alongside these individuals, holistic providers aid the nervous system alongside a patient’s cognitive abilities. This approach stimulates both sides of a patient’s brain, boosting their brain function while decreasing physiological imbalances.
Reason Eight: Holistic Rehab Treatment Can Heal the Nervous System
Modern holistic approaches use several psychotherapeutic methods to internally focus on a patient’s thoughts, actions and words in correlation with their body’s symptoms of addiction, withdrawal and overall substance dependency. These psychotherapeutic methods involve several proven techniques to target underlying emotional and mental issues. They include:
- Bilateral stimulation
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
In conjunction, each of these practices can help the brain “rethink” the way it relates to past traumatic events. While these techniques won’t erase a recovering individual’s memories, they help holistic providers understand them. Then, other holistic practices can be applied.
The nervous system integrates with the individual’s beliefs and thoughts, after all. By identifying these issues via scientific processes, holistic providers help recovering individuals understand more about themselves during recovery.
At the end of the day, holistic care is certainly a comprehensive option. By giving recovering addicts the tools they need to overcome addiction, providers assure long-term care. Holistic recovery practices are incredibly dedicated to the individual’s success, placing them among the most vital tools available to recovering individuals.