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Is Holistic Therapy an Effective Way to Overcome Addiction?

In most cases of addiction, a medical detoxification program, followed by rehab, is required to overcome the problem. Usually, rehab facilities utilize treatments such as group and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This method helps the patient to overcome the psychological and emotional problems that come with addiction.

These days, there are many talks about holistic therapies, not because psychotherapeutic treatments (read more) are not working. It is believed that it reduces stress and improves the overall well-being of addiction patients. But what is holistic therapy, and is it an effective way to overcome addiction? 

What is Holistic Therapy?

Holistic therapy for addiction is a treatment approach that focuses on healing the illness as well as the body, mind, and spirit. Previously, treatments focused on just the ailment, neglecting other areas that required attention. Hence, it balances the care needs of patients who are struggling to break free from substance abuse.

During sessions, patients are taught how to improve their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is important to note that holistic treatment is not a stand-alone program. It should be combined with traditional therapies like counseling, 12-step, and so on.

Holistic therapy can be utilized in all addiction cases such as:

  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Gaming and gambling addiction
  • Food addiction
  • Porn and sex addiction
  • Cryptocurrency addiction

Different Forms

Some forms of holistic therapy include the following:

  • Meditation and Mindfulness
  • Exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga
  • Aromatherapy
  • Nutritional 
  • Breathwork
  • Tai Chi
  • Reiki
  • Massage 
  • Nature 
  • Experiential 
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Neurofeedback and Biofeedback
  • Art, Writing, or Music 
  • Herbal Medicines
  • Sound 
  • Shamanic Healing
  • Energy Healing
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Kirtan

These practices relax the mind and relieve the body of some withdrawal symptoms. They also allow patients to accept who they are and look within to discover their strengths. This way, they will be able to come up with mechanisms that will help them to cope with the situation.

Additionally, holistic treatment improves the self-esteem and self-worth of patients. It makes them feel comfortable as they pinpoint the root cause of the addiction. It also increases the chances of achieving sobriety as well as maintaining that stance for a long time.

Is There Evidence for Holistic Treatment?

Usually, addiction treatment should be based on evidence just like medication-assisted treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. There is not much empirical evidence for holistic treatment and insurance companies do not cover it because it is an innovation in the field of addiction recovery. However, this does not imply that the therapy is not effective.

Some studies have proven the effectiveness of the approach even though many researchers are yet to embrace the potency of the results. However, the therapy does not have any harmful effects when used alone and in combination with conventional treatment. 

Therefore, holistic therapy does not counter pharmaceutical or psychotherapeutic recovery approaches, rather, holistic drug rehab centers use both treatments side-by-side. For instance, evidence-based methods like cognitive behavioral can be combined with nutritional therapy and exercise. 

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Benefits of Holistic Therapy

The benefits of holistic therapy are as follows:

It Reduces Stress and Develops Healthy Coping Methods

Most times, people start abusing substances like alcohol and drugs because of stress. So, during recovery, patients must develop new ways to handle stress. Holistic therapy provides safe and natural stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, meditation, nature therapy, and so on.

Additionally, if patients were using alcohol and drugs to cope with stress, depression, and anxiety, they will learn new ways of staying sober. They will also develop new hobbies that will allow them to enjoy themselves without relying on substances. Most holistic treatments are available even after rehab for sustainability. 

It Prevents a Relapse

When people go to rehabilitation centers, they do so because they want a change. So, it won’t be fair if they spend time and money to get their desired result only for them to go back to their old ways later. Relapse happens when there is no support group after rehab.

Holistic therapy prevents relapse from occurring because it reduces stress and helps patients to develop healthy coping methods. It can also help patients to find their purpose, something that gives them a sense of fulfillment. 

It Increases Self-Esteem

Addiction brings low self-esteem. It makes patients doubt themselves. They start questioning who they are. They may even feel shame. 

Holistic therapy helps patients to reconnect with their real selves. It guides them to work through any difficult emotions they may be experiencing and regain their confidence. The environment is usually safe such that patients can spend more time with themselves.

Through those me-times, they can look within and reflect on periods when they were happy and confident. By doing so, they start developing a powerful sense of identity that will fast-track their recovery process.

It Facilitates Spiritual Connection

Spiritual connection should not be mistaken for religion. There are different meanings of spirituality, but the term refers to a connection you have with yourself and a deep belief in something higher than you. Spirituality helps us to come to terms with ourselves, others, and the world around us. It is the whole essence of our existence. Therefore, it helps patients to discover the spiritual basis for living. 

It Improves Overall Health

Addictions can result in health problems and holistic therapy can use natural methods to address some of those problems. Therapies like yoga, nutrition, exercise, and so on improve the physical health of patients. 

Other forms of therapy such as medication have mild effects like sleep improvement, reduced blood pressure, and pain reduction. Therefore, holistic therapy improves the overall health of patients. You may want to visit https://health.usnews.com/ to see more of its benefits.

Conclusion

It is not enough to tackle the physical side effects of substance abuse. Patients should not only recover but equally live their best lives after rehab. Holistic rehabs do not downplay the role of evidence-based treatments it includes other practices in traditional rehab programs to treat the body, mind, and spirit. With holistic care, patients will gain the skills needed to abstain from substances and reunite with their communities.

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