It can be a painful journey to the moment when a person is ready to seek help in overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. Usually there has been a time when the person attempted to hide the addiction. Then there is often a period when substance abuse causes great turmoil within the family. By the time the person has finally agreed to treatment, everyone feels exhausted. And yet, there are more decisions ahead. For starters, the person, along with their family, must decide whether in-patient or out-patient care will be their best option. They need to decide how much time they are willing to invest in recovery. They will also need to consider what kind of therapy will be most effective for them. That is a lot to think about.
What Does Holistic Mean?
One of the many available options out there is holistic treatment. Holistic means that the rehab center offers recovery treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person – body, mind and spirit. The therapy paradigm is slanted heavily towards natural treatments and remedies rather than solely on pharmaceutical ones. Often holistic rehab facilities can be found in peaceful, wooded environments or near mountains in order to give patients an opportunity to re-connect with their natural surroundings.
What Does Holistic Treatment Look Like?
Many holistic centers combine what is most helpful within traditional treatment along with other nature-based therapies. So, for example, a patient in holistic treatment could still expect to participate in one-on-one counseling with a trained therapist. They may also be asked to take part in group therapy as well.
Treating the Mind
Individual counseling can help uncover what in the person’s life led them to seek out substances initially as well as show the person how they used those substances to cope with difficulty. During one-on-one time a counselor can teach patients a new skill set for dealing with the very real problems in their life. Much of addiction recovery has to do with re-learning how to think about challenges in life. Group sessions are a place to practice newly acquired skills such as positive communication, active listening and problem-solving. Group therapy can be difficult because groups are inherently diverse, but they provide the kind of hands-on experience that will cement new coping skills making recovery more permanent.
Treating the Spirit
But counseling is not all that goes into recovery. At holistic treatment centers patients may receive acupuncture to help overcome stress, anxiety or depression. The Chinese art is an adjunct to other means of addressing these sorts of problems. Meditation, yoga or spiritual instruction address the person’s need to slow down and be aware of what is happening both inside and around them as opposed to simply unconsciously reacting. Even 12-Step programs have demonstrated the importance of including a person’s spiritual self when attempting major life changes.
Treating the Body
Since a person is a body as well as a mind and spirit, holistic treatment uses nutritional education, massage, exercise and a healthy diet to promote well-being. The body ravaged by drugs or alcohol is in need of recuperation and repair. And individuals who feel healthy and strong are in a much better place to take control of their mental and behavioral health. Lastly, a strong body that gets regular exercise is a natural defense against depression and anxiety which so often accompany addiction. A holistic approach to addiction recovery addresses all parts of the human persona because it is impossible to isolate one from the other. People are unitary beings. Choosing a rehab facility that intentionally ministers to all parts can make a difference.