Addiction therapy programs should always be personalized to your individual needs as an addict in recovery. Otherwise, they won’t be as effective. Cookie-cutter treatments always fail because they just don’t properly address an individual patient’s underlying issues. So, finding a program that works for you as an individual is going to help both your recovery and your motivation to recover. Fortunately, various holistic treatments have been gaining popularity and are getting more integration into recovery centers.


What Are Holistic Treatments?

Holistic programs, sometimes called alternative or complementary treatments, are ones that utilize treatments without prescription medication. Typically, holistic treatments look at physical, mental, and even spiritual models for addiction recovery. In fact, some of the most popular examples of holistic treatments include activity-based therapy, exercise therapy, yoga therapy and nutrition therapy.


Activity-Based Therapy

This type of holistic treatment encourages healing through creative and productive activities. For example, art therapy reduces addiction relapse rates and music therapy is effective in treating depression, stress, anxiety, and anger in recovering substance addicts. Additionally, most activity-based therapies foster a stronger sense of self-esteem and self-confidence for addicts in recovery. Other popular activity-based therapies include:

  • Animal Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Cooking Therapy
  • Drama Therapy
  • Fitness Therapy
  • Horticulture (Gardening) Therapy


Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy reinforces positive, healthy behaviors during addiction recovery. This form of holistic treatment can improve your physical, mental and emotional health. Exercising floods the brain with dopamine, the same feel-good chemical that drugs release for a high. Therefore, in addiction recovery, exercise and other forms of physical activity— like group sports— help return an addict’s dopamine levels to normal, pre-abuse concentrations. As an added benefit, building and sticking to an exercise routine keeps you from even thinking about drugs. It also significantly reduces your risk of relapsing after treatment is complete. Additional benefits of exercise therapy include:

  • Building muscle
  • Cravings management
  • Weight loss and/or management
  • Mood improvement and regulation
  • Reduction of other physical health risks


Yoga Therapy

The main focus of yoga is to reunite the mind, body, and soul for a stronger inner reflection. This philosophy can bring about a sense of inner peace that can help you avoid relapse after treatment. In fact, through simple stretches and breathing exercises, you can become more aware of the behavioral patterns that are harmful to your health— maybe even the ones outside of drug addiction. Furthermore, you can use yoga to relieve any potential co-existing mental issues like anxiety or depression.


Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition therapy does more than provide you with a diet plan. Actually, its main objective is to repair the biochemical imbalances in your body that trigger the driving forces behind your addiction, like cravings. Certain biochemical imbalances— neurotransmitters, nutrients, amino acids, inflammatory and oxidative stress, adrenal exhaustion, etc.— can make you more prone to addiction. This is exactly what nutrition therapy treatment works to improve. Once the nutrition therapy professionals assess these and other damaging biochemical imbalances, they’ll put together an individualized nutrition plan for you. This might even include a physical activity regimen or a relaxation schedule. Once biochemical balance is restored through this holistic treatment, you’ll be better equipped to upkeep your nutrition after rehab.


Do Holistic Treatments for Addiction Really Work?

Some people believe that holistic treatments have little or no effect on addiction recovery, but treatment centers everywhere are promoting their success in recovery and relapse prevention. More and more addicts in recovery are turning to holistic treatments for help. In fact, just ten years ago, more than a third of adults in the United States were already using holistic treatments for their health and well-being. Still, conventional detox and traditional therapies for addiction should be used in conjunction with holistic treatments for the best results.


Holistic Treatments at Discovery Institute

If you feel that traditional methods are not enough to get your health and your life back on track, consider these treatments. Your motivation and lifelong sobriety will be significantly improved as long as you find a recovery center and a set of treatments that fit your individual needs. These holistic treatments are all available at Discovery Institute. If you have any questions about these programs or any of the services we offer, please contact us at 888-616-7177.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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