Holistic Recovery Options

At the Discovery Institute, we strive to create the best individualized treatment plan for all of our clients. We recognize that many times, alternative therapies can be equally as effective as regular therapy and medication. The goal of our holistic substance abuse treatment program is to heal the body, mind, and spirit.

Our treatments include nutrition counseling, light physical activity, yoga, and emotional counseling. The goal is to get people to become more in-tune with themselves, and find meaning in their lives. Many of these programs work to nurture the client’s body and create self-love that may have become lost in their addiction.

What Is Holistic Care?

The term “holistic” refers to the whole person (mind, body, and soul). It simply means this method of treatment seeks to treat all of these areas. Holistic care is gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and method of treatment.

The fact that you’re here means you are likely struggling with a substance use disorder. If you believe that you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are in the right place.

Holistic care is very natural. In such a disconnected age, there is a lot of effectiveness to being present, being mindful of the now, and being able to focus intently on the self. 4 out of 10 patients are seeking alternative medicine, and that trend is only growing.

In general, a rehabilitation company that utilizes holistic care will take a medical approach to integrate a medical, physical, and spiritual model which can be used as a comprehensive treatment for patients. We will be detailing the specifics more below; but for now, a few of the treatment methods holistic care uses are massage therapy, acupuncture, reiki, yoga and meditation, bio/neurofeedback, nutritional therapy, and herbal medicines. 

Why Yoga and Meditation?

Yoga and meditation have been gaining popularity recently, and for good reason. They are incredibly beneficial to our minds, bodies, and spirituality. Each of these two practices incorporates the three dimensions of holistic care: mind, body, and soul. We will be discussing these more in depth below. 

Hatha Yoga is the yoga frequently practiced in the West. It focuses on various breathing techniques and maintaining focus on the body. Yoga does this with the intent of achieving therapeutic effects.

Many people are unaware of how physically straining yoga can be; oftentimes, it is more of a workout than weightlifting! But, for those who dislike exercise, do not fret. Yoga is not straining in the traditional way, although it is definitely hard work. In fact, there are many recent trends to try “hot yoga.” This is yoga in a sauna, which is both extremely taxing and relaxing for the body.

Hot yoga is a perfect example of the almost paradoxical appeal that only yoga can offer; straining and relaxing the body all at once. Along with this, exercise has been proven to produce more endorphins in our brains.

While meditation focuses inward without outer pressures, the focus required on the body and mind, whilst enduring the pressure, has been proven to have emotional, mental, and physical benefits. Also, it is helpful for managing things like triggers, depression, anxiety, and self-harm; since having a calm mind and mental stability are one of the strongest weapons in recovery’s arsenal. 

Meditation, on the other hand, has a different effect. There has been much research on the brain and meditation. As a result, it’s been discovered that the brain produces a similarly “natural high” when meditating, as it does when taking substances. The difference is there is no dependency or withdrawal. Thus, this is a “healthy” high. It activates the prefrontal cortex in similar ways.

Another reason why meditation is so beneficial is that it elicits the same brain waves which doctors use to treat addiction. In a study, 77% of those who were treated for addiction were fairly successful due to meditation. Third, meditation requires you to control your urges. Meditation focuses on emptying the brain of thoughts, so when a thought pops up, we must control the urge to ponder it. Having mastered this, we are better suited to combatting temptations, urges, and triggers.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of energy-transfer, alternative therapy. It focuses on the transfer of energy using the laying of hands. It is a very spiritual experience and is a rising trend of alternative therapy. While small studies have shown it reduces minor pain, no large studies have been conducted. That being said, there is a large amount of followers who insist reiki has helped them to improve their mental, physical, and emotional states. 

According to practitioners, there are certain flows of energy through the body, and injuries caused these energies to be blocked. The releasing of flow for these energies provides relief from the pain, enable relaxation, and reduce stress. Practitioners also believe that free-flowing energy can lead to quicker healing and reduce symptoms of illness. This energy healing targets the energy centers of the body. Consider Reiki in seeking holistic recovery options.

What is Acupuncture?

A smooth segway from Reiki onwards is acupuncture. Similar to Reiki therapy, acupuncture focuses on the energy centers of the body. It is (in simple terms) the practice of piercing the body on specific energy centers with needles. There is not a large amount of scientific study on acupuncture. But it is one of the most widely used alternative therapies in the world. Whole countries swear by it, and assert it has many useful benefits (specifically for those who struggle with addiction).

Acupuncture has some of the following benefits: 

  • Migraine relief
  • Chronic pain reduction 
  • Anxiety relief 
  • Insomnia reduction

If you have noticed, all of these are associated withdrawal effects of addiction. Acupuncture’s followers insist that acupuncture is a natural way to relieve addiction withdrawal symptoms. Doing this is a very helpful, natural, and holistic way to improve your well-being. Like reiki therapy, acupuncture therapy operates by relieving the body’s energy flow for a natural improvement in our lifestyle.

Acupuncture can be a helpful method in recovery, and reducing withdrawal effects. It can also assist people in managing triggers. Finally, acupuncture therapy can help to improve your mind, body, and emotional state. 

What is Nutritional Therapy?

It’s common knowledge that what we put into our bodies has a profound effect on how we feel and function. Nutritional therapy tries to tackle this by helping us to eat better in order to feel better. One of the many symptoms of addiction could be weight loss or weight gain. In addition to this, extreme eating habits (or lack thereof) is also a symptom of mental illness. This is also a way in which nutritional therapy can help tackle addiction. A nutritional therapist will try to get you in touch with your healthiest self. This will be done by providing you with meal plans, assessing your eating, and monitoring your emotional state throughout this process. 

All of this to say, we should not put unneeded pressure on food or our bodies. If diet-culture leads you to feel shame, guilt, or develop an eating disorder; perhaps dieting is not for you. Nutritional therapists are trained professionals who are skilled in making sure you eat in a way that improves and maintains your health.

Going Into Nature

Another aspect of holistic care is experiencing nature. In a world that is always online, behind a screen, or streaming, it can be extremely refreshing to get outside and experience the natural world. Going on hikes, jogs, or swimming are all great ways to pursue a holistic look at exercise, and being in nature is another proven method of increasing happiness. This leads some to take “nature baths” where you literally just allow yourself to fully appreciate the great outdoors. 

Maybe camping is not for you, or maybe it is. Either way, whatever your likes; you should give experiencing nature a shot. Incorporating other aspects of holistic care alongside nature is extremely helpful as well. Maybe you like to exercise: then get off the treadmill and hit the trail. Or, perhaps you like yoga? Try taking yoga class outside next time. Or maybe you live by the beach? Take a morning and meditate by the waters. Being in nature is a great way to shape up our bodies, produce endorphins, and improve our mental states all at the same time. 

Contact the Discovery Institute of New Jersey

Are you struggling with a substance use disorder? Perhaps holistic treatment is the best approach for you. Through this type of treatment, you may be able to successfully overcome and remain free from substance abuse!

We want to help you seek the best treatment you can get. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance use disorder, it is time to seek help. We at the Discovery Institute know that recovery is a long journey. However, with holistic recovery options, a great community, and specialized care; it doesn’t seem so far. It is not too late to take your life back. Please contact us today for more information.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Joseph N. Ranieris D.O.

Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification.