Often, when people hear something referred to as “holistic”, they tend to think that it is some new-age trend or, as it has been called, “quacky mumbo jumbo”. Ironically, a holistic approach to anything is not new at all. In fact, most people’s grandparents or great-grandparents practiced some form of holistic treatment- even if it was simply using herbs from their garden as opposed to buying prescription.
Additionally, the word holistic is not as “quacky” as it may sound. It actually means the whole of something- in this case, the whole of the person. Holistic treatment programs focus on the whole person, not just one part, and there is a very simple reason for this: each part of a person affects another part, so to truly treat someone, the whole of that person should be treated.
The three parts of a person in this sense refers to the mind, the body, and the spirit. Each of these parts is like a very important piece to a puzzle, and without all of the pieces, the puzzle cannot be completed. For instance, if a person is physically sick, you will likely notice that they do not think as sharply as they might when they are well, or even that they are moody and depressed. If that same person is sad or depressed, their body will often respond.
A holistic treatment program for addiction simply means that the treatment will go beyond physical. It will also focus on the mind and body. The holistic approach is intended to treat the whole person because it is believed that treating only the physical part of addiction is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.
Though treatment programs might vary, you will often find activities that include art, yoga or tai chi, nutritional therapy, horseback riding, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, time with other animals, and more. Acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicines are some common practices in holistic treatments. Activities involving nature, such as hiking, might be included, too. It is important to note that a holistic treatment plan does not replace traditional treatment programs. It includes traditional treatment- that is what makes it a holistic program.
Using a holistic treatment program is like drawing out a plan of attack from all sides. Addiction is the enemy. You need a plan to surround and conquer said enemy. Instead of coming full force from one side allowing the enemy to flee to a different area, you are attacking from each side.
Additionally, it keeps you from focusing too hard on one thing. When you are only facing one area of addiction, you can find yourself too focused on it. And though you want to focus on being treated and recovering, focusing on too much of one thing can be frustrating and discouraging.
Lastly, a holistic treatment program often opens you to new ideas and activities. Each of these activities has the potential to save you from relapse. Having multiple tools in your tool belt to help you fight can give you the strength and confidence you need to succeed.
You likely will not find very much research data concerning success rates of holistic approaches, understanding the effectiveness of the activities involved can give you a good idea.
For instance, U.S News reports that one study of meditation for 30 minutes a day actually changes parts of the brain- some of which have been diminished and affected by addiction. They also cite a Harvard Medical School report that shows the benefits of yoga on the same stress that often leads to self-medication.
The bottom line is that though you may not find much information related directly to holistic treatment, the Internet is full of information on how each of these activities can individually help in the recovery process. When added to traditional treatment, a holistic approach can increase success rates tremendously.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Here at Recovery Revelations, we are ready and willing to help you through the life-changing process of addiction treatment in the best way possible for you. Our traditional methods with an added holistic approach can help increase your chances of recovery success so that you can live a life free from the bondage of addiction.