For most affected people, overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs requires a programme of detoxification followed by rehabilitation. During rehab programmes, psychotherapeutic treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and group therapy are typically used to help overcome the emotional and psychological issues associated with the illness. But increasingly, holistic therapies are also being used in a bid to improve wellbeing and reduce stress. But what is holistic addiction treatment, and does it work?
Holistic Addiction Treatment
The idea behind holistic treatment for addiction is that it helps to heal the mind, body, and spirit, rather than just the illness. It used to be the case that treatment focused solely on the addiction, which often meant that important aspects of care were neglected. The aim of holistic therapy is to provide balanced care for patients struggling with addictions to substances such as alcohol or drugs.
With a holistic addiction treatment programme, patients learn how to improve all aspects of their mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. While holistic treatments are not intended to be used by themselves as a comprehensive treatment programme, when used in conjunction with traditional therapies such as counselling, therapy, and 12-step work, they become an effective tool in helping patients to permanently overcome their addictions.
Types of Holistic Treatment
If you have been pondering the question of what is holistic addiction treatment, you will probably want to know more about what it is and what types of treatments are used. With so many different approaches available, the exact holistic therapies used will depend on the treatment provider. However, below are a few examples of the different types of holistic therapies commonly used for addiction treatment:
- Tai Chi
- Art therapy
- Sound therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Sports and exercise
- Nutritional education.
The Benefits of Holistic Treatment
Holistic therapies can benefit in many different ways. For example, the use of certain holistic therapies such as acupuncture can be useful when used during a detox as it can help to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. It can also help to improve sleep patterns and reduce anxiety levels.
Therapies such as mindfulness, meditation and hypnosis are used to help create a heightened state of awareness, which can be used in terms of avoiding a relapse going forward. Massage is used to relax the body and mind and helps patients to deal with lingering physical symptoms.
Exercise and nutrition are important aspects of a holistic addiction treatment programme. Many addicts neglect these areas and do not possess the knowledge of how a healthy diet and exercise programme can aid their recovery. With nutritional education, patients can learn the benefits of a healthy diet and can then take this knowledge with them when they return to independent sober living.
Mindful fitness is also often used by many rehabilitation providers. Activities such as tai chi and yoga can help to improve both the mind and the body. Studies have shown that those who learn how to practice either discipline will find it easier to adapt to a substance-free life after rehab.
Who Provides Holistic Addiction Treatment?
If you are struggling with an addiction and are looking for a treatment programme, you might be interested in a provider that uses holistic therapies as standard. Addiction treatment is offered by various organisations across the UK, including the NHS and local charities. For the most part though, you find that a holistic treatment programme is a part of programmes provided by private clinics.
Private clinics usually offer comprehensive inpatient programmes where holistic therapies form an integral part of individual treatment plans. Inpatient programmes tend to be condensed over a period of weeks and because of their structured and concentrated nature, patients are immersed in a programme of recovery, designed to help heal all aspects of their being.
Do You Need Help for Addiction?
One of the biggest obstacles to holistic addiction treatment is the fact that those affected by addiction are often unable to admit the truth of their situation. Coming to terms with the fact that addiction is a problem can be tough for many, especially because of the stigma and shame that surrounds this illness.
It is not uncommon for those affected by addiction to practice denial. It is actually far more common for loved ones to see there is a problem long before the person with the addiction is ready to accept the truth.
If your loved ones are urging to you consider treatment for addiction, it is likely that they have firm basis for their concerns. It is important that you take these concerns seriously as failure to get help as soon as possible could see your situation worsening. If you believe your loved ones are exaggerating your problems, then think carefully about your drug or alcohol use as this will give you an indication of your need for help.
It is likely that you have not even noticed a progression in your level of substance use. This is usually the case; an addiction does not occur overnight. In fact, it is far more likely that your substance abuse has been progressing steadily without you even being aware.
Think carefully about how much alcohol or drugs you use and be honest when considering whether you have increased your consumption level in recent times. A tolerance to mood-altering chemicals can occur that can result in you requiring more of a particular substance to achieve the feelings you desire. When this happens, you might increase your consumption without even being fully aware of what you are doing.
Another sign that you may need help for addiction is if you suffer with withdrawal symptoms whenever the effects of drugs or alcohol wears off. These symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, and mood swings and are the result of a physical dependence.
If you are lying about your substance use or are trying to hide it from those you love, it is likely that you already know deep down that you need help. If you are ready to admit it and accept help, then a holistic treatment programme could be just what you need to turn your life around.
Help for Addiction
If you are physically dependent on alcohol or drugs, it is likely that your first step on the road to recovery will be a detox. As previously mentioned, some holistic therapies can be incorporated into a detox programme to help make you more comfortable and to ease the withdrawal symptoms.
Acupuncture and acupressure can be used to relieve any pain or discomfort that you may be feeling, and you can use meditation, mindfulness, and hypnosis to help you deal with the cravings you are likely to experience.
A detox programme typically lasts for between seven and ten days. Once completed rehabilitation begins, and this is typically where holistic treatments come into their own. As well as massage, meditation, and acupuncture, you may find that your treatment provider also uses therapies such as art or music therapy, which will help you to relax and will improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
If you have been wondering ‘what is holistic addiction treatment?’ and would like to know more about it, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Oasis Rehab. We offer fantastic treatment programmes for addiction that include elements of holistic therapy. We can provide information about the benefits of such treatments as well as further information about other aspects of our programmes. Please call today to speak to one of our helpful and friendly advisors.