healthy exercise

A holistic addiction program takes into account a mix of a spiritual, mental, and physical model as a treatment regimen to help overcome dependence on drugs as well as any other drug-related issue.

Many treatments and techniques fall under complementary or alternative rehab treatment. Most of these are based on cultural traditions. Typical examples include:

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Meditation and Yoga
  • Neurofeedback and biofeedback
  • Biochemical restoration
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Herbal medicine
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Reiki and all kinds of energy works

These are only a handful of holistic treatments. It’s estimated that 4 in every 10 adults in the US undergo some form of alternative program to overcome addiction.

One of the recurring themes through all of these techniques is that it intends to treat the entire being rather than just working on fixing the addictive behavior and symptoms.

Therefore, every holistic approach should aim to get at the root of the issue rather than working on the addiction in isolation. It should take into account a broad range of factors that are causing the addiction in the first place.

What is Traditional Treatment?

All forms of traditional recovery treatments are backed by science. They have helped countless people fight substance abuse, recover successfully, and lead meaningful, productive lives.

There’s a certain degree of care involved with traditional therapy models which is based on the severity of the disease.

Following are the most common forms of care provided under traditional regimen –

  • Medical detox
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Partial hospitalization care
  • Residential addiction treatment

To name a few…

A typical addiction treatment would seek to cut off all outside distractions by placing the person in a comfortable and safe environment first. It will then work to help the person detox so that the body can rid itself of any drugs and substances.

There are also individual and group therapy sessions so people can learn effective ways to cope with relapse and handle triggers. They also learn to express their feelings and thoughts in a healthy way so they feel more empowered and less isolated.

During the detox (which is usually the first step in any traditional addiction program) healthcare professionals will work to manage painful withdrawal symptoms. After that’s over, clients can pick from any number of programs based on the degree of addiction, budget, schedule, geographic location, and recovery needs.

Techniques Used in Holistic Drug Rehab

As mentioned already, holistic addiction treatment therapies encompass several techniques that work on the mind, body, and soul. However, for the sake of mentioning, let’s take a look at some of the most common ones –

Nutritional Therapy

A healthy and addiction-free mind resides in a healthy body. That’s why physical health is key in successful recovery from addiction. Every holistic rehab program, therefore, aims to heal the body first. It does so by focusing on proper nutrition through healthy food. A healthy body enjoys a healthy mind which is better able to resist temptations and cravings.

Exercise & Recreational Therapy

Exercising every day is an excellent stress-buster. It gets you into a more disciplined and structured routine while also strengthening your body. Any holistic treatment will put a ton of emphasis on exercise. To that end, a holistic treatment center would ask the patients to participate in activities like rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking, and canoeing.


A clear mind is another prerequisite for overcoming addiction. To that end, guided meditation can be of immense help. Many centers would also have other meditative practices such as tai chi and yoga to help patients attain more focus and a clear mind.

Acupuncture and massage

Massage is excellent for relaxing the body and relieving stress. That’s why it’s often a part of holistic treatment therapies. Another common treatment used in conjunction with holistic medication is acupuncture. Acupuncture aims to restore bodily balance after it has been rid of the substance after the abuse period.

Benefits of Holistic Treatment

Uses a highly personalized approach

Holistic medicine understands that each person is unique. That’s why their triggers are also different. It goes without saying no single approach is likely to work on every single person. The holistic approach, therefore, takes into account the uniqueness of every single person. You can be assured that most of these programs are highly personalized based on individual needs.

The focus is on long-term recovery

Holistic treatment is more spiritual in nature. It’s more freeing. That’s why people would often respond better to it (especially in conjunction with traditional treatment). People going through painful periods of detox and abstinence would benefit from a holistic addiction recovery approach.

Better Follow-up and Aftercare

Holistic medicine and care understand that recovery is a life-long process. Therefore, it doesn’t just stop after one-time treatment is over. It will continue to look after and care for the patient even after the main portion of the program is over. It does so with the help of outpatient programs, individual therapy, and group counseling; to name a few.

Common Techniques of Traditional Treatment

Some of the commonest programs under traditional treatment after detox include:

  • Outpatient programs
  • Intensive programs
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Residential treatment
  • Medication

Benefits of Traditional Treatment Approach

  • Provides individual counseling sessions

The focus of traditional treatment is to work on individuals in a manner that understands their triggers. It takes into account human psychology, personal circumstances, family issues, etc. to work in a personalized manner.

  • Helps to Break the Cycle of Addiction

Many times people find that they are stuck in a loop. Many of the mindsets causing them to relapse into the same pattern of addiction are similar. Traditional alcohol and drug rehab works to identify those patterns so the patient can come out of them and lead a new, healthy lifestyle that’s free from addiction.

  • Focuses on building new habits

New habits help to develop new connections in the brain. By forming new connections, the person can break free of his old habits; including his addiction.

Bottom Line

As you can see, both holistic and traditional treatment approaches have a lot to offer. Sometimes, it is better to incorporate the two for best-possible results.

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