Holistic Treatments for Addiction Recovery

doctor with stethoscope

Addiction treatment programs are often curated differently based on the patient and their health condition. Many people need a different set of approaches combined with alternative and holistic treatment methods to completely deal with addiction. Whereas the health condition of others can make the medicated approach seem more reliable for the recovery. Whilst the basis of substance abuse disorder is the change in the chemistry of the brain, many people also develop several diseases that worsen addiction disorder. This includes mental health disorders, emotional issues, and even physical problems.

Various treatment centers today also offer their patients the choice to opt for holistic treatments, which are used to complement the traditional procedures that are already in existence. These alternate methods go hand-in-hand and are offered simultaneously with the standard treatment approaches. These methods focus on the overall well being of an individual and also tend to speed up the healing process as it calms the mind.

What are Holistic Approaches?

Holistic means a whole person, and the process involved to offer a complete head-to-toe treatment along with relieving the effects of addiction disorder is known as a holistic treatment approach. Today, many treatment centers are focused to provide a program that caters to both physical as well as psychological needs of their patients. This is where the holistic approach has emerged as an alternative to standard treatment methods.

The idea behind using this method for treating addiction is to heal the soul, body, and also the mind rather than just curing the illness. Before holistic treatments were introduced, recovery programs were only targeting the disorder, leaving aside the important health aspects which are also severed by addiction. After this was practiced on the patients, more balanced care was observed on those struggling with addiction.

Although these addiction treatment programs are not meant to be used as an exclusive method to cure addiction, when used in conjunction with other traditional therapies such as 12-Step recovery programs, counseling, therapy, and other effective methods, it can yield good results. Also, patients can achieve long-term sobriety if holistic treatment is consistently provided along with the scheduled therapies.

What Are The Different Types Of Holistic Approaches? 

Several holistic treatment methods are used for patients to overcome their addiction as well as withdrawal symptoms, the most common ones are meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, exercise, etc. Practicing these daily is a sure shot in achieving great results. Some of the most common therapies include:

Exercise Therapy

Recreational activities and exercising daily has tons of benefits which are often left unnoticed. Holistic treatment methods use these unsaid benefits and perform these on the patients suffering from addiction to providing a healthy schedule and a sober life. Daily exercise can help build a routine, strengthen the body, and also relieve stress to make sure our minds are not occupied by negative thoughts.

Although recreational activities and the types of exercises offered varies across different treatment centers, the most common activities include canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.


You may not know about this, but meditation is the most powerful activity for our minds. If practiced daily and with a focused mind, meditation can change the brain’s structure and alter its chemistry to help aid in the healthy functioning of the brain. Addiction is a brain disease that alters brain chemistry and meditation is an activity that targets exactly that.

Also, for addicts to recover from addiction, they need a relaxed and calm mind. Guided meditation is one therapy that has several benefits in improving the mind, and the reason why it has also become an integral part of many holistic treatment programs.


Yoga not only provides benefits similar to meditation but also offers enhanced flexibility. Practicing this daily also keeps an individual away from a series of harmful diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, withdrawal symptoms, and other issues that tend to collide with substance abuse disorder to worsen it.

Many centers now offer yoga as a holistic approach to cure addiction. They also include tai chi as a meditative practice to help the patients develop clarity of mind and increased focus.

Nutritional Therapy

A healthy body also aids in faster recovery and also maintains the overall well being of an individual. Nutritional therapy is dedicated to providing the required amount of nutrition to the addicts so that it can provide tangible healing. Providing proper nutrition to the body while it is recovering from addiction has become crucial observing the trends associated with this.

Many patients who have a good diet tend to respond to the standard treatment methods in a better way compared to those without proper nutrition. People in recovery can provide their bodies with a proper diet required to fight addiction.

Massage & Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a known practice to help ease stress and relax the body using either needles to penetrate specific pressure points, or using hands to apply pressure at these points. This practice is known to calm the mind and provide a sense of relief.

Similarly, massage can also relax the body and restore balance in an addict’s system after aggressive and long-term substance abuse. These approaches are recommended to patients who are struggling with an underlying mental health condition while also having an addiction disorder.

Art Therapy

Art therapy can also offer a holistic way to treat an addict’s mind and offer the relaxation their body often craves. Many treatment centers offer programs consisting of painting, music, crafts, writing, and other artistic approaches to help addicts express their underlying emotions surrounding substance abuse.

Benefits of Holistic Treatment Programs

Numerous benefits are surrounding holistic treatment programs, for example, acupuncture is a useful practice to follow during detox and it also reduces the withdrawal symptoms. Along with it, acupuncture can also improve sleeping patterns and lower anxiety levels.

Meditation, mindfulness, and hypnosis can also create a heightened sense of self-awareness which can reduce the possibility of suffering a relapse in the future. Massage is the best practice to undergo while dealing with physical symptoms related to addiction and it also helps in relaxing the mind.

Nutrition and exercise are as important during recovery as the standard treatment methods. Addicts who follow a good diet teamed up with daily exercise can see their recovery exceeding those who are not following.


Standard treatment methods are designed to specifically target addiction disorder and work towards recovery. Holistic treatment approaches, however, offer a helping hand in the recovery process and make sobriety easy to achieve. These methods alone aren’t sufficient to curb addiction but their true potential can be recognized once they are performed simultaneously with the standard treatment procedures.