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Yoga And Other Holistic Therapies For Addiction Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D

Holistic therapies like yoga and acupuncture can help individuals make positive lifestyle changes and improve their experience in an addiction treatment program. Most holistic therapies complement more traditional approaches to addiction treatment and help to heal a person’s mind, body, and soul.

Holistic therapies are becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of addiction. Holistic therapy is a non-medical form of treatment that often complements more traditional addiction treatment practices. Some types of holistic therapy include yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

Many traditional treatment methods focus on reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings as well as changing the behaviors that surround addiction. Holistic therapies can assist in the overall recovery process by enhancing peoples’ recovery experience and arming them with a healthier lifestyle that promotes sobriety.

Several types of holistic therapies are available, and many treatment facilities offer more than one type of holistic therapy. Finding a treatment center that offers holistic therapies may improve a person’s overall experience and success.

What Is Holistic Therapy?

Holistic therapy is a non-medical approach to treatment that focuses on integrating the healing of the physical, mental, and emotional health of a person. Holistic therapy may also be referred to as alternative or complementary therapy. Most treatment centers do not offer only holistic therapies, but rather incorporate holistic treatment into a more traditional approach to addiction.

There are various types of holistic therapy. The most popular holistic therapies include yoga, meditation, massage, and acupuncture. Biofeedback, herbal medicines, and Reiki may also be used as holistic treatment methods.

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While holistic therapies vary, their goal is typically the same: to treat the person as a whole rather than focusing on particular symptoms. Many holistic treatments help people address some of the root causes of their addictions and cope with them in a healthy and productive way.

Types Of Holistic Therapy For Addiction Treatment

Many holistic therapies aim to address not only physical symptoms of addiction but also emotional and nutritional deficiencies as well. They also help balance any mental disturbances like anxiety and depression, which often occur as a result of addiction.

Each holistic therapy works in a different way to heal the mind, body, and soul. The following are a few of the many forms of holistic therapy that may be offered at an addiction treatment facility:

  • Meditation — A regular meditation practice can provide many benefits to people in addiction recovery. This form of holistic therapy can help individuals have a clear mind and increase focus as well as help ease cravings through mindfulness.
  • Yoga — Another form of mindfulness holistic therapy, yoga has proven to be beneficial in recovery and everyday life for centuries. Yoga can help reduce cravings, strengthen the body and mind, and decrease insomnia.
  • Nutritional Therapy — Many people enter an addiction treatment program with nutritional deficiencies due to long term substance abuse. Nutritional therapy teaches individuals how to healthfully nourish their bodies with food to heal the body from within.
  • Recreational And Exercise Therapy — Exercise has a number of benefits for individuals in addiction recovery. Regular exercise can improve mood, increase energy, and improve self-esteem. It can also promote healthful sleep and help build a routine. Exercise and recreational therapies may include equine therapy, rock climbing, and hiking.
  • Acupuncture — Acupuncture therapy can help to restore balance in the body, which can be especially helpful after years of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Massage Therapy — This holistic therapy promotes stress relief and eases tension in the body.
  • Biofeedback — Biofeedback helps people better understand and control their brainwaves in relation to addiction. This type of therapy involves performing an electroencephalogram (EEG) so that a person can see his or her brain activity when thinking about certain scenarios related to recovery. By doing so, relapse rates may be reduced and people may experience longer periods of sobriety.

Not all holistic therapies will work for everyone. Like other forms of addiction treatment, holistic therapy is not one-size-fits-all. Many people will have to try various holistic approaches before finding the one that’s best for them.

Benefits Of Holistic Therapy In Addiction Rehab Programs

Nearly a third of all addiction treatment facilities incorporate some form of holistic therapy into their programs. More than 50 percent of these rehab centers use meditation as a holistic treatment option. This prevalence is proof of the many benefits that holistic therapy can have in addiction treatment.

Holistic approaches to treatment often provide benefits that more traditional therapies do not. These benefits may include:

  • more balanced emotions
  • relief from physical and mental withdrawal symptoms
  • renewed spirituality
  • healthy eating habits that can reduce neurochemical imbalance
  • reduction of environmental toxins that may contribute to drug cravings
  • a better relationship with one’s body and mind
  • more energy and motivation to complete addiction treatment
  • increased self-confidence

While holistic therapies can provide many benefits throughout the recovery process, it’s often best to use these therapies in combination with evidence-based treatment for maximum success.

Finding An Addiction Treatment Program That Offers Holistic Therapy

Addiction Campuses strives to provide patients with a comprehensive selection of treatment options for a truly customizable plan of recovery. Many of our state-of-the-art treatment facilities offer various holistic therapies to meet the needs and preferences of each individual.

To learn more about yoga and other holistic therapies for addiction treatment, contact an Addiction Campuses treatment specialist today.

U.S. News -

American Holistic Health Association -

MedlinePlus -

Pastoral Psychology -

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D
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