Holistic Treatment Models: Treatment and Strategies


Holistic treatment models are a relatively new and exciting method of addiction treatment as evidence shows this approach is the most effective.

So, why is that?

We know and understand that everyone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is an individual with complex needs. 

We consider a person’s overall health by combining medical doctors who use conventional medicine, integrative medicine, holistic medicine, and alternative therapies.

This holistic combination treats symptoms that affect a wide range of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. 


Addiction Treatment Centers and Holistic Treatment Models

If you are dealing with a substance use disorder, you are much more than your addiction.

Your life experiences also shape who you are and can contribute to the development of addictions. 

Drugs and alcohol affect the brain and body in so many ways.

Substances affect your physical health, your brain changes, and you may find yourself dealing with consequences in every part of your life.

You could have legal troubles, relationship problems, or your career may be suffering.

With holistic treatment, your chances of a successful recovery go up.

Holistic treatment looks at every part of who you are and what brought you to the point you are in your life currently.

We see you as much more than an addiction, and your treatment is individualized with you in mind and central to everything.

The Mind-Body Connection

One part of understanding how holistic treatment works is to think about the mind-body connection.

The mind-body connection is a philosophy saying, the outcomes of a physical illness stem from the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.

  • Our emotional health is affected by stress from significant events in our lives and also by our daily routines. 
  • The mind-body connection in addiction treatment isn’t necessarily new. Mind-body principles are part of Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step programs and have been since the 1930s. 
  • When you are dealing with addiction, it hijacks your brain’s reward system. The result is that you choose drugs or alcohol over even your survival needs.
  • With mind-body therapies in addiction treatment, therapists address the neurological disorder directly. We look at the biological reasons for substance abuse.

Holistic treatment emphasizing the mind-body connection improves your mental and physical health and your brain function simultaneously.


What is Holistic Treatment?

A holistic addiction treatment program is one focusing on your mind and your body for complete healing.

With a holistic approach, your physical and psychological needs and spiritual needs are part of your treatment plan.

With a holistic approach, you may be more comfortable entering treatment. You may also find that it dramatically increases your chances of a successful, long-term recovery.

There isn’t one specific type of holistic treatment. Instead, the individual is central to everything.

Your treatment plan isn’t like anyone else’s because your experiences are unique, as is your addiction.

A combination of approaches will support you in being the best version of yourself on your recovery journey.

Types of holistic treatments include:

1. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an evidence-based therapy to help with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma.

With EMDR, you can help strengthen your brain’s natural ability to heal itself from traumatic or difficult experiences.

A gentle approach, EMDR can help specifically heal the areas of your brain that trauma affects. You learn to feel safe when you think about a traumatic memory.

EMDR therapy guides you through rapid eye movements so that you remain present. You don’t go back into the past.

Long-Term Effects of EMDR Therapy

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In rеgаrd tо dерrеѕѕіоn, оnе ѕtudу of 32 реорlе, соnduсtеd іn аn іnраtіеnt ѕеttіng fоund thаt EMDR therapy ѕhоwѕ рrоmіѕе іn trеаtіng thе disorder. Thе ѕtudу fоund thаt 68 реrсеnt of thе реорlе іn thе EMDR grоuр ѕhоwеd full rеmіѕѕіоn аftеr treatment. Thе EMDR grоuр аlѕо ѕhоwеd а ѕtrоngеr dесrеаѕе іn dерrеѕѕіvе symptoms оvеrаll. Bесаuѕе of thе ѕmаll ѕаmрlе ѕіzе, mоrе rеѕеаrсh іѕ nееdеd.


2. Mindfulness and Meditation

When you’re present in the moment, it helps you control your emotions and moods.

You can learn how to cope with stressful events in a more positive way, rather than relying on drugs or alcohol.

Meditation and mindfulness can help with anxiety and depression also.

Learn what your triggers are so you can manage strong emotions and cravings for drugs or alcohol.

Meditation can help your brain grow new gray matter. With regular meditation, you can calm and strengthen your brain. You can regain control over your thoughts.  

A specific technique called Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention or MBRP is what researchers are looking at right now in holistic addiction treatment.

MBRP uses a combination of meditation and cognitive approaches to reduce relapse and deal with emotional discomfort in healthier ways.

You also learn awareness of your triggers and cues, which helps you become comfortable being with uncomfortable feelings. 

3. Yoga

Yoga is part of holistic treatment programs, and it relies on the mind-body connection.

Doing yoga can help reduce your anxiety and cravings, and it gives you a positive way to deal with potential negative emotions.

Doing yoga helps you build physical and emotional strength as you move through postures. You also learn how to control your breathing.


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4. Nutritional Counseling

As part of a well-rounded treatment plan, you may receive nutritional counseling.

When you use drugs or alcohol, it depletes your body of the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Loss of appetite, poor eating choices, and gastrointestinal disorders are all symptoms of addiction.

For your mind to heal, your body needs to heal.

You may work with nutrition experts to give your body the fuel it needs and overcome nutritional deficiencies.

Having a nutritional plan also helps you begin rebuilding your life through healthy habits and a sense of structure.

5. Neurofeedback

With neurofeedback, a computer reads your brainwaves through something known as EEG.

This is helpful for addiction as well as trauma and other symptoms of mental health disorders.

You get a visual of the activity in your brain. 

Then, you can see how your brain’s activity changes as you use relaxation and mindfulness techniques.

Neurofeedback can be complementary to cognitive behavioral therapy.

6. Exercise & Massage Therapy

Physical exercise can help with anxiety and depression symptoms.

Having a physical outlet can help restore your brain’s chemical levels to a sense of balance.

You may also find that participating in regular exercise enables you to avoid relapse because it gives you another outlet.

7. Acupuncture

When you detox from drugs and alcohol and addiction treatment, acupuncture can help bring about balance to your physical and mental health.

Acupuncture can help with specific symptoms of withdrawal, such as nausea and headaches.

This holistic treatment also improves mood and positive feelings, and it’s a safe procedure.

8. Art and Music Therapy

A treatment program might include various forms of art and music therapy. You learn to express yourself creatively.

You engage in therapeutic acts that allow you to work through challenging emotions as well as give yourself an outlet to clear your mind.


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Conclusion: Getting Help

At Opus Health, our holistic treatment programs and strategies can help you make a recovery from addiction.

These programs also help you return to your daily life with a new perspective and arsenal of coping mechanisms.

We encourage you to contact our team at 855-953-1345 to learn about holistic addiction treatment and how you can change your life.

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