Benefits of a Holistic Approach in Addiction Recovery

Most people associate rehab with getting clean. While quitting drugs is essential to addiction recovery, it’s not the only important element for achieving and sustaining sobriety. You are much more than your addiction. Therefore, your treatment program must address all aspects of your wellness. A holistic approach to addiction treatment is a whole-self model that focuses on balancing your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health so that you can create a meaningful life in recovery. It combines traditional and alternative treatments that aim to restore your mind, body and spirit.

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

Why Is a Holistic Approach to Recovery Important?

Your addiction isn’t caused by substances alone. In fact, addiction is a chicken-or-egg scenario.

Some people get started on the path to addiction by taking drugs recreationally. Over time, the substances alter the brain and body chemistry, creating physical or psychological dependence. Substance abuse usually leads to mental health issues. Psychological and emotional problems may persist after detox, which means that they must be addressed independently of the addiction.

Other people take drugs to cope with distressing emotions or circumstances in their lives. They may already have mental health concerns or trauma that needs to be processed. While substances might help these individuals feel better temporarily, they don’t address the source of the problem. Quitting drugs is one step to regain your mental health, but detox alone won’t resolve your mental illness.

The holistic approach to recovery allows you to tackle many of the concerns that prevent you from living a healthy, fulfilling life. It addresses the acute consequences of drug use as well as the long-term effects.

More importantly, it treats the underlying causes of substance abuse, including co-occurring mental health disorders, physical problems, unhealthy habits and trauma. A holistic approach to addiction recovery establishes a solid foundation for a fulfilling life.

What Needs Does a Holistic Approach to Recovery Address?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that no single treatment works for everyone. For treatment to be effective, it must address multiple needs of the individual.

A Holistic Approach to Recovery Benefits You in the Following Ways

It Treats Your Mind

There are several ways in which a holistic approach benefits your mind. Therapy helps you raise awareness about your condition, learn more about your addiction and practice ways of coping with distressing thoughts and emotions.

Therapists use a wide range of techniques to help you process emotions without becoming bogged down by them. Some of these methods include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Internal family systems therapy

It Improves Your Physical Health

Substance abuse takes a toll on your physical health. A holistic approach to treatment helps you stay comfortable and access medical treatment as you detox. But the holistic approach to recovery doesn’t stop there; it focuses on enhancing your physical health so that you feel better than you did before.

People who struggle with addiction often have nutritional deficiencies. They may have medical conditions that are sparked by drug use. Perhaps they have unhealthy habits that negatively impact their physical and medical health.

It’s hard to get better if you don’t feel good. A holistic approach involves some of the following treatments to improve and sustain your physical health:

  • Yoga and massage to combat aches and pains
  • Nutritional counseling to nourish yourself from the inside out
  • Medical management of symptoms and underlying conditions
  • Acupuncture for treating a wide variety of physical symptoms
  • Exercise programs that cater to your interests and fitness level
  • Active recovery coaching

It Helps You Develop Strong Interpersonal Skills

Love and belonging are basic human needs. But many people in recovery have damaged their relationships with their loved ones. Their shame and guilt can make it hard to repair those relationships on their own.

Camaraderie and support are important as you go through recovery. A holistic approach to treatment touches on the factors that influence your relationships with others. The following services help you establish strong, long-lasting relationships:

  • Family therapy
  • Small group counseling
  • Support groups
  • Team-building activities
  • Group outings

It Promotes Constructive Life Skills

Growing up is challenging, and being an adult is hard. Many people find it hard to balance the obligations that come with managing their lives independently. It’s likely that you have let some or many of your responsibilities slide as a result of your drug use. A crucial aspect of a holistic approach is reestablishing life skills that help you manage your day-to-day tasks.

Life skills training in holistic treatment will help you practice:

  • Time management
  • Organizational techniques
  • Conflict management
  • Problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Financial skills
  • Motivational techniques

What Are Some Other Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Treatment?

Addiction numbs intense emotions. Over time, people who struggle with substance abuse lose sight of who they are. A holistic approach to therapy puts the pieces of the puzzle back together. It allows you to understand how the various parts of yourself work together to create the best version of yourself.

Some additional benefits of a holistic approach to addiction treatment include:

  • Perspective shifts – Learning how to look at situations from many angles helps you cope with challenges and access solutions.
  • Improved self-esteem – Taking the time to give yourself what you need elevates your sense of self-worth. Learning new skills allows you to take on the world with confidence.
  • Getting what you need – Addiction clouds your mind-body connection. Holistic treatments build your connection with yourself, allowing you to pursue your needs and make decisions that benefit you.
  • Reduce stress – Many holistic therapies aim to reduce stress, regulate your central nervous system and build resilience.
  • Empowerment – Holistic treatment empowers you to take control of your life.

It’s important to note that holistic recovery doesn’t look the same for everyone. Providers take time to get to know the patient’s needs so that they can create an individualized program that considers your strengths and challenges.

You improve your chances of recovery when you have support on every level. Contact us to learn more about how we incorporate a holistic approach into our customized addiction treatment programs.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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