The Sober Living AZ Blog

Holistic Treatment For Addiction Recovery

Posted on 02/19/20: Mindfulness

Addiction is a complex disease experienced by human beings, who are complex by nature. There are many layers that need to be addressed in order to come up with a sufficient treatment plan for each individual who needs it. This is why incorporating holistic methods into one’s addiction treatment is essential for long term success. The more outlets a person has for regulating their own personal wellness, the more likely they are to stick to their regimen. In this article, we will discuss various holistic methods and why they are effective.

Holistic Treatment defined

Holistic treatment aims to treat the whole person, not just the disease or disorder they are suffering. The ultimate goal is total mind-body wellness. This requires addressing the person’s emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical needs of the individual. Holistic treatment is often misunderstood as quackery with no scientific or medical evidence to support it, but this is simply not the case. Holistic treatment can and does include various forms of clinical treatment. “Holistic” just means there are various methods at play in addressing and treating a person’s disordered behavior. Other terms used for holistic medicine are “natural healing”, “complementary medicine”, “integrative”, and “alternative” medicine. Generally, alternative medicine is anything outside of conventional medicine, although the meaning of conventional is wide.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in the United States, approximately 38 percent of adults (about 4 in 10) and approximately 12 percent of children (about 1 in 9) are using some form of holistic treatment to address health or behavioral concerns. Though this may seem like a large number, it’s really quite small when you consider how important it is to look at the whole person when treating and not just the illness itself. It is our hope that holistic treatment will become a no-brainer for healthcare providers across the country and the world.

History of Holistic Treatment Methods

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used natural means and emphasized the healing power of nature in his school of medicine. He was an advocate of self-healing, and he firmly believed that if the body is adequately supported, it can heal itself of most diseases. 

In addition, Socrates, the Greek philosopher who is widely known as the father of western philosophy acknowledged the value of holistic thinking. He knew and understood that health was our responsibility and one of his famous quotes “an unexamined life is not worth living” is a pointer to his esteemed value of self-knowledge. Socrates also said “… the part can never be well unless the whole is well”. Holistic healing was the main foundation of all ancient medicine before western medicine took over. 

The three most popular ancient healing systems based on holistic medicine before the coming of Western medicine were Ayurveda medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional European Medicine or Western Herbalism. Now, the main challenge today is to reunite modern medicine with its holistic roots. 

Principles of Holistic Treatment

In order to craft a successful holistic treatment plan for patients, there are guiding principles in place. Some of these principles are:

  • Team approach as a priority. Everything is done as a team; the health care worker and patient combine to tackle the problems of the patient. 
  • The treatment is targeted majorly at the root cause rather than just the symptoms.
  • Everyone has the potential to heal and better themselves (meaning everybody has an innate healing power)
  • Each patient should be treated and regarded as a person and not as their disease or disorder (patients are people, not conditions.)

Methods and therapies commonly used in Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatment incorporates nearly any healing methods one can think of. Whatever the healthcare providers believe could benefit the individual, they may use as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure
  • Biofeedback and neurofeedback
  • Herbal medicines & natural supplements
  • Massage
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Reiki and other types of energy work
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation
  • Counseling & psychotherapy
  • Movement therapy/exercise

These are just a handful of the many methods that you or your healthcare provider may incorporate into your recovery journey. 

More About Holistic Treatment Methods

Nutritional Therapies

What we eat has a huge impact on not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Eating fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, plenty of protein, and generally focusing on consuming a whole food, combined with cutting out sugar and processed foods is one of the best things you can do to begin healing yourself from within. 

Nutritional therapies or remedies make use of your diet to control and heal diseases and chronic conditions or to achieve a specific health goal or benefit. These can range anywhere from drinking green tea regularly to strengthen the immune system, to eliminating sugar and dairy from foods to fight acne, to adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet to resist and manage chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. 

Body-mind Techniques (Yoga, meditation, guided imagery, etc)

This involves practices like guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation to heal conditions ranging from stress, depression to chronic diseases and provide a wide range of health benefits. These methods work to change a person’s mindset and strengthen their ability to cope with hardship and stress by gaining control of their thought processes. 

Massage Therapy

Massage has been practiced for thousands of years, and it has multiple variations. This therapy has a powerful effect on mental and physical health. Massage can and has been used to treat a lot of health problems like arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, tension, headaches, depression, and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Also, people without health problems get massages to boost their health and wellness. There are many types of massages. Some of them are deep tissue massage, Shiatsu, and Swedish massage.

Dietary + Natural Supplements

This is the most frequently used holistic method. The term “supplements” refers to a wide range of products, including natural substances like fish oil, probiotics, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and herbs. There are lots of supplements available and most of them are not certified, so you have to consult your healthcare provider or doctor before buying and using any product. 


Chinese Traditional Medicine has used acupuncture for thousands of years to treat a wide range of illnesses and chronic diseases. Acupuncture heals the body by stimulating the flow of vital energy in the body, this energy is referred to as “chi”. The process involves tapping very thin needles into parts of the body, carried out by a trained acupuncturist. 

The principles of Chinese medicine states that these points are located at meridians (visible lines of energy flow) and they connect the organs to other parts of the body. Acupuncture is about the most widely studied of holistic methods and it is effective in treating a lot of painful conditions like osteoarthritis-related pains, neck pain, low-back pain, etc. 

Benefits of Holistic Treatments

One significant benefit of holistic medicine is that it treats the whole body and not just the symptoms, for instance, in the case of drug addiction, it finds and treats the root cause of the addiction so that relapse is unlikely to happen.

The difficulties in employing holistic treatment lie in the fact that it is not a quick fix. Rather, it requires a complete lifestyle change, demanding patience and commitment from the patient. This, in turn, will heal the sickness and improve an addict’s general well-being.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.

Content for Scottsdale Recovery Center and Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

Recent Posts

Call Now Button