List of Holistic Therapies Used in Addiction Treatment

list of holistic therapies used in addiction treatment

If you are in treatment for addiction, you have probably heard of “holistic therapies.” 

But what exactly is holistic therapy? 

While traditional addiction treatment includes behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing, holistic therapies use an approach that treats the whole person. This means that they treat more than just the symptoms of addiction. Holistic therapy can help curb withdrawal symptoms, provide coping mechanisms, prevent relapse, as well as enhance your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

What Types of Holistic Therapies are Used in Addiction Treatment Programs?

Holistic therapies focus simultaneously on mental health, physical health, and other areas of your well-being such as your spiritual health. This approach operates under the idea that your body, mind, emotions, and spirit are all connected. This would mean that to recover from addiction, you must treat each aspect of your being, hence the “whole person” approach of holistic therapy.

There are many different types of holistic therapies used in addiction treatment. From nutritional therapy to meditation and massage, the options are unlimited.

Nutritional Therapy 

When you abuse drugs for some time, your health is affected. This can cause nutritional deficiencies that can impact your ability to recover mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Some of the effects of drug addiction on the body include:

  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke 
  • Higher risk of various forms of cancer
  • Nutrient deficiencies that can lead to health concerns 
  • Higher risk of organ failure and damage 

Recovering from addiction without having a healthy body can be difficult. This is especially true when you consider the withdrawal process, as this can take a huge toll on your body even if you are in perfect health. Because of this, treatment centers use nutritional therapy to help you overcome the effects of addiction with ease.

Exercise and Recreational Therapy 

Recreational therapy is a type of holistic treatment that involves using social and physical activities to promote your overall health and wellness. Exercising and being out in nature with your peers can have a great positive impact on your mental health, making this type of therapy imperative for you as you recover from addiction. Other recreational therapies involve playing games and team-building exercises.

Recreational therapy can teach you how to have fun and interact with others in a social setting without having to be high. This is extremely important during early recovery, as many people struggle to learn how to have fun as sober individuals. 

The goals of recreational therapy include:

  • Improving your communication skills 
  • Encouraging independence and self-confidence 
  • Strengthening bonds with others 
  • Helping you learn to face and work on your issues 
  • Fostering a deeper connection with your own emotions 
  • Learning team-building skills 


Meditation is a simple but powerful technique that can provide you with stress relief, reduce anxiety, and help you feel closer to your inner self. This is extremely beneficial if you also suffer from a co-occurring anxiety disorder. 

The overall goal of meditation is to synchronize your mind and body to improve your well-being and quality of life. By taking deep breaths, chanting mantras, or focusing on your breath, you increase your awareness and connection with your mind and body. This can also provide you with a deeper and stronger sense of spirituality, which is proven to be important for people who suffer from addiction. 

The benefits of meditation for substance abuse include:

  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Increased concentration
  • Improved mood 
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD or ADHD
  • Increased creativity
  • Improved attention 
  • Reduced brain activity 
  • Emotional stability 
  • Increased focus and performance 
  • Improved symptoms of insomnia 
  • Reduced symptoms of withdrawal 
  • Increased strength and flexibility 
  • Reduced risk of relapse 

Acupuncture and Massage 

Acupuncture is an old Chinese healing method that has been used to effectively treat a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Acupuncture therapy is the use of long and thin needles to stimulate various systems in the body like the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, nervous, and digestive systems. In the past few years, addiction treatment centers have begun using acupuncture to help suppress cravings, soothe withdrawal symptoms, and manage any pain conditions you may suffer from.

Addiction treatment centers may use massage therapy as a holistic treatment. Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body using pressure and movements. This can increase blood flow to certain areas of the body, providing pain relief and muscle relaxation which is extremely helpful during the detoxification process.

Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy is a type of psychotherapy that was first used in the United States in the early 1960s. It was meant to promote self-discipline and self-confidence through physically and mentally challenging, yet rewarding, experiences in wilderness settings. As a therapeutic approach that combines nature, community, and exercise, this therapy can help improve a person’s social, spiritual, physical, and psychological well-being.

Art or Music Therapy 

Lastly, art and music therapy are common forms of holistic therapies used in addiction treatment programs. People are very passionate about art and music, providing them with an outlet to pour their uncomfortable emotions and painful traumas into. This may help you tap into emotions that you find difficult to express through typical forms of communication. 

Using a fun form of therapy can motivate you to continue attending treatment. Recovering from substance abuse can be difficult, so being able to use art and music as a form of therapy can provide you with the break you need.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Jersey

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. Addiction is a complex and progressive disease that can and will wreak havoc on your life. Instead of allowing your addiction to run the show, our team at Moving Mountains Recovery can help you find a new passion for life.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and think holistic treatment may be right for you, give us a call today. A dedicated admissions counselor is standing by to take your call.

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