Imagine what it is like to go about your day in ill-fitting shoes, with every step becoming increasingly annoying and uncomfortable. Now take things further and imagine that you have always been told that this is your only option for footwear; you would feel completely disheartened, right? This scenario is similar to an individual who falsely believes there is only one way to recover from addiction and that is with the help of the 12-step program. The fact is that the traditional approach is not for everyone and that alternatives including holistic treatment are increasingly offering a better fit for people overcoming substance abuse.
Although traditional 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are hugely popular around the world, their message doesn’t resonate with everyone. Some people find the concept of a Higher Power lacks credibility in their lives, preferring to take control of their own recovery. Others may find it difficult to share their experiences openly in a group setting, particularly when all other participants are likely to be completely on board with the principles of 12 step. Whatever the reason a person feels a disconnect with the 12-step method of addiction treatment, there are plenty of alternatives, the most popular being the holistic approach.
Holistic Addiction Treatment Programs
As our understanding of addiction illness has deepened over the decades, so too have recovery options. There are now many more options available for people seeking to overcome substance abuse than ever before. One of the alternatives proving to be increasingly popular as an alternative to 12 steps is the holistic approach to rehab.
Holistic recovery focuses on the individual’s specific needs across the mind, body and spirit spectrum. Holistic practices have their roots in ancient medicine which is based on the theory that human beings have natural healing abilities that can be tapped into. Through practicing yoga or meditation a person is able to identify the negative thoughts and feelings that are driving substance abuse, allowing them to be addressed. Holistic therapies enable self-discovery and when used in combination with evidence-based therapies such as CBT, non 12 step recovery programs have been shown to be extremely effective.
Examples of the kind of holistic treatments used in non 12 step rehab include the following:
Mindfulness: Practices like yoga and meditation enable people to be present in the moment, without dwelling on past mistakes or future concerns. Through intense focus on deep-breathing individuals are able to find true relaxation which ultimately works to decrease compulsive behaviors. Relaxation is an important part of holistic non 12-step drug rehab, particularly as many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of dealing with stress. Meditation and other mindfulness practices are useful coping mechanisms for stress that individuals will inevitably face during their recovery. Deep-breathing reduces blood pressure and releases tension.
Massage Therapy: There are distinct benefits to human touch, particularly during the detox phase of non 12 step rehab treatment. Massage therapy helps to release natural ‘feel-good’ hormones and can help reduce muscular aches and pains when a person is detoxing from drugs or alcohol. When an individual goes through detox, natural dopamine levels fall dramatically which makes the process much more uncomfortable. Therapeutic massage focuses on pressure points on the body which are linked to nerves in the brain responsible for regulating heart rate and blood pressure. During a holistic treatment program, massage therapy is also beneficial in reducing anxiety and promoting better sleep.
Experiential Therapies: Elevate holistic non-12-step drug rehab offers art & music therapy or adventure therapy as a form of experiential treatment. Both these therapies work by placing individuals in situations and environments that are unfamiliar, requiring them to delve deep into themselves in order to perform the activities. Art & music therapy provides clients with new mediums for self-expression, with introspection required before they are able to commit to canvas or sound. Adventure therapy places clients in environments that are outside their comfort zone, allowing them to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
Physical Fitness & Nutrition: In keeping with the holistic methodology of treating a person’s mind, body and spirit, Elevate offers a comprehensive exercise and nutritional program. Regular exercise is extremely beneficial not only in restoring a person’s wellbeing but also boosting confidence levels. Many people struggling with drugs and/or alcohol have self-esteem issues underlying their substance abuse which can be effectively addressed by promoting a healthier body image. When a person has been in the grips of a compulsive illness such as addiction, they generally neglect their diet and physical appearance. Others may develop physical health issues as a direct result of the damaging lifestyle associated with substance abuse. Introducing a dietary and fitness regimen while in non 12 step rehab has been shown to be highly effective in reinforcing other holistic components of a non 12 step recovery program.
Holistic non 12 step rehab offers an individual approach to treating substance abuse that is not found in the 12-step model. Addiction specialists are of the belief that a person is not defined by their substance abuse and that there is no one approach to treatment. One of the main reasons holistic non 12 step recovery programs are now considered the most popular type of addiction treatment is because it is not a faith-based method with defined steps to complete in order to achieve recovery. For people who do not feel they fit in a 12-step program, the holistic alternative is often the very best option for them to take in order to achieve long-term recovery.