Individuals who are undergoing addiction treatment in a residential rehab center benefit from the sober, secure and non-judgmental environment. However, as the end of their program approaches, they can often feel increasingly anxious about returning home and back into the environment they associate with substance abuse.
When used in rehab and recovery, holistic therapy is designed specifically for the individual’s long-term needs. This is because addiction is not an illness that can be cured overnight. The advantage of holistic therapy is that it addresses the individual’s treatment needs as a whole; emotionally, physically and psychologically. Many of the skills and techniques acquired in holistic alcohol rehabilitation centers are invaluable coping mechanisms to protect a person from relapse in recovery.
Individuals generally remain in recovery from addiction for the rest of their lives, often facing obstacles and challenges to their sobriety. The complementary therapies offered at holistic treatment centers like Elevate provide a completely natural route to a fulfilling, substance-free life for many years after rehab. In this article, we take a look at how an inpatient holistic alcohol treatment program equips patients for the transition into recovery at home.
What Is Holistic Treatment?
Regardless of the details of an individual’s journey into addictive behavior and substance abuse, the decision to enter rehab is always a hard one. There are many very different approaches to treating substance abuse, some of which may not resonate with everyone. For example, traditional 12-step is a faith-based system offering recovery support to people who have a strong belief in a “Higher Power.”
One of the advantages of holistic alcohol rehabilitation centers is that there is no religious or spiritual component in their programs. Ultimately, it is down to the individual to decide where they feel comfortable as it is crucial for there to be opportunities to make strong connections with other like minded people in rehab for continued support in recovery.
In this regard, holistic treatment is extremely low-pressure. Elevate believes that a person should never be defined by their addiction and also that they should find their own path to recovery. Every patient entering rehab has a different backstory or life experience and in many respects, addiction is an intensely personal illness.
The holistic approach provides people with a better understanding of themselves and how their negative behaviors developed over time. Self-exploration through gentle and natural holistic therapy allows for sufficient introspection for individuals to identify the root causes of substance abuse so they can be addressed in rehab.
Holistic Rehab Focuses On Treating the Whole Person
According to the Merriam-Webster definition, the word holistic relates to complete systems rather than dissected parts of them. In a therapy context, this means the root causes of illness is treated rather than just its symptoms.
Traditional rehab models tend to focus entirely on medical treatment, psychotherapy, self-help and support groups. Holistic treatment, on the other hand, addresses the whole person and works on the connection between mind, body, and spirit. The therapies and treatments used in addiction treatment are completely natural and so there is no risk of developing dependence or reliance on potent medications used in non-holistic rehab.
Although the traditional approach to rehab is quite different from holistic treatment, it is an endorsement of its efficacy that many of them also incorporate holistic components in their programs.
Why Not Just Detox?
It takes time to overcome drug or alcohol addiction and requires considerable commitment. Many people feel that they are unable to commit to a residential program or that rehab takes too long for them to easily accommodate their responsibilities. This often leads them to think that simply attending detox and skipping the rehab component of treatment is the best short-cut for them to take for practical reasons.
Although detox is the first and most important step in addiction treatment, unless the root causes are addressed the individual is very likely to relapse unless they continue in rehab. Detox is essentially designed to rid a person of all the toxins accumulated in their bodies as a result of substance abuse. When there are no remaining traces or residues from alcohol or drugs, the person is set for the next stage of their treatment journey which is rehab.
Rehab has the objective of preparing individuals for a long-term recovery and with full support from their peers, loved ones and therapists. A holistic alcohol treatment program focuses on a therapeutic approach to identifying the root causes of substance abuse which is a process that often takes an indeterminate amount of time. At Elevate, both our holistic detox and rehab programs have the duration of 90 days, although this is flexible according to the individual needs of the client.
When individuals undergo detox without following through in rehab, they risk relapsing very soon after returning home. This is because all the people, places and things they associate with substance abuse will still be there. The individual won’t have learned about what triggers their substance abuse and how to respond to negative stimulus in healthy ways, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to inevitable cravings for drugs or alcohol.
The advantage of Elevate’s holistic alcohol treatment program is that it includes a comprehensive and integrated approach that is focused entirely on the individual’s needs. The objective is to help them make positive changes in their lives and their attitudes to themselves and the world around them so they are able to successfully face challenges in recovery.
What to Expect with Elevate’s Holistic Rehab
Many people are familiar with the concepts of counseling, psychotherapy and self-help groups are surprised to learn that holistic rehab often includes these components. Integrating complementary treatment with evidence-based therapies such as CBT is considered to be a comprehensive approach that allows patients to see measurable results by setting and achieving goals.
Due to the relatively limited amount of research on holistic rehab compared with traditional or medical approaches, many people are unaware of its benefits. However, when holistic and evidence-based therapies are used in an integrated program such as Elevate’s, a patient’s progress can be accurately charted as the components work together to heal them.
Holistic health was originated in China and India over 5,000 years ago; long before conventional medicine had been discovered. The theory was that living a healthy lifestyle promoted healing and prevented illness and disease. Rather than treating the symptoms of illness as they presented in a person, it was felt that it was better to take care of overall well being as a matter of course and avoid getting sick in the first place.
Since the 1970s, the word holistic has become much more commonplace and practices like yoga and meditation almost mainstream. Ultimately, holistic medicine carries no risk as it is 100% natural and this is of particular benefit to people who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time.
Types of Holistic Therapies
The holistic therapies offered at Elevate’s holistic treatment centers fall under the umbrella of complementary and alternative medicine or CAM and include the following:
Massage is a well-known form of therapy for sportspeople or individuals needing physiotherapy for a long-term injury or disability. In an addiction treatment context, massage therapy has significant value, particularly in the detox process. This hands-on therapy uses touch and gentle manipulation to soothe symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat or panic while relaxing the patient to relieve anxiety. At Elevate, massage therapy is available to clients throughout a detox and rehab program, with many continuing to attend sessions for years after in recovery.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Many people who have abused substances for some time feel they are being “directed” to behave negatively by an internal dialogue constantly running in the back of their minds. Learning ways to silence these negative thought processes is essential in learning how to respond to triggers, stressors, and cravings in rehab and also recovery. Mindfulness practices such as deep-breathing and meditation provide patients with a mechanism to find inner peace so that they have the ability to silence negative thoughts successfully in recovery.
Yoga is a kind of mindfulness practice that is also a great form of physical exercise. Through achieving certain postures, poses, and stances, participants have to focus on precise parts of their bodies. This shifts their focus from any distracting internal dialogue and helps to restore a healthy mental balance. Yoga also improves flexibility and posture and if practiced over a period of time, it can completely change a person’s body shape. For people who have become out of condition due to substance abuse, yoga can restore their self-confidence and boost self-esteem, which is a strong defense against relapse in recovery.
Physical Fitness and Nutritional Education
When people have developed addiction issues, they tend to neglect themselves in favor of substance use. One of the classic characteristics of addiction is that obtaining and using drugs or alcohol becomes a complete preoccupation despite the damage it is doing to a person’s well being. It is not surprising then that many individuals entering rehab are suffering the consequences of a poor diet lacking in vital vitamins and minerals. Addressing nutritional imbalances by making changes to an individual’s diet and providing them with natural supplements to boost the nourishment their bodies need is extremely valuable both in rehab and in recovery.
Physical exercise is not only a good way of strengthening the body’s natural defenses against disease and infection but also serves to boost self-confidence too. Elevate’s addiction treatment programs all contain fitness components because of the value of stimulating natural dopamine production for people who previously used drugs and alcohol to feel good. Even as little as ten minutes of brisk walking a day can make an enormous difference to an individual in recovery and is just one of the lifestyle changes that can protect them against relapse after rehab.
Supporting Patients Transitioning from Rehab to Recovery with Aftercare
Elevate holistic recovery centers ensure that patients are able to navigate leaving residential rehab and returning home successfully. Although many may be daunted by the prospect of returning home, particularly after an absence for addiction treatment, aftercare goes a long way to smooth the transition. Our work is not done when a patient leaves one of our holistic recovery centers and there is still much we can offer to protect their sobriety, providing the guidance and support they need for as long as they need it.
An aftercare program generally involves the same components as a residential rehab program but is available to clients on a more flexible basis. Addiction is a relapsing illness, which is why people remain in recovery for many years after rehab. Aftercare services should be there to support the client even if they have not had any need for therapy in years after attending an Elevate holistic treatment center.
One of the primary objectives of aftercare is to provide real-time support to people dealing with real-life situations that might otherwise lead to them using. For example, if a person is particularly susceptible to stress and has found themselves in a situation where they feel their sobriety may be challenged, aftercare allows them instant access to a therapist or support group to provide them guidance. Aftercare is essentially proactive therapy that constantly reminds a recovering addict that they are not alone.