Holistic health, in its dictionary definition, is achieving health and wellness by considering the body as a whole. You cannot be healthy if you suffer from an untreated mental illness, just as you probably aren’t considered well if you have a broken leg or a kidney infection.
There is no health service that benefits more from a holistic approach than addiction rehabilitation. Addiction is a complex health issue; it has negative effects on both the body and the mind — as well as an addict’s lifestyle and future.
Ultimately, it is impossible to safely remove an addiction without considering how substance abuse affects an entire person, or even an entire community.
But how does holistic addiction rehabilitation work? If you or a loved one is suffering from some type of substance abuse, read on to learn how a holistic approach can help.
Many substances create a physical dependence, which means the body adapts to the effects of the substance and loses the ability to function without it. Drugs and alcohol cause physical dependencies; they alter the chemistry of the body and can have significant effects on a person’s physical health.
When a substance abuser first enters recovery, their physical addiction will manifest as withdrawal symptoms, which can be exceedingly life-threatening depending on the length and severity of the addiction.
In any type of rehabilitation center, the first step is overcoming physical addiction. In some clinics, substance abusers are assisted through their withdrawals by medication, which can reduce the body’s shock at losing access to the substance and reduce health risks; in other clinics, the physical duress of withdrawals is overcome through mindfulness, meditation, therapy and similar efforts.
Once the initial withdrawal period is over, holistic recovery centers, like Elevate Rehab, begin to focus on improving a client’s physical health.
Activities like weightlifting and yoga bring awareness to one’s body, helping those in recovery identify sources of physical weakness and build strength in muscles that might have atrophied from lack of use.
Additionally, centers often teach clients about the importance of a proper diet in maintaining health and wellness.
The strength of physical dependence pales in comparison to the power of psychological dependence, which is created through emotional and mental processes that encourage the development of a substance abuse problem.
If a recovery center addresses the physical dependence but does not touch the underlying emotional and/or mental issues driving the substance abuse, relapse is incredibly likely.
That’s why holistic rehabilitation is advantageous — it guarantees that an entire person improves in health, so issues of any kind can be addressed and overcome.
Because mental and emotional concerns are often difficult to identify and treat, addicts need an attentive and patient recovery center to assist them through this delicate process and reach the safety and security of sobriety.
As with physical recovery, different clinics approach mental recovery in different ways. Some holistic practices are common, like counseling and massage, but some clinics are more adventurous in the programs they offer.
For instance, some recovery centers might offer equine therapy, which helps substance abusers connect with themselves through horse care, while other centers might emphasize participation in music and arts. Potential clients should consider what brings them joy and comfort before committing to one holistic clinic over another.