When you’re looking into drug rehabilitation center options, you’re likely to notice that many describe themselves as “holistic.” You might be wondering what that actually means, and how it effects the overall addiction treatment.
In the most general terms, holistic rehabilitation refers to a program that treats the entire person, mind, body, and spirit. However, from there the definitions can get a little fuzzy. Often, a rehab center is considered holistic if it doesn’t use traditional models of addiction such as 12-step programs, psychotherapy, and group therapy or support groups. However, a growing number of “traditional” rehab centers are incorporating aspects of holistic treatment into their programs, so the lines are becoming more blurred.
Because there is no official definition of holistic when it comes to rehab centers, it’s important to carefully evaluate any program you’re considering determining what they actually mean by the term. That being said, there are some commonalities among centers that describe themselves as holistic, such as Elevate Addiction Services, chief among them a commitment to improving patients’ overall mental, physical, and emotional health to help them get, and remain, sober. In short, holistic rehab focuses on treating the underlying causes of addiction, not just the disease itself.
Aspects of Holistic Rehabilitation
What this holistic approach looks like can include multiple factors, often focusing on physical health and exercise, nutrition, complementary therapies, and self-expression. For instance, patients in centers following a holistic approach might have access to:
Fresh food. Many centers focus on serving fresh, organic foods and providing adequate nutrition for residents. Many offer classes in cooking and nutrition to give patients the skills they need to take better care of themselves after treatment.
Exercise. In addition to traditional exercise, which is proven to help support recovery by increasing levels of serotonin and endorphins released by the brain, holistic centers may offer swimming, biking, hiking, and other activities. Not only does the exercise improve physical well-being but giving patients the opportunity to overcome challenges and test their limits helps build confidence. Meditation exercise, including yoga or tai chi, is also typically a part of a holistic program, teaching patients relaxation and focus techniques that can help them curb cravings and handle triggers more effectively.
Alternative therapies. Although some holistic rehabilitation centers offer traditional psychotherapy in both individual and