Each year, holistic recovery, and holistic medicine in general, is becoming more popular.  Many people desire treatment that does not call for strong medications.

Our society is quick to try to solve a problem with a pill.  Need to lose weight? “Here take a pill.” Depressed? “Theres a pill for that.” Anxious, stressed, feeling overwhelmed? “We have just the pill for you!!.”

Many seeking recovery, are seeking recovery from pills prescribed by a doctor.  Pain pills, benzodiazepines, ADHD pills, even pills meant to get you OFF drugs, such as methadone.  Too many people, it doesn’t make much sense to take even more pills to try and get clean.

With holistic recovery, the treatments used tend to treat the WHOLE person: mind, body and spirit.  So how do we go about this?

For the mind, techniques such as mindfulness, coping skills, CBT and DBT are often used.  These techniques, taught by trained and licensed professionals are often adequate, and sometimes superior, to taking medications.  They help to reduce feelings of anxiety, social anxiety, depression, stress, anger and cravings.

For the body, techniques such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic services, exercise, yoga and tai chi are often used.  Many times, people can learn to use these techniques to release dopamine, which recovering addicts crave.  Others find these techniques useful for treating pain, or even fixing the route cause of the pain.  The body uses pain to tell us something is wrong.  Many times, chronic pain can be caused by old injuries, or a hard lifestyle.  Many people in recovery use holistic techniques to manage their pain without opiates.

For the spirit, techniques such as yoga, art therapy, music therapy, tai chi, prayer and meditation are utilized.  Humans have an innate desire to connect to something greater than themselves.  For some, that is God, for others it is something deep within themselves.  For still others, they desire to be more connected to their environment, and find that through outdoor activities such as hiking.

You may be asking yourself “so does this mean I can’t take my meds?” Of course not, thankfully many programs offer a healthy balance between Holistic Treatment, along with traditional medical treatment.  Certain people NEED their medication.  Chemical imbalances sometimes require medicines.  Many Holistic Treatments will see where you can cut back on medications, while still offering excellent traditional medical care… making sure you are taking the medications you need.

If Holistic Recovery interests you, make sure you ask a potential substance abuse provider what holistic services are offered.  What do you feel is the right balance of traditional medicine, and holistic medicine?  What ways have you learned to treat your disease naturally?

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