Holistic Approaches to Addiction



Holistic approaches to substance dependence and addiction are often a helpful strategy both during recovery and after, helping a person not only regain their health but also achieve a sense of well being and mindfulness.


Oftentimes, the root cause of a person’s addiction can be traced to a problem or situation in his or her life. In an attempt to cope or mask uncomfortable emotions, the person will turn to alcohol, drugs, or food to feel better. Treating the mind with a holistic approach can help a person retrain their mind so addictive substances are no longer needed to deal with life’s difficulties. Meditation is an exceptionally powerful tool that quiets the chattering of the mind and reduces anxiety in the practitioner. Mindfulness meditation helps a person become increasingly self aware and subsequently allows them to view their cravings as a passing sensation that does not need to be acted upon.


Acupuncture is another holistic approach to addiction and has been in use for centuries. This treatment is becoming a popular alternative in the west for its low cost and drug free approach for healing a number of ailments. Proponents of acupuncture claim to have experienced decreased anxiety, reduced cravings, fewer withdrawal symptoms, increased mood and even better outcomes in rehab facilities.


A lesser known holistic option in aiding addiction recovery is brain wave biofeedback. Also known as neuro feedback, this approach helps a person change their brain wave patterns. Alpha and theta brainwaves that are adversely affected by addiction can then be normalized, lessening a person’s addiction and reducing the chance of relapsing during withdrawal.


Lastly, physical activity is imperative in addiction recovery, and a patient is advised to replace his or her unhealthy habit with a healthy one. Yoga provides a healing combination of exercise, controlled breathing, and mindfulness that helps to center a person who is battling addiction. The feeling of calm and control yoga practitioners experience may help an addict feel psychologically strong enough to fight their addiction and be on the road to recovery.