Holistic rehab centers have increased dramatically in popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional recovery methods. Traditional recovery is rooted in psychotherapy, group therapy, and discussions, medication if necessary, 12 step programs and other helpful and stress relieving activities. Holistic recovery centers focus on recovery from serious addictions by improving the health of the mind, body, and spirit. As this approach is fairly new compared to traditional methods, many questions exist about its effectiveness in comparison. It is safe to say, however, that holistic drug rehab centers are no longer out of the mainstream and offer a myriad of benefits to the recovering addict.
What Is Recovery?
People have many different views on what recovery actually means. In the traditional sense, it means removing your dependency to a particular substance, removing the obsession behind it and maintaining a 12 step program. Holistic recovery centers around treating the entire being, and healing a person mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It often involves natural approaches and activities that provide a sense of relaxation that help keep a person centered. An example of this approach even starts right in the detox phase wherein a holistic detox center will proceed with a combination of natural juices and herbs as opposed to medications.
Recovery is defined as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to what recovery is for any given individual. According to the Association of Addiction Professionals, recovery includes 4 major components:
- Health: overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
- Home: a stable and safe place to live;
- Purpose: meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society; and
- Community: relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.
These four components are excellent guides for determining what stage and how complete a fully whole (holistic) recovery is and recovery in general. Let’s be clear about one very important thing, however. Whether you choose to go to a holistic drug rehab center or more traditional facility, the disease of addiction is never cured, it is only managed. Each methodology has its pros and cons.
The Traditional Approach
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes addiction as a “malady of the mind.” The desire to abuse any substance begins there and is managed there. Most importantly, the idea of going to a holistic rehab center is not to relapse once you have completed the program, but rather to maintain your sobriety. Many holistic recovery centers include many of the same treatments a traditional facility offers such as individual and group therapy, but with a focus on the individual. This is why holistic drug rehab centers promote the exploration of activities that help that particular person.
Going the traditional method to AA meetings will no doubt help, but doing things that center your mind and body such as martial arts, painting, yoga, can assist in staying centered. Other holistic approaches include eating naturally and adopting natural remedies instead of chemical medications, which you will find at a holistic detox center. Altogether, these approaches can keep a person happy and healthy and feeling good about themselves. Robert Downey Jr. is a great example of someone who uses holistic approaches in their recovery. After he initially got sober, he put a lot of time into martial arts and uses them to great effect to help his physical and psychological health stay in top form.
So Which is For You?
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what is going to work best for them, assuming they are completely honest with themselves. That means not getting caught up in some fantasy that simply throwing your efforts in activities alone is an effective way to get and stay sober. Going to a holistic recovery center also does not mean that you cannot utilize traditional methods and vice versa. Eating well, exercising and using techniques such as meditation are great for the recovering addict. But beware, you cannot simply “activity away” an addiction. The disease begins and grows in the mind. A holistic drug rehab center will teach you techniques and other ways to recognize your triggers and manage them, but people who main traditional recovery techniques also get lots of benefits from similar activities. Consider all options, use the ones that work best for you.