Acupuncture, Yoga, and Other Beneficial Types of Holistic Treatment
Holistic approaches have become essential in recovery as studies have shown over time their efficacy in helping treat a variety of conditions, from addiction to depression, anxiety and more. In 2017, researchers published a study titled, “Integrating the Science of Addiction and the Science of Wellbeing” in the Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence. Researchers noted several effective forms of holistic treatment, which we will review here:
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine where thin needles are inserted into the body. Considered a near painless experience, acupuncture is based on the assumption that our vital life force (also known as Qi) moves throughout various channels of the body and acupuncture can promote better movement of this force. A 2016 article published in the journal Substance Abuse Rehabilitation assessed a number of studies that have been conducted with acupuncture in an addiction recovery setting. Many of the studies that explored this witness positive changes for those in recovery, such as:
· Decreases in anxiety and cravings
· Significant improvement in burnout
· Reduction in symptoms association with addiction and mental illness
· And more
Acupuncture stimulates the flow of Qi, increases a person’s sense of wellbeing, and encourages the stimulation of the body’s endorphins.
Thousands of people have found healing benefits from yoga, which is a holistic practice aimed at grounding the mind, body and spirit. A few years ago, the Yoga Journal shared the story of a young woman who had struggled with addiction but found her way towards recovery through yoga. She stated, “I loved [yoga]. It was an hour where I could relax with my thoughts. I felt empowered by it – more spiritually sound. And it gave me a grip on my life, an inner strength that allowed me to accept who I am and where I am and be okay with that.”
Through specific postures and movements, individuals find that not only are their minds clearer and they feel more grounded, but their bodies also become stronger, more flexible and more toned. Holly Glenn Whitaker, founder of Hip Sobriety, expressed a number of ways that yoga helped her journey to recovery:
1. Replacing artificial highs for natural ones
2. Eliminating reactiveness and feeling victim to negative emotions
3. Providing a sense of community
4. Bettering one’s control over their mind
5. Increased control over stress and anxiety
6. Healthy coping mechanisms that didn’t involve escape
7. And more
Where addiction takes us away from the present moment, mindfulness grounds us by bringing it back to us. With mindfulness, we become more aware of our thoughts and feelings – and how they may be influencing our present-moment experience. We become more empathetic to what others are going through, and we’re better able to understand their way of thinking as well.
A 2016 article published in the journals Annals of the New York Academy of Science noted that mindfulness helps us “re-train” the brain to think in ways that are more beneficial for our health and for overall circumstances we encounter. With mindfulness, we become less reactive (which can be a key trigger for relapse) and more considerate about what is needed in the moment. There are several types of holistic practices that can enhance mindfulness, including meditation, massage therapy and others.
Positive Psychological Interventions
In 2017, researchers came together to identify some of the most successful interventions for addictions like opioid dependency. They concluded that holistic treatment interventions provide a form of safe, compassionate care to what can otherwise be a nerve-wracking time. Positive psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), offer a number of effective strategies to dealing with painful situations and emotions; rather than spiraling out of control or catastrophizing an event, CBT trains individuals to rethink their strategy – to decide what type of reaction would best suit their health and wellbeing.
CBT has 2 foundational components:
· Functional analysis – in a collaborative effort, the therapist and client identify a range of thoughts, feelings and events that have previously led to unhelpful behavior (such as abusing substances). Together, they discover insight for what could trigger that person specifically to relapse – which ultimately informs which skills they will need to learn.
· Skills training – by unlearning old habits and forming new ones, a person will react different to situations that may have previously resulted in harmful behavior. New coping skills are adapted in CBT, which gives a person more control over their recovery.
Find What Works for You
The entire aim of holistic recovery is to identify the unique components of yourself and your life that have contributed to who you are today – and to explore healthy ways of working through what has previously held you back from health and wellbeing. Personalized treatment ensures that you receive the care you need – which is based on your past, present and future.
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.
The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.
Saving Lives; Healing Families.