Integrating a Holistic Approach Into My Treatment Helped Me Heal!
Addiction treatment is finally seeing the merit of treating individuals in a manner that addresses the spiritual, emotional, and physical components of this disease. Not too long ago only the physical aspect, and behaviors associated with substance use were addressed. Early treatment was probably comparable to a stay in jail or hospital.
Treatment, today is more diverse. Addiction interventionists, psychologists, medical professionals, and even legal professionals are seeing the value in a multi-faceted approach to substance use treatment.
In the past couple of years it’s become abundantly clear that a one size all approach does not work. One of the main reasons involves identifying and addressing underlying issues that led to substance use. Long-lasting recovery occurs when the individual is able to start and continue the healing process after leaving treatment.
The use of a holistic approach has gained momentum with it resulting in improved outcomes for those in treatment. Holistic simply means “treating the whole person” as opposed to treating just one aspect.
What are some examples of holistic therapies and treatments? Massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, are examples of a few staples. Other widely accepted therapies include yoga, meditation, music therapy or incorporating an animal-assisted therapy.
My personal experience with holistic therapies initially began prior to treatment. I went to school to become a massage therapist while active in my addiction. Massage school was a healing process. I have no doubt in my mind that it gave me the strength to start to consider that I was worth more than what I thought. Looking back I can see that this experience helped me leave an emotionally and physically abusive marriage.
When selecting a treatment facility I was partial to those that had a holistic approach. I am so happy that I did. I know that the different modalities used played a big part in my recovery. There is something to be said about addressing the spiritual side of addiction and this is what alternative treatments do.
During my 5 month stay I looked forward to the diverse holistic treatments they offered: Reiki, Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractor, Yoga, and a vibroacoustic bed. I can say from personal experience that all of these played a vital role in my personal journey in recovery.
Prior to treatment I had a couple of acupuncture treatments at the local community services board. It was offered specifically for those who struggled with addiction. The needles were inserted into specific points in my ears, and the process was relatively painless. I found that it did seem to help with my anxiety a little but let me just be honest, I was still using at the time.
In treatment I looked forward to all of the options they offered on a weekly basis and took advantage of them. I have to say my favorite was acupuncture, I looked forward to it every Monday. After the sessions I always felt so relaxed and peaceful. It even helped me sleep with the anxiety that even meds had a hard time controlling. I also had a lot of issues with my stomach and acupuncture helped a lot in relieving the pain I was feeling.
Massage therapy has so many benefits, for me it personally helped in the process of healing trauma. I felt a deep sense of healing and love wash over me. I wasn’t prepared for the tidal wave of emotions that swept over me, both during and after. I did have a good cry after the massage, but it felt like such a welcome release. I had been holding so much tension in my body, so much fear and stress and anxiety, that it was preventing me from embracing the recovery I so desperately craved. I found that acupuncture, reiki healing — which I also tried — and massage therapy were instrumental and necessary aspects of my journey to healing.
Because of the work and progress that was achieved through these holistic therapies, other aspects of treatment, including groups, counseling, written work and twelve step meetings were much more effective. You really do have to be receptive and willing to do the work, and when I was fearful, angry, and resentful and blocked, I simply couldn’t find it in myself to fully participate. The holistic therapies I received in treatment really turned things around for me
A future goal of mine is to work with other recovering addicts, as well as people who are dealing with mental illness or other challenges. I know firsthand the power of this therapy, and I believe it should be accessible to everyone, not just people who can afford pricey spas.
That’s my hope, anyway. I would love to see more treatment centers incorporate massage, chiropractic care, reiki healing and acupuncture into their treatment programs. I know my experience is not an isolated one, many of my fellow recovering addicts have experienced recovery through these methods, and I would love to see this available to all who need it!
Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.