Holistic Approaches in Recovery

Holistic approaches in recovery are treatments that take the whole person in to consideration rather than treating symptoms alone and managing them with medicine. Holistic medicine for addiction is an approach that will seek to heal the person in other areas as well and takes into account social factors, mental health, and sometimes even spiritual health in order to find a deeper healing effect.

Taking a holistic approach with your own health can be an empowering choice for your addiction recovery. It is important that all of the medical professionals who treat you are aware of your choices in taking any herbal medications, however. Using herbal medicine can have some of the same risks as over-the-counter and even prescription medication so it always is best to make sure you are aware of complications that could arise and that you find a medical Dr who listens to your desire to want to try alternative forms of treatment.

Treating the “whole person” doesn’t always necessarily have to do with using alternative medicine, however. Holistic approaches in recovery can include standard medical treatment with the addition of holistic approaches in recovery. You may be encouraged to try art or music therapy, relaxation methods, and learn other ways of expressing yourself.

How does the holistic approach help me?

To those who are not familiar with holistic approaches or who see the potential marketing ploys that occur sometimes and are unsure of the actual benefit, consider the science behind some of the more popular holistic approaches.

Learning how to express yourself in new ways through art or music, for example, can be a powerful way to change your life. Learning a new hobby and finding ways to be creative can help your brain learn new ways of enjoyment. Redirecting your mind to learning new things is powerful because you’ll literally be making new connections in your mind and learning to put energy and focus into something positive. You’ll gain confidence in yourself and most of all – have a new source of interest to invest your time into. Staving off boredom can be half the battle in long term recovery and preventing relapse.

The other popular holistic approach in recovery is acupuncture. Not only has acupuncture been proven to reduce stress, it has also been shown in clinical studies to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms in those who are in recovery, including heroin use.  Acupuncture has been studied for decades and can be a great option for long term stress reduction as well as other health benefits.


There are many holistic approaches in recovery. You may find all of this interesting or you may not be too sure about any of it. The takeaway to this is that the holistic approach can be practiced by anyone by simply remembering that you are not only your symptoms but a human being who can benefit from healthy social connections, good nutrition, and ways to express yourself creatively.