Embracing Alternative Therapies and Their Role in Addiction Recovery by Kimberly Hayes


Addiction by Tiffany
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Engaging in addiction recovery may be the most important challenge you ever undertake. It’s vital to use the best tools available to you. Alternative methods can help you achieve success.

Holistic therapy. There is an increasing awareness of holistic therapies, with some studies showing sixty-five to eighty percent of the population participating in holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care. Demand is so great, half of all medical schools offer courses in holistic methods. Holistic therapy is defined as treating the mind, body and soul of a person, and typically uses both traditional and alternative methods to address and prevent health conditions. Practitioners aim to treat not only symptoms but causes of issues, they encourage communication with patients, integrate whole-body approaches in their programs, and support not only physical concerns but also mental and spiritual ones throughout treatment.

Some of the alternative methods used in holistic-oriented addiction recovery are as follows:

  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a time-tested therapy using needles to reduce cravings, aching muscles, detoxification symptoms and withdrawal symptoms. According to HealthLine acupuncture works to help to restore the body’s balance.

  • Biochemical restoration. This treatment examines what imbalances in the body are producing cravings and restores balance through nutrition.

  • Biofeedback. As The Treehouse explains, with biofeedback, machines monitor brain waves to evaluate what is occurring during an addict’s cravings. By understanding the addict’s thought patterns treatment can be modified to address issues.

  • Exercise. Some experts note exercise helps improve mood, enhance brain function, and improves strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Addicts can enjoy achieving a natural, healthy “high” through the chemicals released in the body by exercise.

  • Herbs. Symptoms of detoxification can be treated with herbs like valerian, kaya, and ginseng. Some herbs reduce insomnia and anxiety as well.

  • Hypnosis. By instructing the subconscious mind toward different thought patterns, an addict’s self-esteem can improve and the desire for drugs be eliminated.

  • NAD. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a derivative of vitamin B3 – also known as niacin. It’s a basic element in all living cells and plays a key role in metabolism. NAD is thought to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms during recovery.

  • Prayer and meditation. These two therapies are similar, requiring the addict to focus intently and embrace a higher level of understanding.

  • Yoga. Yoga encourages engaging mind, body and spirit to improve patience and relaxation. Addicts learn to look inward to understand their choices and navigate recovery.

Holistic treatments should be used in conjunction with rehabilitation and lifestyle changes. You should embrace a healthy diet and fitness program, and understand emotional wellness is a key component in recovery. Psychotherapy, mental health and behavioral therapies can help improve emotional health.

Exercises such as journaling benefit many addicts. Journaling provides the opportunity to review patterns and look inward for what drives your personal choices. It also encourages you to stay balanced and maintain a healthier focus on reality and on the present, reducing anxiety and stress.

What alternative methods aren’t. As explained by Psychology Today, alternative methods are not meant to be stand alone treatments. It’s important to participate in an organized recovery program guided by proven treatment practices. Ensure your care provider is using evidence-based therapies and treating your whole person with other proven methods. As some experts explain, everyone is different and your program should be tailored to your needs. Any treatments should be discussed with your therapist and used in conjunction with your entire recovery plan. Engaging in a treatment on your own, especially if it neglects another vital component, can be dangerous. Ensure you participate in a healthy, balanced recovery plan with the guidance of your therapist.

Alternative therapies can help. Addiction recovery is a difficult road, and with alternative therapies you can better navigate the obstacles. Discuss your options with your health professional. With a sound, balanced approach your recovery can be a success!

About the Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

P.S: I am sincerely very honoured that Kimberly sent me a request to do a guest article on a topic I was embracing after coming in touch with the terrifying reality on the ground. When I did my internship at the lone psychiatric ward in my city of Douala – Cameroun, about 2/3 of the teenagers admitted were for addiction and dis-intoxication. I definitely can’t wait for her book’s release and hope she writes another article for my blog.

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8 thoughts on “Embracing Alternative Therapies and Their Role in Addiction Recovery by Kimberly Hayes”

    1. Dear Mimshe, Thanks for your comment. I will check out the link. It is still a long stretch to get to the people and convince them several options exist alongside or apart from the medical model, but I’ll keep doing my widow’s mite so long as am around lol

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