Holistic therapy has been used for centuries in the East and has become more popular in the West in the past few decades.

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Holistic therapy is a form of healing that considers the person as a whole, treating the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. People who practice holistic medicine use a variety of techniques to rehabilitate body and mind.

Drug and alcohol abuse cause damage to the person emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, and mentally, so it makes sense that treatment will involve a combination of approaches to address all areas. Good drug treatment facilities incorporate traditional treatments such as medically assisted detox, individual counseling, and group meetings, along with holistic therapy.

Holistic therapy uses various methods to help a person become balanced and ‘whole’ again.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives.”

Some of the principles of effective treatment are listed as such:

  • No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
  • An individual’s treatment and service plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure it meets his or her changing needs.
  • Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detox, followed by treatment and therapy.

Incorporating holistic methods of healing help the individual to identify their triggers, cope with cravings, and find alternatives to drug abuse.

Some common therapies used in residential drug treatment centers that patients can learn as coping mechanisms for the rest of their life are:

  • Exercise therapy– This includes any form of getting the body moving: aerobics, swimming, walking, running, weight lifting, hiking, biking, etc.
  • Art therapy – Drawing, painting, and making things not only quiets the mind but also relieves stress.
  • Yoga – Yoga promotes mind/body connection and awareness.
  • Meditation– Breathing and meditation techniques can help offset cravings. 
  • Acupuncture – Fine needles are inserted into certain points of the body to stimulate and regulate the flow of energy.
  • Massage therapy – Getting a great massage helps to heal the body by loosening muscles that are stiff and tight due to stress.
  • Aromatherapy – Candles, incense, and essential oils may be used to produce certain aromas adjusted to individual needs for achieving balance. There are countless scents to choose from that produce effective results in stimulating, calming, and refreshing the mind and emotions.
  • Reiki – Reiki is a healing energy commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic physical pain.

If you are looking for a drug rehabilitation center for yourself or a loved one, be sure to look into their treatment plan. One that teaches and incorporates holistic therapy will give you or your loved one a better chance of successful long-term sobriety.

For more information about Mountain Laurel Recovery Center, please feel free to contact us anytime at (814) 787-2200. We’re here to help.


Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. (2016, January). Retrieved February, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction