Holistic healing practices in addiction treatment

Most Australian drug rehabs no longer confine treatment approaches and individual programs to just the orthodox and traditional addiction treatment practices. When it comes to addiction, it used to be that evidence based methods such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and 12-Step programs were the recommended treatment protocol for people with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). Addiction is now recognised as a complex brain disease that involves not just the brain but the mind/spirit and emotions. Today’s modern addiction recovery plans have acknowledged this newfound understanding and have therefore diversified the process of treating people with SUDs. By incorporating the use of holistic healing practices such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation alongside traditional and evidence based approaches, residential drug rehab facilities now see that addiction is not just isolated to the brain but the entire faculty of the human being.

Low cost holistic healing in the Philippines

These days, within the residential drug rehab settings, patients are receiving customised or tailored recovery programs that stretch well beyond the 12-steps method. This approach is not unique to providers of rehabs in Australia, but is also practiced internationally. Many people may say to themselves “I doubt that the drug rehabs near me provide these types of alternative practices and what about the cost of rehab? Will it be expensive?” Well although holistic practices aren’t incorporated by all drug & alcohol rehabilitation facilities, you’ll be pleased to know that there are low cost drug rehab options that do practice holistic health treatments in the Philippines.

What is Holistic Therapy?

You most likely have heard the term ‘holistic therapy’ being used quite a bit in just about any trendy activty these days. However, there’s often a misconception too that holistic care is some type of unorthodox  “wacky” modality that is only used by hippies or new age types of people. In reality, that really isn’t the case inasmuch as holistic treatment holds much merit and is recognised and used by both traditional and alternative medical practitioners alike. Holistic medicine practitioners believe that the whole person consists of interdependent parts and if one part is imbalanced then all the other parts will be affected. Sometimes the person isn’t aware of what this issue is. Therefore, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can adversely affect their overall health. Recovery plans that incorporates holistic practices are designed to treat each area so the individual can sustain sobriety after the main issues leading to substance misuse are resolved.

Holistic healing practices in a recovery plan

So what does a recovery plan for addiction look like when it incorporates holistic practices? This depends on the unique situation of the patient and can be determined after assessing their individual needs upon admission into the drug rehab. Normally, the following holistic practices are used in recovery plans alongside traditional evidence based approaches:

  • Yoga, tai chi, and other meditation exercises
  • Organic meal plans: to improve physical health and raise overall vibration
  • Music and art therapy
  • Acupuncture, acupressure massage or other complementary therapy
  • Energy healing modalities such as Reiki

Holistic healing and its connection to addiction

You’re probably familiar with most of these holistic practices and may even engage in some of them regularly yourself. However, you may still be wondering what the connection is between holistic healing and drug & alcohol addiction? Well considering that addiction often leads to feeling disconnected thus causing imbalances in the mind body, and soul, you can see that there is an interconnectedness between addiction and the framework of holistic wellness. It’s important to know that this is not an overnight fix. It’s recommended that those with a long history of substance abuse seek out long-term rehab treatment for best chances at long-term sobriety.


For example, yoga is an ancient Indian practice that pairs breathing with various postures and stretching exercises. It has been proven to reduce perceived stress levels, pain, anxiety and/or depression. It’s important to note that addiction itself often arises as a response to stress, with drugs or alcohol functioning as a means of self-medicating uncomfortable emotions and sensations related to perceived stress. Yoga also improves both mood and brain chemistry by increasing levels of the “feel-good” neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. It is understood that GABA levels tend to be significantly lower in people who are suffering from addiction and co-occurring mood disorders, who often turn to drugs for relief.


How about modalities such as acupuncture and what does this have to do with addiction? Acupuncture is an alternative medicine treatment option that relies on stimulating various points on the body, most often with needles, to relieve pain or treat other physical, mental and emotional conditions. In addiction recovery plans, a specific technique called ‘acudetox’ is sometimes used . This method involves inserting needles into a patient’s ear, which many claim can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association states, “people who undergo this type of treatment, as an adjunct within a comprehensive treatment program have a more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery, as well as reductions in cravings, anxiety, sleep disturbance and need for pharmaceuticals.”

A balanced approach

It can be safe to say that drug & alcohol rehabilitation centres now acknowledge and highlight the importance of addressing spiritual issues when preparing clients’ recovery plans. This is important because a lack of attention to the patients’ spiritual needs may actually drive them away from effective treatment. In saying that, this is not to steer the importance and effectiveness of traditional and evidence based approaches like the 12-Steps and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy mentioned before. A balanced approach of treating SUDs in conjunction with holistic practices that address mind, body, and spirit is therefore essential to long-term recovery.