Health & Wellness

Holistic Addiction Treatment: What Is It & How Does It Work?

In this day and age, holistic addiction treatment is becoming more and more popular. This is because it is a much more holistic and natural approach to addiction treatment than traditional methods. 

In this article, The Holistic Sanctuary’s Ayahuasca Retreat California discusses holistic addiction treatment, how it works, the pros and cons of using holistic treatments for addiction, and more!

What is holistic addiction treatment?

Holistic addiction treatment is an approach to addiction treatment that focuses on the whole person, not just the addiction itself.

This means that holistic treatments consider the individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

Holistic treatments like Ibogaine Treatment are often used with traditional addiction treatments, such as 12-step programs and individual therapy.

What is involved in holistic addiction treatment?

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Holistic addiction treatment can involve a wide variety of different therapies and approaches. Let’s explore some of the most common holistic treatments for addiction:


In some holistic addiction treatment programs, acupuncture is used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body.

It is said to help balance the flow of energy in the body and promote healing.


Aromatherapy is another holistic treatment that can be used in addiction recovery. This therapy uses essential oils to promote relaxation and healing.

Essential oils are often used in massages, baths, or diffused into the air. This is said to help improve mood and promote relaxation.

Art therapy

Mainly used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy, art therapy is a holistic treatment that can be very helpful for those in addiction recovery. Art therapy can involve painting, drawing, sculpting, or any other creative outlet.

This type of therapy is said to help improve self-esteem and coping skills. It can also be a way to express emotions that may be difficult to put into words.


Biofeedback is a holistic treatment used to help manage stress and anxiety. This therapy uses sensors to measure heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature.

This information is then used to help the individual learn how to control their body’s response to stressors.


Of course, exercise is not only good for the body but also for the mind. Exercise has been shown to help improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress.

In holistic addiction treatment programs, exercise is often used to help individuals in recovery feel physically and mentally better.


Instead of focusing on the past or worrying about the future, meditation helps individuals focus on the present moment.

This can be a very helpful skill for addiction recovery as it can help reduce cravings and prevent relapse.

Meditation is often used with other holistic treatments, such as yoga or aromatherapy.

Nutritional counseling

What we put into our bodies can greatly impact our mental and physical health. In holistic addiction treatment programs, nutritional counseling is often used to help individuals make healthier food choices.

After all, a healthy diet can improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress. It is also important for maintaining a healthy weight, which is often an issue for those in recovery.

Psychoactive drugs

Depending on the holistic addiction treatment program, psychoactive drugs may be used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

This is done under the care of a medical professional and is usually only used as a short-term treatment.

Stress management

Stress management is an important holistic treatment for addiction recovery. This therapy can involve various techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy.

Stress management aims to help individuals in recovery learn how to cope with stress healthily.

How does holistic addiction treatment work?

The goal of holistic addiction treatment is to address the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. By doing so, it’s said to be more effective than traditional treatment methods that only focus on one aspect of addiction.

Think about it this way: if someone only focuses on getting sober, they’re more likely to relapse when faced with triggers and stressors.

But, if someone is in holistic addiction treatment and has learned how to manage their stress, they’re more likely to be able to cope with triggers without relapsing.

Holistic addiction treatment programs are also tailored to the individual. Each person will have a different treatment plan based on their unique needs.

What do holistic treatments help with?

So, what can holistic addiction treatments help with? Well, holistic treatments can help with various aspects of addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms, cravings, stress management, and more.

They can also be helpful for those in recovery who are struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Here are some of the most common problems that holistic treatments can help with:

Withdrawal symptoms

Whether it be withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes, holistic treatments can help.

Some holistic treatments that can help manage withdrawal symptoms include acupuncture, acupressure, and massage therapy.


Whether it’s from trauma or a loved one’s addiction, PTSD is a serious issue. And unfortunately, it’s common among those in addiction recovery.

But, there is hope! Holistic treatments such as EMDR and yoga can help individuals in recovery who are struggling with PTSD.

Chronic pain

While chronic pain is often a symptom of addiction, it can also be a trigger for relapse. After all, if someone is in pain, they’re more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief.

That’s why holistic treatments for chronic pain, such as acupuncture and massage therapy, are often used in addiction recovery.


Cravings are often one of the biggest obstacles for those in addiction recovery. But, various holistic treatments can help reduce cravings.

For example, acupuncture and acupressure can help by stimulating certain points in the body. This can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.

Stress management

As we mentioned before, stress is a major trigger for those in addiction recovery. But, holistic treatments can help individuals learn how to manage stress healthily.

Some stress-relieving holistic treatments include yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy.

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression are common mental health issues that often go hand-in-hand with addiction. But, holistic treatments can help individuals manage their symptoms.

For example, yoga and meditation can help to reduce anxiety and improve mood. And aromatherapy can help to improve sleep and reduce stress.

Is holistic substance abuse treatment effective?

Instead of going to a traditional treatment center, you may consider a holistic approach to addiction recovery.

But is holistic substance abuse treatment effective? The answer is yes! Holistic addiction treatment is just as effective as traditional treatment methods.

In fact, some studies have even shown that holistic treatments are more effective than traditional treatments. This is because holistic treatments address the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs, lessening the chances of relapse.

How is the recovery process different in a holistic addiction treatment center?

The recovery process is different in a holistic addiction treatment center. This is because holistic addiction treatment centers focus on the whole person, not just the addiction. The recovery process in holistic addiction treatment centers usually looks like this:

  • A comprehensive assessment is conducted to determine the individual’s needs.
  • A treatment plan is created that includes various holistic therapies.
  • The individual attends therapy sessions and group meetings.
  • Aftercare planning is done to help the individual transition back into their life.

Final Thoughts

Recovery is a journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. However, holistic addiction treatment is an effective option for those seeking an alternative to traditional treatment methods. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help!

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Jen Hensey

Hi, I’m Jen! I’m a Financial Consultant and I’m a mother of two lovely daughters, Aira and Ellie. I love eating (yes eating, not cooking! LOL), writing, and spending time with my little girls! We’re based in the Golden State of USA, California!

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