By Jennifer Maloney

The Holistic Approach to Recovery

Mind, body and spirit. According to practitioners of holistic medicine, those are the three pillars of our self that need to be in harmonic alignment in order to stay healthy. Achieving that state of wellness can only happen by achieving the proper balance through eating right, staying in shape and teaching the mind to "calm down." This is not a "new age" approach to healing but it is actually utilizing methods which have been around for centuries.

A simple way of understanding this can be experienced through a hunger pang. When you've reached the point in your day when you're hungry you can feel out of sorts. You're focused on that hunger and find it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Once you've eaten something that is good for your body the brain releases chemical compounds as a reward. It's saying, "Thanks for the snack, now you get to feel good." That is achieving balance and it's just the beginning of a holistic approach to life.

Understanding Holistic Medicine

This might be hard to grasp for someone who is grounded in the traditional Western philosophies of medicine but the holistic approach to medicine promotes the idea that we all have the power to heal within. When the individual can tap into those innate healing powers they have the ability to manage their own well-being and effect to course of pain and addiction.

Another important aspect to the holistic approach is to treat the underlying causes of a particular ailment and not just provide temporary relief of the symptoms. In other words, you can take a pill for your recurring headache or find a way to alleviate the stress factors which are causing that headache. Which would have a longer lasting impact on your overall well-being? This approach takes in all the factors that make up a person's daily routine. Working closely with a certified medical professional, a program of healing that is holistically centered will incorporate ways for the mind, body and spirit to achieve that perfect sense of balance. This can happen through exercise, diet, medication and/or prayer. Each of those pillars should be given equal attention and support.

Holistic Treatment for Substance Abuse

In the realm of addiction rehabilitation and substance abuse recovery, the holistic approach has been adapted to support traditional forms of therapy. There are specific holistic recovery tools which are cropping up at rehab centers everywhere. In fact, there are many drug treatment facilities which take a total holistic approach to recovery. These tools are rooted in ancient practices and have been given a updated twist to make them palatable for today's modern patient. The holistic approach to recovery can be utilized to treat many forms of addiction from drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and sex addiction. As with traditional recovery programs, the holistic approach relies on therapeutic counseling which can be in private or group sessions. However, that is just the beginning of the total holistic approach. Getting the body in balance will require a thorough cleansing of all those harmful toxins which have accumulated in a person's system. Once clean, the patient is guided through such programs as yoga or Tai-Chi as a well of becoming more physically fit. These forms of exercise depend on developing inner peace and calmness. Focusing on the exercises allows the patient to actually free their mind from persistent cravings and other addictive triggers. The holistic workout routines are complimented by massage and meditation. An emphasizes is also placed on creating a healthier diet that incorporates foods and nutrients the body craves to stay in harmony. Finally, there is the spiritual component that is every bit as important and the mind and body. Many 12 Step recovery programs already incorporate the idea of utilizing a higher power but in this case one should seek a relationship with their higher self. This is also encouraged with the holistic approach to recovery and isn't limited to traditional religious choices.

Like every other type of recovery, the holistic approach to healing takes a full commitment on the part of the patient. This approach might not be for everyone. It could mean a lot of rethinking of traditional ways. With holistic medicine the patient is doing a lot of inner work and self-discovery. That is not something that can be accomplished over night or even in a long weekend. This is a new life journey but one that is definitely worth exploring.

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Very true, your higher self will never lead you wrong.

Indeed Sevan....This iz a New "Life Journey" especially Winn U begin 2 discover hidden thang'z about Ur Self.

Thanks 4 Insight.

Because 12 step programs are the mainstreamed vein many of these people are swept into in their desperation, it seems there's a tradeoff of 'lesser evils' taking place. The AA mark, circles w/ squares symbols, use of coins, etc are giveaways to a shadowy occultation going on. Does anyone know what kind of detriments one can be getting into by 'working these 12 steps,' as they say? I have a brother who's in a long term rehab, and while he knows better than to buy into the higher power stuff, admitting he's powerless n all that junk he's offsets it by saying the other stuff is constructive, so I want to find out for him what other dangers may be involved..

Absolutely beautiful, thank you... 



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