Understanding Holistic Healing in Addiction Recovery

Written by Robert Castan

Editor: Editorial Team

Medically Reviewer: Editorial Team

Last updated: March 12, 2022

Understanding Holistic Healing in Addiction Recovery

Addiction is a complex condition with symptoms that vary widely among individuals. Treatment, therefore, should be a personalized process that focuses on the physical and emotional symptoms of addiction as well as its underlying causes. The whole-body approach is sometimes referred to as holistic addiction treatment.

The holistic treatment approach merges traditional and clinical addiction treatment methods such as medical detox and counseling with holistic therapies, including meditation, yoga, and art therapy. In recent years, more and more addiction centers have begun integrating holistic methods into their treatment programs, with promising results leading to healing in addiction recovery.

According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, around 36 percent of U.S. adults utilize holistic and alternative treatment methods. The most common types of holistic treatment among adults are deep breathing, meditation, and dietary changes that focus on natural and organic products.

Personalized Addiction Treatment

Healing in addiction is a two-fold process: You must deal with the addiction itself, as well as the issues that led to addiction, in order to fully recover. That’s where holistic treatment options come into play – alternative methods are designed to treat the spiritual needs of individuals, meaning that holistic treatment may look different for every person.

For example, maybe you turn to substance use in order to deal with stressful situations. In that case, your counselor or healthcare provider may encourage you to meditate when you feel anxious. If you tend to utilize drugs or alcohol to combat boredom, you may be encouraged to find activities that will occupy your time, such as exercising or creating art.

The Role of Creative Arts in the Healing Process

The creative arts, in fact, are particularly powerful healing tools, studies show. U.S. News and World Report data indicates that creativity and the arts may help to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as help you to better express your thoughts and emotions.

Art may also help you to better connect with your personal self, which may be a key factor in overcoming addiction. You don’t have to be a professional artist to benefit from art therapy either. Even visiting an art museum or watching a play can help foster healing.

A focus on the creative arts can also help to teach you about healthy coping mechanisms. When you are feeling sad, anxious, worried, or depressed, turn to art instead of drugs or alcohol.

Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga

Forming new habits is integral to the addiction recovery process. By keeping yourself busy with activities that you enjoy, you’re less likely to slide back into addiction. But what if you have some downtime and find your mind wandering and worrying about the future?

Some individuals in recovery have found that mindfulness meditation helps them get through periods of stagnation without the need for drugs or alcohol. Mindfulness is simply the practice of living “in the moment,” and taking life one day at a time. Mindfulness meditation can be done on your own, or with a counselor or group.

Mindfulness meditation goes hand in hand with the practice of yoga. Yoga helps you learn to focus on your body and self, in the present moment. And there are many different forms of yoga, from high-intensity bikram yoga to the more tranquil yoga nidra. Those struggling with addiction enjoy varying fitness levels and can find the yoga style that best works for them.

Dietary Changes and Healing in Addiction

As holistic treatment encompasses the whole body, that also includes everything you put inside your body. During the detox process, you should avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Then, as you continue your addiction treatment regimen, you are encouraged to be mindful of your food choices.

Certain foods help to regulate dopamine, the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for your brain’s reward systems. Those struggling with addiction seek out dopamine every time they use, so regulating dopamine in a natural way is paramount to recovery, especially in the early stages of treatment.

Foods that help regulate dopamine include bananas, avocados, and protein-rich foods such as eggs, chicken, and beans. Including these dopamine boosters into your diet can help you overcome lethargy and feelings of sadness. You can also boost dopamine levels by exercising, listening to your favorite music, and/or getting a good night’s sleep.

Antioxidants are also important when it comes to your recovery diet, as they promote a healthy immune system. When you were deep in addiction, your immune system likely took a big hit. Antioxidants can be found in berries and leafy greens, including kale, broccoli, and spinach.

Individualized Holistic Treatment Plans

The most beneficial addiction treatment plans are ones that keep you busy and are tailored to your individual needs. Note that, if a medical detox is needed, holistic treatment will likely be postponed until you have completely detoxed.

Then, depending on your personal needs, you will work with a counselor to develop a treatment plan that will keep you healthy over the long-term. It’s imperative that you’re honest with medical professionals during this time. Keeping secrets is the behavior of an addict, and you have to shed that stigma in order to truly recover.

You should also let your counselors and healthcare providers know if a particular holistic treatment method isn’t working, or is triggering, for you. Again, honesty is the best policy when it comes to addiction recovery.

Finding a Holistic Addiction Treatment Rehab

When you’re addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, that addiction rules your life and may negatively affect your personal relationships. Holistic addiction treatment methods may give you the tools needed to help rebuild those broken relationships, and help you build your best life.

No matter the depth of your addiction, remember that you’re not alone. If you’re ready to take charge of your life and free yourself from the bonds of addiction, contact SpringBoard Recovery today. Our facility utilizes holistic addiction treatment methods as well as medical detox and traditional counseling in order to heal the whole person.


  • American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
  • Verywell Health: https://www.verywellhealth.com/holistic-health-4014763
  • Mindful: https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/
  • The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/beginner-yoga
  • Public Goods: https://blog.publicgoods.com/all-natural-vs-organic-products/
  • WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/ways-to-reduce-anxiety
  • Art Loft: https://artloftasia.com/blog/5-benefits-of-practicing-art/#:~:text=Creating%20art%20helps%20you%20learn,more%20attention%20to%20your%20environment.&text=Making%20art%20teaches%20that%20there,creative%20thinking%20in%20problem%20solving.
  • U.S. News: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/09/29/the-power-of-the-creative-arts-in-health-and-healing
  • Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/mindfulness-meditation-88369

  • Author: Robert Castan
    February 1, 2019

    Robert Castan is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at SpringBoard Recovery. Robert started his professional career as a house manager and has become an industry leader and trusted voice in the treatment world. He brings extensive knowledge of organizational growth, industry-leading outcomes, and comprehensive marketing to SpringBoard Recovery. Robert has been walking his own path of recovery for over 10 years. This path has truly driven his ambition to help make treatment available to others who are struggling with addiction. Robert finds great joy in traveling and keeping physically active, with an emphasis on biking. Robert resides in Arizona with his husband and two four-legged children.   The U.S. Alcohol Crisis, Still Deadlier Than the Opioid Epidemic   Zombies and Other Future Threats to the Health of American Youth Dire Mental Health: A Catalyst for Post-Pandemic Drug Addiction The Benefits of Rehab Center Staff Working Their Own Recovery Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Robert Castan on Successful Addiction Treatment and Entrepreneurship Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale Opioids & COVID Driving Phoenix’s Rising Fatal Drug Overdoses Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Successful Addiction Treatment Programs & Entrepreneurship

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