Holistic Therapy and Methods of Aftercare

in Addiction
Morgan Metzger
Published Mar 16, 2021
holistic therapy

Once you’ve made it through detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and the acute phases of your recovery, you’ll be ready to embark upon the rest of your life in sobriety. However, post-treatment life in recovery is not without its challenges. It’s crucial to your long-term success that you have access to resources and relationships, and even holistic therapy, that will support you in maintaining your commitment to self-improvement. This support is called aftercare or continuing care.

How Large a Role Does Aftercare Play in Recovery?

One of the most standard aftercare management options is mutual aid programs: community-based groups that bring people together with the shared experiences of addiction and recovery. These programs have proven useful, especially in combination with clinical aftercare services.

Some notable examples include 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, involvement in 12-Step programs positively affects recovery. For example:

  • Decreased drinking was associated with AA participation over time.
  • Increased participation in 12-Step groups is associated with a higher proportion of abstinence from drugs or alcohol.

Establishing a lasting connection with a group of peers who relate to you can make a significant difference in your motivation and focus when navigating the pitfalls of recovery. The peers and sponsors you meet through such groups can hold you accountable when you’re slipping, encourage you when you need it, and celebrate your successes with you.

However, if mutual aid doesn’t sound like the right form of aftercare for you, you’re not stuck with it. Your recovery is unique to you, as are the choices that serve you best.

Holistic Therapy

There have been fewer studies to conclusively link holistic treatments to success in recovery. However, if these forms of therapies work for you to ease your mind and strengthen your concentration, they provide a benefit worth pursuing along the course of your healing process.

It isn’t only some recovery professionals who espouse the benefits of holistic therapy. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’s Whole Health initiative provides holistic treatments like yoga, acupuncture, and clinical hypnosis to military veterans struggling to adjust to civilian life. Numerous sources have compared people suffering from addiction to veterans with PTSD; it’s no surprise that some of the same techniques might apply in the case of recovery as well.

Meditation

It has been proven to improve a wide range of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms, ranging from depression and anxiety to high blood pressure and ulcers. Meditation can be especially helpful in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Yoga and Mindfulness Exercises

They have been found to be an effective complimentary therapy for treating addictive behaviors and reduce the severity of depression.

Tai Chi, Dance, and other forms of movement therapy

They keep the body active and can have meditative, cathartic effects on a psychological level. These exercises are often practiced in a group setting, creating meaningful human connections and providing social support in a productive environment.

Acupuncture

It has been used for millennia to relieve stress and promote overall wellness. While its effects vary by patient, many believe it to be a valuable part of one’s general efforts towards total bodily health.

Massage Therapy and Reflexology

They can do more than relax the body. Some studies have found massage therapy helpful in treating anxiety, insomnia, and stress. Massage can foster a nurturing human connection on an emotional level. Some people also find benefit in reiki and similar practices.

Music and Art Therapy

It involves using creative self-expression as an outlet for repressed or pent-up emotions. Practitioners of art therapy and related endeavors encourage patients to use it to develop self-acceptance, emotional openness, and self-esteem.

Hypnosis

This has been used for decades as a tool to overcome addictive behaviors and other unwanted traits.

Animal Therapy

This pairs patients with trained dogs, horses, or other animals that help provide emotional support, mental stability, and motivation. In particular, dogs have been used to ease symptoms of shell-shock and PTSD since the earliest forms of human combat.

There are countless forms of holistic therapy that you might consider. The most effective means of attaining a successful recovery is to receive clinical treatment, such as ongoing medical psychotherapy, in tandem with non-clinical therapies that meet your personal needs. Whether the non-clinical components you adopt include mutual aid, holistic therapies, or other forms of treatment, consult with your professional support system and sources of trusted guidance. These people can help you determine the most helpful steps you can take to ensure a healthy and lasting recovery.

Detox is only the first step of the lifelong process of recovery. Once you’ve completed acute treatment, you’re ready to assemble the components of your new life in sobriety. To make it as successful as possible, you’ll want to avail yourself of aftercare resources that empower and motivate you through times of turmoil. Between clinical aftercare services, 12-Step programs and other forms of mutual aid, and holistic healing practices, you can get the support you need to move forward with confidence. For more information on making the most out of this chance to rebuild your life, reach out to Gallus Medical Detox Centers. We work with you to conduct a thorough assessment of your needs and provide individualized care to meet them. Don’t just get sober – stay sober, stay self-aware, and keep up your forward momentum on your mission to live according to your highest priorities. Call us at (866) 296-5242 to learn more.