Alternative addiction treatment includes activities such as meditation, acupuncture, yoga, art therapy and biofeedback, and falls under the category of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine practices are those that have limited clinical evidence of healing effects.
While many alternative addiction treatments haven’t been extensively studied in clinical settings, they’re widely accepted within the medical and recovery communities as highly valuable complements to traditional treatments. Studies show that mood and attitude play a major role in recovering from illness or surgery, and alternative addiction treatments are largely about improving mood, connecting the body, mind, and spirit, and promoting self-awareness.
Although clinical studies for specific modes of alternative addiction treatment are limited, there’s a wealth of research that finds a holistic approach to treatment is far more effective for addiction recovery than traditional medicine alone. A holistic approach is one that acknowledges that the body, mind, and spirit are inextricably connected.
Studies show that holistic programs which combine traditional and alternative treatments are the best approach to recovery, and the reasons are based on science: Alternative drug treatment as part of a holistic program reduces stress, boosts immunity, improves overall health, and narrows the disconnect between the mind and body that many who are in recovery experience. Physicians and recovery experts recommend alternative treatments to promote physical, mental, and emotional balance to facilitate growth and changes in lifestyle for the long-term.
Acupuncture is a pain-free treatment that uses strategically-placed needles around the body to reduce symptoms of withdrawal and detox, particularly cravings, irritability, lack of focus, and muscle aches.
Biofeedback is a widely accepted method of learning to control involuntary bodily functions to reduce pain and promote relaxation. During a biofeedback session, electrodes are attached to the skin that read heart and breathing rate, skin temperature, muscle activity, and moisture on the skin. When something triggers a stress response, such as elevated heart rate or sweating, you get immediate feedback on ways to reduce the stress response, usually through deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery. Harnessing the power of the brain to control the body is a highly valuable skill during recovery and beyond.
Chiropractic sessions can reduce chronic stress by manipulating the spine to activate stimulation sensors that are scattered around the body. Spine biomechanics are tied to the neurochemical communication and pathways that are essential for “feeling good,” and regular chiropractic treatments can promote overall feelings of wellbeing.
Massage therapy reduces the stress hormone cortisol while increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Massage improves circulation and the production of lymphatic fluid to help detoxify cells more quickly and invigorate the body, and it promotes body tension awareness. It’s also been found to improve immune function while decreasing pain.
Nutrition isn’t exactly “alternative” medicine, because it’s a fact that healthy food promotes overall good physical and mental health. Good nutrition is essential for the body and its systems to function optimally, and feeding the body premium fuel keeps it in good shape for the long haul.
Yoga promotes the mind-body connection and helps practitioners learn to be present and self-aware. Yoga can help instill self-compassion, reduce stress, and promote strength, balance, and flexibility for optimum body functioning.
Equine therapy is gaining more traction as a therapeutic practice that promotes trust and helps patients learn to control their behavior. Horses are highly sensitive animals that tend to mirror human emotions, and by “reading” a horse, emotions are brought to the surface. Equine therapy has been found to be particularly beneficial for people who tend to intellectualize, bringing them out of their brain and into their body.
Meditation is perhaps one of the most powerful alternative treatments for any ailment. Meditation quiets the chatter in the mind and promotes relaxation, inner calm, and mental clarity. It can help those in recovery to resist cravings through “urge surfing,” or allowing cravings to build like a wave, then visualizing riding them like a wave until they wash ashore. Watching cravings from a third-person perspective is highly beneficial for learning to control them.
To find out more about these and any other of the alternative therapies offered at treatment centers, let us inform you and help you begin searching for a rehab facility that will cater to every need you may have Drug Treatment Centers East Brunswick is here to help. Call us today at (732) 455-1314.