How do holistic drug treatment centers work?


holistic drug treatment center

Holistic health is a concept in medicine that views all aspects of a person’s needs including psychological, physical, and social and asserts the importance that all of these be taken into account when treating a patient. Often synonymous with the term alternative medicine, this approach claims that disease, in this case addiction, is a result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and/or environmental imbalance.

Holistic drug treatment centers take this approach because it is in line with the working definition of addiction, which is perceived to be a three-fold disease: it is a spiritual malady, a physical allergy, and a mental obsession. In other words, addiction afflicts the body, mind, and spirit.

So, what are holistic drug treatment centers?

In the field of drug addiction treatment, holistic drug treatment centers often offer much of the same services as typical treatment centers however, in addition to this, they offer a wider variety of ancient and cutting-edge techniques for healing the individual who suffers from drug addiction. And thus, Holistic drug treatment centers provide treatment approaches that address each “part” that make up the “whole” of the individual.

Physical allergy: Substance abuse in alcoholics and addicts is more than a physical dependence; it is an actual physical allergy. When a true alcoholic or addict introduces a chemical substance into their system, it causes a chain reaction in their brain that initiates a cycle of drug use and abuse patterns that cannot be broken by sheer willpower.

Methods for addressing the physical symptoms:

Holistic drug treatment centers incorporate the use of medication along with offering yoga and exercise classes; beach outings; fishing; sports such as golfing and volleyball; nutrition support; vitamin therapy; acupuncture; chiropractic treatment; Native American sweat lodges; spa treatments; steam rooms and saunas.

Mental obsession: Addiction involves mental aspects. Even when alcoholics and addicts want to stop using, they experience obsessive thoughts about their drug(s) of choice. This obsession is extremely strong and impossible to ignore.

Methods for addressing mental obsession:

Holistic drug treatment centers offer meditation; different types of therapy such as: one-on-one and group psychotherapy (talk therapy); hypnotherapy; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); cognitive; behavioral; journaling, music therapy; massage therapy.

Spiritual malady: Alcoholics and addicts often use drugs in order to fill a perceived void that they experience. Holistic drug treatment centers identify this “void” as a lack of spirituality.

Methods for addressing spiritual malady:

Holistic drug treatment centers promote attending 12 Step meetings which speak to the need of having a spiritual foundation and encourage finding one’s own spirituality; yoga and meditation (which also address spiritual needs); Native American sweat lodges (addresses both physical cleansing and spirituality).

Holistic drug treatment centers focus on treating the individual as a whole and identify the importance of having a well-rounded program of recovery. The techniques and methods they use are geared towards having lasting effects for overall success in recovery. As well, they promote the formation of new, healthy habits and instill in patients the ways in which they can continue to implement them in their lives going forward from treatment.

How To Find A Holistic Doctor


Holistic Health Care

Holistic Health Care

Holistic health care is the practice of treating the human body as a whole. It is the idea that all parts of a person- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual- must be healthy and in balance in order for a person to recover from an ailment. Therefore, those who practice holistic health care not only address the physical symptoms of an illness, they also address the other aspects of the person.

Holistic Health Care: History

Holistic health care has its roots in ancient medicine. For 6000 years, medical practitioners believed that physical ailments had roots in emotional and spiritual illness. Then in the seventeenth century, Rene Descartes presented his ideas of two substances, matter – material and immaterial. He believed that the body was material matter and followed the laws of physics and the soul was immaterial matter and did not follow physical laws. He also believed that there was a barrier between body and soul that could not be breached. This idea formed the basis of modern medicine. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that ideas began to change again and it was recognized that psychological and spiritual issues could affect physical health.

Holistic Health Care: Principles

  • The core principles of holistic health care include:
  • All people have innate healing powers
  • The patient is a person, not a collection of symptoms
  • Healing takes a team involving the patient and doctor and addresses all aspects of a person’s life
  • Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms.

Holistic Health Care: Types of Treatment

Holistic health care providers use a variety of treatment approaches to help patients take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve optimal health. These could include:

  • Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care including diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, etc.
  • Complementary and alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, etc.
  • Western medications and surgical procedures.

Holistic Health Care: How to Find a Holistic Provider

Holistic providers may include medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, and homeopathic doctors. To find a holistic health care provider, you can:

  • Check with labs that perform alternative medicine nutritional testing and ask them for a list of holistic doctors in the area
  • Ask friends to refer you to a competent holistic doctor: Referrals can often be the best way to find a holistic doctor that has a reputable practice.
  • Go to local health food stores: Health food stores and holistic medicine stores often will have bulletins or ads by holistic doctors in the area.
  • Check the internet: Several holistic medical associations have online directories which can be searched for your area. Some of the sites contain just holistic doctors while others also list doctors in in other holistic fields, such as N.D.s (doctors of naturopathy).
  • Look in the local phone book or online yellow pages under the headings for complementary doctors, integrative medicine or alternative therapies, or under the headings for the treatment you are looking for such as acupuncture, homeopathy or naturopathy.



What is Aromatherapy Addiction Treatment?

By Jenny Hunt

Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, known as essential oils, to improve physical and psychological well-being. With roots in traditional Chinese medicine, aromatherapy has been extensively used in Europe, most recently as an adjunct to medical care to treat symptoms associated with disease. More studies are needed, however, to prove that aromatherapy has therapeutic potential, but many practitioners of holistic medicine swear by its value.

In aromatherapy, the practitioner usually applies the essential oils to the skin or on cloth, cotton balls or warming devices for direct inhalation. Aromatherapy essential oils evaporate quickly, and the molecules are easily inhaled. The inhaled aroma from these essential oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum.

Holistic medicine has become an increasingly popular tool in the treatment of withdrawal side effects by patients in addiction recovery programs. There have been several recent studies that have shown aromatherapy to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug of addiction, and may include anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability and restlessness. Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce these symptoms. Aromatherapy oils can also help support emotional balance, promote a sense of calm, contribute to stress relief, and increase feelings of well-being.

Aromatherapy in addiction treatment is often used as an adjunct to other holistic treatments and traditional addiction treatment. Often, aromatherapy is used together with massage therapy. Aromatherapy has been shown to increase the therapeutic value of massage therapy. Many report having a greater sense of relaxation and pain relief when massage therapy is combined with aromatherapy.

Some aromatherapy essential oils that are traditionally used in addiction include:

Anise Aromatherapy: Anise improves relaxation and sleep and helps relieve stress caused by overwork.  It is also used to curb sugar and chocolate cravings that are often experienced by alcoholics.

Bergamot Aromatherapy: Bergamot helps relieve anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior.  It’s effective for treating sugar, food, alcohol, stimulant, and sedative addictions and withdrawal.

Chamomile Aromatherapy: Chamomile is a traditional antidepressant.  It calms anxiety and hysteria, helps relieve suppressed anger, and aids sleep.  It also helps decrease addictive cravings.

Eucalyptus Aromatherapy: Eucalyptus is relaxing.  It is used to decrease alcohol cravings.

Fennel Aromatherapy: Fennel is stimulating.  It helps dispel cravings for alcohol, sugar, and chocolate.

Frankincense Aromatherapy: Frankincense enhances spirituality, perception, and states of higher consciousness.  It encourages release from the past.  It is used to reduce sugar, sedative and other addictive cravings.

Geranium Aromatherapy: Geranium is a balancing remedy that relieves anxiety, depression, and stress.  It is used for sedative and stimulant addictions.  It can be helpful during withdrawal.

Lavender Aromatherapy: Lavender calms nervousness and relieves exhaustion and depression.  It can help dispel alcohol cravings.  It can also be helpful during withdrawal.


Caution must be exercised when storing and using aromatherapy essential oils. Some of these oils are poisonous if ingested. Other aromatherapy essential oils can irritate skin or interfere with medications. Aromatherapy should always be practiced under the supervision of a licensed professional.