Experiencing a traumatic life event can often leave us feeling both mentally and spiritually debilitated. We are often unable to clearly see the road to recovery. Instead, we may find ourselves looking inside the hole of a deep abyss of bottomless pain. Somewhere along the way, we chose to “fill” the abyss with everything and anything to make the pain less; to make the sadness and the suffering go away…if only for a moment.

It is estimated that 20% of the US population has some type of addiction problem. While roughly 98% of treatment centers focus on the twelve-step program founded in the 1930’s as a method to treat alcoholism, drug abuse, co-dependence, or other addictive behaviors, there is the immergence of an alternative form of treatment center that utilizes holistic and energy medicine therapies to effectively treat addiction. Holistic addiction treatment centers focus on treating the mind, body, and spirit. It is within a holistic addiction treatment center that people will learn the tools necessary to heal their core issues; recover from addiction and “close” their deep abyss of pain.

What is Holistic Addiction Treatment?

Holistic addiction treatment is an approach based upon the knowledge that sustainable healing can only occur when a person’s entire being is treated, not just one part. Traditional treatment methods focus predominately on the mind and body and will often include methods such as:

• Individual, Group, and/or Family Therapy
• Drug Detoxification
• Nutritional, Emotional & Behavioral Counseling
• Medication Management

Holistic addiction treatment is designed to address the root cause of the addiction, support total healing, and restore balance to a person’s whole being. With holistic addiction treatment, traditional methods are combined with progressive and comprehensive alternative treatment methods to fully address a person’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social issues. Some of the most common holistic addiction treatment methods include:

• Nutrition & Detoxification
• Energy Medicine Therapies
• Energy Psychology
• Massage Therapy
• Physical Body Movement
• Meditation, Prayer & Intention Setting
• Spiritual Counseling

Nutrition & Detoxification
Environment toxins, processed foods, and drugs can all create imbalances within the body. Imbalances in the body are scientifically linked to addiction, depression, anxiety, and a host of other diseases. Proper nutrition and detoxification play a critical role in assisting a person in their healing.

Energy Medicine Therapies
Energy Medicine involves techniques that utilize light, sound, electro-magnetism, laying of hands, intention, and other practices to bring a person’s energy field into balance. The energy field is known by a variety of terms including life force, qi (chi), prana, and spirit. Practitioners who utilize energy medicine techniques are trained to correct imbalances in the energy field as disruptions and blockages can cause illness. While energy medicine therapies such as Shamanic Healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, and Ayurvedic treatments are different, holistic addiction treatment centers utilize these therapies synergistically to help restore overall health as the “energy body” affects the “physical body”.

Energy Psychology
“Energy psychology addresses the relationship of energy systems to emotion, cognition, behavior and health”. Directed at the body’s own energy systems, Energy Psychology is considered by many practitioners and theoreticians to treat at a more fundamental level than many traditional methods.” (Gallo, n.d.). Some of the more common forms of Energy Psychology Include:

• Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
• Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
• Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods (EDxTM)™

Holistic addiction treatment centers use Energy Psychology as a complementary treatment to help restore overall health and balance to a person’s energy system.

Massage Therapy
Archaeological evidence of massage has been found in many ancient civilizations dating back over 4,000 years. Holistic addiction treatment centers utilize massage (the soft-tissue manipulation of muscle and connective tissue) to promote healing, relaxation, and overall well-being.

Physical Movement
Nearly all holistic addiction treatment centers incorporate some type of physical movement sessions within their treatment program. Movement is essential for allowing energy to flow and for improving overall health. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chai, stretching, walking, hiking, swimming, are among the common physical activities typically found at holistic addiction treatment centers.

Meditation, Prayer, and Intention Setting
Meditation is a technique in which a person seeks to achieve a relaxed state through continued thought and reflection. Due to its proven effectiveness, meditation is among one of the top tools taught by holistic addiction treatment centers to help a person restore balance and vitality to their being. In addition, thoughts, prayers, and intentional feelings of love and gratitude have been scientifically shown to change the crystalline structure of water. This same power and positive intention setting can change a person’s life.

Spiritual Counseling
As a whole, spiritual counseling explores the opportunity of what it means to be alive. It will generally involve the opportunity to re-discover the meaning of life, discover pathways to help a person achieve inner peace as well discuss consciousness and the perception of what happens to a person after death. Spiritual counseling within a holistic addiction treatment center should not be confused with religion and religious beliefs. Spiritual counseling offers support in the unification between the mind, body, and spirit regardless of religious affiliation. It is through this unification process, people can achieve their heart’s desire of true inner peace.

As society becomes more aware of the life-long healing benefits and sustainable results, holistic addiction treatment centers will continue to become a preferred alternative over the traditional twelve-step addiction recovery centers. With the help of these alternative holistic approaches, used to treat addiction and addictive behaviors, individuals will finally free themselves of the despair that stalks them, close the abyss of bottomless pain, accept responsibility for their well-being, and learn tools to help them heal themselves. Through holistic addiction treatment, individuals can finally heal their core issues, not just the latest expression of them. Only through these comprehensive and progressive holistic methods will an individual be free to walk the path of the recovered.

Gallo, D. F. (2013). Energy Psychology. Retrieved from http://energypsych.com

Author's Bio: 

Dean Taraborelli, MA- Founder & Co-Director, The Sanctuary at Sedona – a holistic addiction recovery and trauma healing center. Mr. Taraborelli is also the Co-Creator of Radical Transformation®, a four-step holistic program for addiction recovery designed to work simultaneously on healing and integrating the mind, body, soul and spirit. For additional information, visit http://www.sanctuary.net or call 928-639-1300.