Taking a Holistic Approach to Drug Addiction Treatment

By Giordano, John; Geiss, Trina | Addiction Professional, May 2004 | Go to article overview

Taking a Holistic Approach to Drug Addiction Treatment


Giordano, John, Geiss, Trina, Addiction Professional


In years past, addiction treatment centers have focused primarily on treating the psychological aspects of the disease of addiction, while neglecting to address the delicate interconnective balance of the body, mind and spirit. The wisdom of Western medicine is that if you have a symptom, treat it. However, the underlying root causes of the condition are seldom reached. The holistic approach to medicine and treatment restores the mind, body and spirit equilibrium.

Body

It is crucial that poor foods and additives be eliminated or significantly reduced in the diet in order to restore healthy brain functioning. Generally, those entering treatment are dehydrated, hypo/hyperglycemic, and protein-deficient. Chemical dependency along with an insufficient diet can wreak havoc on an individual's delicate immune system. These complications can contribute to depression, agitation and decreased energy stores, which may eventually lead to relapse.

Along with a proper diet, a good vitamin supplement regimen is also necessary because much of the vitamin, mineral and amino acid stores are depleted from drug and alcohol abuse. Also, exercise, meditation and stress reduction techniques are essential in keeping the mind and body stable. Some excellent disciplines for achieving mind/body congruency are yoga, tai chi, and karate.

Acupuncture is a modality that can often assist the body in the rebalancing process. This treatment allows energy to flow into the body to stimulate the production of neurotransmitters and to calm some of the cravings for drugs and alcohol. Also, nurturing the body with hot baths and steams that rid the body of toxins, along with good music and gentle relaxation, will help to restore peace of mind.

Mind

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach to psychotherapy that uses eye movements to stimulate the information processing in the brain. This therapy provides much faster results than traditional therapy; they can be seen in just a single session.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a therapeutic tool that can reprogram a client's belief system and behaviors.

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