Menu Close

Holistic Addiction Treatment: What Does It Mean and Is It Really Better?

Hands of a person benefiting from holistic treatment approaches

If you’re considering addiction treatment, you’ve likely heard the term “holistic treatment.” But what is it, and why are so many people choosing it? Holistic treatments for addiction involve a unique approach to healing that focuses on treating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. The goal of addiction treatment programs with a holistic approach is to help individuals become aware of and address their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social needs to recover. But is holistic treatment better than the traditional approach? Contact our knowledgeable team at Northpoint Recovery by dialing 888.296.8976 to learn more about comprehensive, holistic treatment for addiction in Idaho.

Holistic Addiction Treatment Approaches

Is holistic treatment better? That’s a question for experts to debate—but what’s indisputable is that it’s often more comprehensive than other approaches. A drug or alcohol rehab program that utilizes holistic therapies often includes modern evidence-based methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or pharmacological options such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). However, it may also include non-traditional therapies, such as the following.

Stress Reduction

Elevated stress is a major causal factor for developing a substance use disorder (SUD), and it also plays a significant part in the risk of relapse. Patients in holistic treatment are taught how to use their social support system, healthy coping mechanisms, and productive problem-solving skills to reduce stress.

Fitness Programs

Patients in rehabs that included exercise therapy often enjoy a much higher quality of life and significantly reduced alcohol or drug use. Exercise therapy for addiction can consist of any of the following:

  • Yoga
  • Martial arts
  • Swimming
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Strength training

Even low-impact activities like walking and biking can help with addiction treatment.

Nutrition Counseling

Newly sober patients can mistake hunger for drug or alcohol cravings. Learning to differentiate between a normal sensation like hunger and a passion for drugs allows the person in recovery to maintain a proper perspective.

Also, when someone abuses alcohol or drugs for a long time, their unhealthy lifestyle can rob their bodies of essential vitamins and minerals. Alcoholics, for example, invariably suffer from depleted thiamine levels, which can cause complications later in life. Nutritional therapy helps restore optimal health by assisting patients to learn better eating habits.


Acupuncture calms the central nervous system, regulates the autonomic responses, and takes the patient out of the adrenalized “fight-or-flight” mode that makes it so hard for addicted people to stay balanced.


Many experts believe that one of the causal factors of addiction is an inability to cope with past trauma. This is why alcohol and drug abuse are common among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Yoga can give a traumatized patient new ways to maintain control and balance. Controlled breathing, for example, can aid in self-discipline by keeping harmful emotions and thoughts in check.

Therapeutic Massage

Dopamine plays a primary role in addiction. Addictive substances create artificially-high dopamine levels to the point where the addict is incapable of feeling any pleasure without the presence of these substances. During withdrawal, the body’s dopamine levels are highly depleted, and this disruption of the brain’s reward center makes a withdrawal so harshly unpleasant and challenging. Therapeutic massage could result in a significant, lasting increase in dopamine and endorphin levels. Massage is a way to feel better without dangerous or addictive drugs and can provide a healthier, safer outlet for bottled-up emotions.

Find Holistic Treatment Approaches for Addiction in Idaho at Northpoint Recovery

If you or someone you care about is looking for the absolute best in addiction recovery, contact Northpoint Recovery today at 888.296.8976. Northpoint utilizes a “total-wellness” philosophy that attacks the disease of addiction on multiple levels, giving you the help and hope you need during the first tentative steps of your sober journey.