A successful part of recovery is shaping your daily life with intention, not reaction. Holistic practices make this easier for many people, especially when certain methods establish grounding and promote calm.
What Does Holistic Mean?
A structured day doesn’t have to be rigid, but it’s essential to your well-being to have routines and rituals that help bring out your best self. Unique to each one of us, our specific routines often include:
- Methods of relaxation and stress release
- Addressing mental, physical, and even spiritual health
- Additional ways to focus on enhancing life
So it’s not surprising that holistic practices appear frequently within this framework, offering a necessary pause or reset, affirming the current course, or progressing the healing journey even more.
Holistic, by the Merriam-Webster definition, essentially means a focus on the whole, rather than the parts. The word first appeared in the 1920s when Jan Christian Smuts, a statesman and student of natural science, wanted to describe his philosophy about the organization of nature.
Medical experts later used the word to describe treatment that addressed the whole person rather than focusing too narrowly on symptoms. In the addiction science community, holistic philosophy is dedicated to treating a person’s entire being: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.
This is a vital approach, because addiction doesn’t happen in isolation—and no one ever intends to become addicted. There’s a domino effect of risk factors, possible co-occurring disorders, and other aspects that cause addiction. Consequently, cleansing the body through detoxification alone is only one step in the process: individualized treatment must include an examination of the whole self, unifying all components for effective recovery.
Why Holistic Remedies Help You
Reliable techniques to help make you healthier and happier are worth their weight in gold. Imagine having methods to ease stress or sleep better that are inexpensive, accessible—and really work!
More importantly, you’re creating an even stronger chain of wellness when you can address factors like these effectively. For example, if we manage our stress before it gets out of hand or consistently have 7–9 hours of sleep each night, it’s much easier to be healthier and happier, right? So the circle remains unbroken. Here again is why daily routines that include holistic remedies are more likely to benefit you in the long run.
With the exception of specific professional modalities such as acupuncture, biofeedback, or massage, many holistic techniques require little investment or are free. While you might pay for some aromatherapy essential oils if that’s your preference, taking a walk in the woods or using breathing techniques don’t cost anything. This level of accessibility is another reason why holistic remedies work: it’s easier to be consistent with healthy habits when there are fewer barriers to them.
Holistic Therapies to Try
Proper self-care is more than a bubble bath and candles (unless you’re totally into that)! It also requires an open mind and the willingness to try anything once—maybe even two or three times. The only way to truly understand the impact of different techniques is to say “Hey, I’ve never tried this before, and I’ll admit, it seems a little weird, but I’ll give it a go. If I don’t like it, no worries. But what if I do?” That question is a big one, and the curiosity behind discovering the answer is what makes your life in recovery so rewarding.
Various holistic, alternative, and integrated therapies all have track records of success with different people. One person might move through a progressive muscle relaxation sequence to alleviate insomnia, while another uses drum therapy to work through stagnant energy, boost immunity, and feel connected to others around them. It’s okay if you like one and not the other, or neither…and prefer that bubble bath! The whole point is to incorporate different methods into your life that you’re certain add to your wellness.
Remember: just because something seems simple doesn’t mean it’s not working. Practicing mindfulness, for example, isn’t complicated. However, scientists continue to uncover its incredible benefits.
In addition to the methods already mentioned, here is a more comprehensive list of holistic remedies that address any number of issues, such as:
- Reducing stress
- Improving daily nutrition
- Lessening symptoms of mental health and mood disorders
- Enabling more quality sleep
- Controlling triggers and cravings
- Managing chronic pain
Also check out Mayo Clinic’s library of alternative, complementary, and integrative resources. From art therapy to guided imagery and everything in-between, you’re bound to find something of interest.
Willingway Believes in Solutions
As you’ve learned in recovery so far, numbing yourself or avoiding issues simply doesn’t work, and causes more harm than good. When you have options that enhance your well-being, rather than siphon it away, you structure your life with purpose. Our goal is to help, any way we can. Check out Willlingway’s social pages and regular community care groups for more ideas.