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Why Is Holistic Health Important in the Recovery Process?

Why Is Holistic Health Important in the Recovery Process?

A variety of images can come to mind when holistic health is mentioned. Some may think of meditation, supplements, and incense. Others may picture clean eating and exercise. The beauty of holistic health is that it can be modified to each individual’s needs and can include a variety of practices, techniques, and approaches.

What Is Holistic Health?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains that holistic health, also known as whole person health, “involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease.”

Our body functions best when all the systems are working together harmoniously. This is especially prevalent for someone who is trying to heal from substance use disorder (SUD). A client whose body, mind, and spirit are cultivated will have a much higher chance of recovering from their SUD.

Treating More Than the Symptoms

As previously stated, the point of holistic health is to treat the whole body. Holistic health is especially vital when it comes to treating a person with SUD. The reason for this is that SUD may occur as a symptom of another disorder, also known as a comorbidity. Comorbidities occur when two diagnoses exist at the same time and have the ability to influence each other.

For example, someone might use substances to numb feelings of grief or anxiety from a previous traumatic experience. This self-medication opens the door to a full-fledged SUD. Still, at the root, this person’s drinking or using is a symptom of past trauma. If the trauma is never addressed effectively, then SUD treatment likely won’t be successful.

SUD and mental health comorbidities necessitate various forms of care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) confirms, “The high rate of comorbidity between drug use disorders and other mental illnesses highlights the need for an integrated approach to intervention that identifies and evaluates each disorder concurrently and provides treatment as appropriate for each patient’s particular constellation of disorders.” As such, holistic health and dual diagnosis treatment should be considered when a person selects a treatment facility.

Understanding Contributing Factors

Another important part of holistic health is evaluating information that shapes the person into who they are. NIDA explains, “The diagnosis and treatment of comorbid substance use disorders and mental illness are complex because it is often difficult to disentangle overlapping symptoms.”

This is why it’s important to consider all the factors that could contribute to a client’s substance use. Ideally, comprehensive information would help discover the root of the client’s symptoms, which would ultimately produce a better treatment plan.

4 Factors that Influence SUD Development

Below are four factors that should be thoroughly evaluated by clinicians when putting together a holistic treatment plan for a client with SUD:

  1. Environmental factors: How and where does the client live? What are their relationships like? Do they interact with people that encourage substances?
  2. Genetics: Is there a family history of SUD? A research report from NIDA states, “40–60% of an individual’s vulnerability to substance use disorders is attributable to genetics.”
  3. Mental health: Has the client experienced trauma that might be the driving force behind the SUD? If so, what types of therapies could be implemented to help them deal with unresolved trauma healthily? Are there any other mental illnesses present that might play into the SUD?
  4. Support system: What type of support does the client have? This is an extremely important aspect to consider, as a successful recovery is often directly associated with how supported the client feels.

Why Holistic Health Matters

Holistic health creates the opportunity for the client to have a more successful recovery. If done effectively, the client will hopefully understand the reason(s) behind their SUD. Not only can this empower the client to be able to recognize their triggers, but clinicians can equip them with tools to manage recovery easier. With holistic health, clients can handle cravings, regulate emotions, and avoid relapse.

The healthier the whole person, the higher the chance of healing. It doesn’t mean the journey of recovery will be easy, but it does provide a strong foundation that will be useful in the recovery process.

Sage Recovery’s Use of Holistic Health

Here at Sage Recovery, we know how hard it can be to take the first step toward healing, let alone maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering a variety of treatment approaches. Our goal is to provide clients with as many resources as possible. They can receive the individualized care they need to heal fully. We offer innovative, holistic treatments such as:

The above approaches often pair well with traditional techniques that our staff is highly trained in. These can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectal behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Holistic health is important to healing from SUD and mental illnesses. At Sage Recovery, our goal is to help you heal as fully as possible. As a result, our compassionate staff implements holistic health practices through multiple techniques. Every single staff member is trained to provide trauma-informed care. We also provide innovative approaches, such as yoga, art and music therapy, and nutritional guidance. Additionally, we offer outpatient and residential, providing different structures and time commitments. The various approaches to healing will allow you to find what works best for you. We are eager to walk alongside you as you heal. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 whenever you’re ready. We’re here for you.