Holistic treatment for addiction is now more popular than ever. Holistic treatment is centered around treatment modalities that address the person as a whole. This involves the application of mental, physical, and spiritual treatment modalities, geared towards ensuring the individual receiving care has the tools they need for success in every area of their life.

If you or someone you know is in need of substance use disorder treatment, Guardian Recovery Network is available to help. We understand the importance of holistic treatment as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Ensuring that each of our clients receive adequate attention in every area of their life is of paramount importance. Contact Guardian Recovery Network today to find out more about treatment options near you.

Healing the Mind & Body as a Whole in a New Hampshire Treatment Program

Traditionally, substance use treatment has seen the mind and body and two separate entities. Because of this, the ways of treating each have been disjointed. Recently, however, clinicians and addiction professionals have become aware of the success related to more holistic methodologies. The general understanding is realizing that the treatment for addiction should encompass the whole individual in the same way that addiction negatively impacts the whole individual.

The mind and body have a strong and inseparable connection. As substance use and addiction lifestyles bring about damage to both the mind and body, treatment modalities have begun to follow the same methods to bring about holistic healing. The understanding is now that physical and mental healing are both two sides of the same coin rather than two separate issues. Studies surrounding (1) the efficacy of these holistic methods have repeatedly shown this to be true.

Integrating Alternative Therapies in Substance Abuse & Addiction Treatment

In the past, holistic treatment modalities have been met with varying levels of acceptance. However, many have begun to recognize the dramatic impact that these holistic methodologies can have in the success rate of substance use treatment.

As the treatment process begins to introduce new habits and coping skills to the individual participants, both the mind and body are required to fully adopt these lifestyle changes. The goal of treatment is an overall improved quality of life for the participant. This requires a holistic approach to address the various areas of impact that substance use has had.

Nutrition & Exercise & Their Role in Holistic Addiction Recovery

One of the cornerstones to a holistic approach is the introduction of healthy nutrition and exercise. Just as a motor with low quality fuel will not function properly, the body responds in much the same way. As more nutritional food is introduced, many will begin to see just how impactful this can be on physical health as well as mental health areas like mood and sleep (2).


Along with positively increasing nutrition, movement and exercise have far reaching effects on the overall physical and mental health of an individual. As physical health from exercise is increased, energy levels, motivation, and self esteem rise as well. Each of these factors plays a major role in long term health and recovery.

Like any substance use treatment activities, these are intended to become long term habits. These mental shifts to alternative methods for approaching daily life are the foundational building blocks for long term success in recovery. Though the program participant will begin to feel the immediate benefits of diet and exercise, these are meant to continue indefinitely to improve the overall quality of their life.

How Meditation & Mindfulness Can Aid in Finding Inner Peace

Meditation can also be another powerful holistic treatment tool. Though the term meditation carries a multitude of meanings, there are some primary elements throughout. Most meditation involves calm, quiet, relaxation, and mental focus. Each of these elements can provide major benefits to those in recovery.

Addictive lifestyles are often filled with racing thoughts, impulsive decisions, and chaotic surroundings. Meditation practices encourage both the mind and body to develop new ways for approaching daily life. Meditation practices have also been linked to stress reduction (3) which can carry significant health benefits by itself.

The Effectiveness of Art & Music Therapy

The introduction of the arts is another key element of holistic treatment. Artistic endeavors like painting, music, dance, or even creative writing can help ignite parts of the brain that verbal processing does not. Having a creative outlet may be a better form of expression for many in treatment and these activities help facilitate this.

Traditional approaches to group and individual counseling may not be effective for some who have difficulty processing emotions through discussion. Drawing, music, and other arts provide a way of inclusion for those who were previously ostracized.

Healing Through Nature Utilizing Outdoor Activities

Many have found building a connection with nature and outdoor activities to provide holistic benefits. Whether it is a coping mechanism for stress or a way to connect with a higher power, outdoor activities in nature serve a multitude of healing purposes. Connecting both the mind and body, these activities can bring about large improvements with little or no effort from the participant.

Holistic Approaches to Relapse Prevention

An important aspect of holistic treatment is the continuation of these activities long term. Activities beginning in treatment are meant to expose the participant to a multitude of healthy life skills that they are able to incorporate into their daily life. Preventing relapse is dependent on these healthier methods of coping with life and the holistic approach provides these necessary skills.

Focusing on Healing Trauma & Its Connection to Recovery

An important element of progressing forward in recovery is dealing with the past. Often trauma is intertwined with the addictive lifestyle either as a cause or a result. Holistic healing methods address this past trauma by understanding that much like the trauma itself, it impacts the whole person.

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Finding Meaning, Connection, & Purpose Through Spirituality in Holistic Addiction Treatment

Finding meaning, connection, and purpose through spirituality can be a key element of holistic addiction treatment. For many, having a strong connection to their higher power is an important part of their long term recovery. Holistic treatment methods provide a way for those in treatment to explore their spirituality and find this sense of connection for themselves.

If you are interested in finding out more about a holistic treatment facility near you, contact Guardian Recovery Network. Our team of addiction professionals are available 24/7 to answer your questions and guide you towards the best treatment options. Your journey towards a life of recovery can begin today.

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Russell Beebe

Reviewed for accuracy by:

Russell Beebe MLADC, LCMHC

Russell is a Master Level Alcohol and Drug Counselor (MLADC) and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) with over 11 years experience treating individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Russell was inspired to get into the field after his experience as a resident at The Plymouth House in 2008.