Holistic therapy and how they help fight addiction

What is holistic therapy?

Holistic therapy is defined as non-medicinal recovery methods. At Cliffside, we use holistic therapy to complement traditional treatment practices. Holistic therapy aims to bring the mind, body and spirit into alignment. It focuses on the patient’s overall well-being while also treating physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal.

They can be very beneficial to addiction therapy because they can be calming, healing outlets to use in place of old behaviors. They support the constant growth of each patient – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Holistic therapy aids in helping to find the root of the issue, not just helping the symptoms of addiction. This is done by creating a more well-rounded person and getting everything emotionally aligned with mind, body and soul.

How is holistic therapy used in addiction treatment?

In most cases, and at Cliffside Malibu, holistic therapy is used alongside conventional, evidence-based treatment. Holistic therapy programs feature personalized, non-medical treatments to treat all of the physical and mental addiction symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet
  • Emotional stress
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Lack of spiritual grounding
  • Lack of exercise

Holistic therapy helps with these symptoms by doing the following:

  • Finding the underlying causes of a patient’s addiction
  • Promoting regular exercise
  • Strengthening the patient’s resistance to cravings
  • Promoting a proper sleep schedule
  • Increasing the patient’s self esteem

What types of holistic therapies are used in recovery?

There are many types of therapies that can be considered “holistic”. Each therapy’s effectiveness varies patient-to-patient, as someone might take to something much quicker or better than someone else. Everyone is different, and it’s all about finding something that you can enjoy and carry over into your new healthy, happy, substance-free life after leaving treatment.

Some of the many holistic therapies offered are:


The ancient Asian art of needle insertion therapy has been shown to help reduce withdrawal and detoxification symptoms. These symptoms can include muscle aches that happen during detoxification. Acupuncture helps relax the patient while also promoting good sleep and emotional alignment.

Massage therapy

Massage can be defined as the manipulation and rubbing of the skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Light stroking, percussive tapping or deep pressure techniques can be used depending on the needs of the client. Massage therapy has been shown to help manage anxiety and depression, relieve stress, reduce blood pressure, release toxins and alleviate muscular pain and stiffness. At it’s core, massage therapy works to promote blood circulation. Our blood carries oxygen and other important nutrients, so that is why it can be effective in increasing a patient’s flexibility and help calm their mind.


Meditation is defined as the practice of being in the state of thoughtless awareness. It is not meant to be a mental “effort”, but rather the opposite. Cliffside Malibu is proud to offer a meditation garden, which can help separate patients from the chaos of the real world to help ground them in the present. Sometimes treatment in itself can be an emotional and stressful experience as many people are confronting a lot of deep-rooted emotional issues for the very first time. Repairing relationships and “looking in the mirror” so-to-speak can be hard. Emptying the mind and focusing on breathing or a meditation guide can help ground patients and keep their mind more calm throughout the day.

Nutritional education

One very damaging side effect often seen in addiction is poor nutrition and malnutrition. Since drugs and alcohol can often stop our brain from reminding us to eat, this causes weight loss in most people. Often times when addicts do eat, it is unhealthy and eating habits are completely off. Cliffside Malibu works hard to help repair those eating habits and it has come to be shown that proper nutrition plays a significant role in long-term sobriety

Yoga & personal training

Yoga is the ancient art of stretching, breathing, meditation and relaxation. It increases your flexibility, calms your mind, alleviates anxiety and creates more patience to it’s practitioners. At Cliffside Malibu, we find one’s physical health very important as it plays a large part in their willingness and ability to go through primary treatment. Exercise naturally releases endorphins and can help people’s moods throughout the day.

About Cliffside Malibu

Cliffside Malibu engages individuals in a life free of chemical dependency, negative thought patterns and behaviors and facilitates a renewed passion for a thriving life. We pride ourselves in guiding our patients through their past to help them see how old behaviors or patterns have affected their present, and in turn, this gives them a healthy framework for the future. We give our patients the tools they need to help calm their mind and approach their new life with holistic therapy alongside conventional therapies.

Our clinical framework embodies the Transtheoretical Model, which identifies behavior change on a continuum otherwise known as the Stages of Change. Our goal is to move individuals through their treatment by assessing their readiness for change and formulating stage-matched interventions in order to move them through their respective stage. After carefully accessing each individual, they are matched with one of the five stages: Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. An individualized treatment plan is created based on their current stage of change.

It is the policy of Cliffside Malibu to ensure that all individuals who present with chemical dependency and/or mental health issues are assessed for the appropriate level of care. We strive to provide continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Services are provided to individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction. Individuals seeking treatment are assessed by qualified staff to ensure program criteria are met and that each individual admitted is placed in the appropriate level of care for treatment. The program is designed and structured for individuals who are in need of a supportive environment in order to maintain Sobriety.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com