Holistic Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Content Reviewed by Karen Rubenstein, LMFT, Chief Clinical Officer at Cliffside Malibu

Much of addiction treatment is based on western therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and medications. These forms of therapies may help bring relief and recovery from intense substance abuse and mental health disorders. But these are not the only forms of treatment that you can benefit from during your addiction treatment.

What is Holistic Treatment?

Holistic treatment is described as the treatment of the whole person. Holistic therapies take into account your social and mental factors along with your symptoms of addiction. These non-traditional approaches to treatment dive deeper into the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of who you are to treat and heal the root of your disease. Holistic treatment uses less invasive, non-medical recovery techniques.

Benefits of Holistic Treatment

Each style of therapy offers its variety of benefits, but they do all share some in common.

  • Stress is one of the biggest triggers of substance use and may serve as the main reason you have continued in your addiction. While in recovery, you will be taught many stress-relieving techniques to use as an alternative to substances. One of the key reasons why holistic therapies are so well-loved and used is because they share the main principle of stress relief.
  • You may have found yourself turning to drugs or alcohol because you didn’t know any other way to cope with the intense feelings you may have experienced. Using healthy coping skills makes all the difference in addiction recovery and in maintaining long-term sobriety. Holistic practices can be used on your own whenever you need to release stress.
  • During recovery, relapse prevention is always at the forefront of treatment. Instead of preparing you for a relapse, the most effective style of treatment is one that uses skills that can help you prevent a relapse. Healthy coping skills and stress-relieving actions are useful in the prevention of relapse when you are faced with difficult situations in life.
  • Addiction causes many forms of self-neglect that affect your body mentally, physically, and spiritually. Holistic treatment improves many aspects of your overall well-being. Some techniques improve health symptoms like lowering blood pressure or improving sleep quality.

Types of Holistic Treatment

There are many forms of holistic treatments you can receive while in addiction recovery. The following approaches are the most common you will find in treatment centers and recovery programs.


Massage therapy is the use of manipulation of the body and muscles through rubbing techniques that have a soothing effect. While going through detox, you can experience withdrawal symptoms that are physically challenging due to the severity of symptoms. This process can leave your muscles feeling sore and tense long after the detox process. You may have a negative relationship with touch due to past negative experiences. Massage therapy reintroduces touch in a way that lets the brain associate it in a positive light.


Acupuncture is an ancient healing method used in Asian cultures that have been used to treat a multitude of illnesses and conditions. Therapy is performed by a licensed acupuncturist who carefully applies long, thin needles into specific places of your body.  The insertion of needles does not cause pain due to the placement of needles only into the surface of the skin and not further.

For addiction treatment, acupuncture is used to help suppress cravings, pain management, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and other positive effects on your body. Acupuncturists use this therapy to improve your behavioral and mental health issues.


Yoga therapy approaches healing through the integration of your mind and body to better serve your mental health. Yoga uses yogi practices such as meditation, physical poses, and breathing techniques to improve your overall sense of well-being. Practicing yoga helps relieve tension and stress in your body and improves your physical and mental health. This form of holistic therapy has proven to be beneficial even if you aren’t ready just yet for talk therapy. Yoga allows both your mind and body to relax from the previous state which was tainted by drug or alcohol use.

Food and Nutrition

A core aspect of natural and holistic healing is also how you take care of the inside of your body. While using drugs or alcohol, appetite changes and poor diet have a huge impact on your body and mind. If your body is not getting fed the proper nutrients it needs, then you can’t expect it to function as it should. Balancing food and nutrition is also a form of holistic treatment, as you are learning new ways to feed and fuel your body through the use of a healthy, nutritious diet. Eating a balanced and proper diet will give your body more energy., instead of feeling lethargic and tired all of the time. A healthy diet will also help your mind feel clear.

Finding a Treatment Center With Holistic Treatment

Many addiction treatment centers offer holistic treatment options for both inpatient and outpatient services. If you are interested in receiving holistic treatment, research facilities online or call their number to see if they offer the services that you would like. The principles of holistic therapy work in tandem with traditional addiction treatment methods that often serve as the best form of treatment instead of only using one or the other.

If you or a loved one are searching for a high-quality treatment facility to help you through your addiction recovery, Cliffside Malibu may be the place for you. We offer a wide range of both holistic and traditional therapy services that fit your unique needs. Addiction and mental health issues affect everyone differently, therefore treatment should be based on your specific circumstance. and needs. Whether you are just starting and need to complete detox or would like to receive holistic treatment for aftercare, we are here to help. Healing is not one size fits all, and has a different meaning for everyone. This is why at Cliffside Malibu we care about creating a meaningful relationship with you to best understand what healing looks like for you. If you are ready to turn over a new leaf in life, contact us at (855) 403-5641 to begin your journey towards recovery today.