Enhancing Addiction Treatment through Holistic Healing

There is not a blanket solution to treating addiction. Achieving abstinence from drugs and alcohol does not mean a person is “cured.” There is a lot more to it than that. Drug and alcohol use impacts virtually every aspect of a person’s life. Sustainable recovery requires changes in thinking, lifestyle, environment, and more. Each client’s situation is different, and everyone responds to treatment approaches in different ways.

Engaging in a treatment program that incorporates holistic healing into traditional treatment methods can be very beneficial. Crossroads provides clients with this type of comprehensive care that addresses physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual healing. Clients are able to try different activities and strategies and figure out what works best for their needs. Keeping an open mind is encouraged because one never knows what they may find beneficial.

There is a wide array of holistic healing methods that can support addiction treatment and promote change to enhance long-term recovery.


Yoga provides a gentle way of stretching the body and calming the mind. Participants become more attuned to the mind-body connection. Practicing yoga can help reduce stress, ease tension, stretch muscles, decrease pain, and improve focus. Oftentimes yoga incorporates breathing exercises as well which can be very relaxing and centering.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine. By placing very thin needles into certain points along the body, energy is released and proper flow restored. Have no fear – the needles don’t hurt because they’re so small and delicate. Acupuncture can be an effective way of naturally reducing joint and muscle pain as well as headaches. Aches and pains are common in clients experiencing withdrawal or detox, and acupuncture may provide relief as the body begins to heal and become healthier. Many also find that acupuncture evokes a sense of calmness.


Meditation is a helpful way of reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, improving focus, and boosting well-being. It allows clients to clear their minds and get in touch with their feelings. Participants often become more aware of their thoughts, their bodies, and their breathing. Meditation encourages people to slow down and reflect. It can be done anywhere and for any duration of time. Many clients find it beneficial because they can stop for a few minutes and meditate wherever they are to ease stress and refocus as they tackle day-to-day life.

Equine therapy

Working with horses through equine therapy can empower clients to overcome fears, improve communication, build problem solving skills, confront their emotions, and read non-verbal cues. Horses are very large and powerful, yet they are also very responsive and sensitive to emotion. If a client is angry or agitated, the horse knows and is more guarded. When clients are calm and open, the horse is more compliant with requests and being cared for.

It can be very therapeutic for clients to work with horses and they can learn a lot about themselves and interacting with others. Another benefit is that horses are honest and non-judgmental. They respond to the here and now and are patient and social. They cannot be manipulated or dominated. Clients must form a bond and trust with the horse.


Massage therapy can be a wonderful way to relieve tension and stress from the muscles and soothe the body. Clients often don’t realize that they carry their emotions in their posture. Massage promotes relaxation and release. It works out knots and kinks in the muscles, eases pain, and supports a calm mind and body.

Connecting with nature

Getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine can be very therapeutic. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the world and focusing on the beauty of the trees, flowers, animals, and landscapes can promote inner peace. Clients are able to clear their minds and reflect on their life. Hiking, running, canoeing, gardening, and other outdoor activities can be great forms of physical exercise. Maine, where Crossroads is located, can be a gorgeous place to watch the leaves change colors from season to season and has some beautiful water and mountain landscapes.

Nutrition counseling

Drugs and alcohol take a toll on the body. Substance use can impair the body’s ability to properly absorb and process nutrients. In addition, some people keep a poor diet while under the influence and this can lead to weight gain or weight loss. Nutrition counseling helps clients learn to eat right for their health and recovery. They become more familiar with the types of foods they should be eating and how to create a well-balanced diet. Taking care of one’s body and fueling it with the right kinds of foods can support overall recovery, boost mood, and reduce cravings.

Incorporating Holistic Healing into Addiction Treatment

Crossroads provides clients with opportunities to engage in a wide variety of holistic approaches. The Back Cove Women’s Residential Treatment Program introduces yoga, meditation, equine therapy, acupuncture, and recreational activities in conjunction with more traditional approaches such as individual and group therapy, 12-step work, and counseling. Whole body healing takes place so that clients are empowered with strategies and tools to support long-term recovery.

Clients learn more effective ways of coping with stress, dealing with challenges, and boosting their mental health. They can be proactive in strengthening their body and mind. Many clients have never tried meditation, acupuncture, yoga, or equine therapy before, so these are new experiences. They can explore how these activities make them feel and benefit their recovery. Getting in touch with one’s thoughts and emotions can be scary and challenging at first, but many people find it calming and relaxing. It allows them to refocus and center themselves so that they can make better decisions and reduce risk of relapse.

Crossroads is proud to offer this comprehensive care to clients and equip them with the tools and strategies they need to continue implementing these practices into their lives once they have completed a formal treatment program. Exercises such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and connecting with nature can be done virtually anywhere, anytime and promote recovery as well as better mental health.

[cta] What holistic therapies have you found beneficial in your addiction recovery? Leave a comment and let us know! [/cta]