Holistic Health: 6 Addiction Recovery Methods That Can Improve Your Life

Holistic health has evolved a lot over the years. Today, there are many highly effective non 12-step holistic addiction treatments that were unavailable when Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) originally introduced the 12-step addiction model.

While these holistic methods have helped many addicts as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, they can also improve the health and life of non-addicts as well.

Here are six of the top holistic treatment methods to consider:

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and has been shown to help addicts treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Acupuncture also has been clinically proven to help smokers kick the habit. There is even a “stop smoking” pressure point located inside the arm that acupuncturists frequently use to alter the way cigarettes taste.

2. Art Therapy

Art therapy is a holistic addiction recovery method that involves the use of paper, pencils, pastels, paints and other art materials. In many instances, art therapy promotes contentment and good health. It allows people to express themselves creatively, leading to personal fulfillment and discovery.

Plus, art therapy provides a symbolic tool for communication. It encourages expression of conflicts and emotions through art, enabling those who participate in art therapy to form new perceptions.

3. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) offers a great holistic addiction recovery option for those who love horses. It involves the use of ground activities with horses and nurtures non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem solving.

EAP has been used as an effective holistic addiction recovery method for more than two decades. Several studies have shown that EAP can:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce stress levels.
  • Minimize feelings of anger, anxiety and tension.

Moreover, EAP may extend help to other family members. It provides fun, challenging and therapeutic healing, and it encourages people in therapy to address psychological and emotional issues that impact their relationships with loved ones.

4. Massage Therapy

Who says you need to go to a luxury spa to get a massage? Now, massage therapy is available just about everywhere—from airports to malls—and provides immediate and long-lasting health benefits.

Massage therapy involves rubbing and manipulating the skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons. This type of therapy has been shown to help addicts reduce muscle tension, pain and stress.

It is important to note that massage therapy is not for everyone. Generally, it is an excellent option for relaxation and self-care but may require special consideration for those dealing with abuse, domestic violence or trauma.

5. Reiki Therapy

Reiki therapy is a Japanese technique that promotes healing, relaxation and stress reduction.

The term Reiki translates to “spiritually guided life force energy.” As such, Reiki therapy is designed to treat the body, mind and spirit, resulting in feelings of serenity and wellbeing.

A Reiki treatment typically lasts about 90 minutes. As part of a Reiki session, a practitioner will use a series of light, non-invasive touches at various locations on the head and front and back of the torso.

Although a Reiki treatment may help you feel refreshed, its true efficacy has not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, if you’re searching for a proven holistic treatment method, you may want to consider alternatives.

6. Spiritual Counseling

Spiritual counseling may help an addict put his or her pain and grief into perspective, overcome mental and emotional roadblocks and discover a new life purpose.

A spiritual counselor will help an addict find a path to spiritual growth. Unlike a traditional counselor, a spiritual counselor represents different concepts of spirituality and may propose that an addict pray for support.

This type of counseling could be ideal for people who are open to adding a spiritual dimension to their lives. With spiritual counseling, a person might enjoy a life-changing experience, one that drives him or her to reach new levels of personal and spiritual growth.

Remember, there is no quick fix for anything, and you should proceed cautiously with holistic therapy programs that claim to deliver instant results. If you encounter any that promise a “cure” or guaranteed recovery from a certain condition, you should look elsewhere for support.

The most effective holistic treatment program is one that focuses on an individual’s personal needs. We know that staying healthy is complex and multidimensional, and a good holistic program will provide participants with a variety of modality protocols.

If you’re unsure about how to approach holistic healing programs, consult with a medical professional. No matter which holistic method you choose, keeping appointments with therapists and medical doctors, meeting schedules and exercise and nutrition plans in place can all help you live the life you desire.

Dr. Meredith Sagan is a UCLE-trained psychiatrist at Prominence Treatment Center specializing in non-12 step treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, addiction and psycho-spiritual crises.


Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Margie F
Margie FOURIE1 years ago

Thank you for this informative article.

Georgina E M

I practice REIKI, couldn't do without it

william M
william Miller1 years ago


Mona M
Mona M1 years ago

Thank you. Together with all the things you mention, self-help therapies like Jin Shin Jyutsu can be the best in this case as it makes people responsible for their self-care.

John B
John B1 years ago

Thanks for sharing Dr. Sagan very interesting article.

Anne M
Anne Moran1 years ago

I don't think recovering addicts will have that kind of money, to get these 'medical' services.. - They are very expensive, and for the most part,, not covered..

Janet B
Janet B1 years ago


Mariana L
Mariana L1 years ago


RK R1 years ago

Imagine the wonder of a personal testimony from a recovering addict whom found full addiction recovery from one, a few, or all of this addiction recovery methods. Maybe Dr. Meredith Sagan will assist with this.