At relink.org, we believe that there are multiple pathways to recovery and that every individual is different. Our goal is to connect those in need to all the resources along their personal path. We’ve been hearing more and more about alternative or non-traditional therapies for recovery being included in treatment programs. Here are a 5 alternative therapies that are used today to help those in recovery find restoration through a holistic, mind, body, and spirit approach.
“Equine-assisted therapy is an innovative treatment model utilized in addiction treatment. Through work with horses, individuals can gain greater insight into other areas of life. Interestingly, many people experience gains in equine therapy that they aren’t able to achieve in traditional talk therapy.”-DualDiagnosis.org
Music Therapy has been found to be beneficial for many mental health concerns and is great because it is very versatile and can be used in multiple settings. According to American Addiction Centers, music therapy can assist those in recovery with:
- “Enhancing the person’s emotional adjustment
- Improving physical health and mental wellbeing by relieving stress
- Developing communication skills
- Focusing on the development of particular aspects of cognitive functioning, such as attention or memory
- Trying to enhance the person’s social functioning by getting them involved with others with similar music interests.”
For those recovering from addiction, art therapy is used to develop a healthy and creative form of self expression and communication.
“Art therapy can be a great way for a person to work through the experiences, emotions, and issues that have led to and worsened his addiction. It offers them a safe place to communicate ideas and feelings without using standard conversational methods, and it can, therefore, be a refreshing change for someone who is looking for something different than standard talk-focused therapy.” – FoundationsRecoveryNetwork.com
It has long been understood that yoga has many mind and body benefits including reducing stress and increasing physical balance, strength and well-being. As a supplement to traditional therapies, yoga may assist with some symptoms of withdrawal such as anxiety and depression. Yoga also provides an opportunity to create community and feel a sense of belonging.
” When someone abuses drugs or alcohol regularly, some of the pathways in the brain are altered, and the pathways related to feeling pleasure, regulating emotions, making sound decisions, and controlling impulses may be negatively affected. After a period of time without the influence of drugs or alcohol, brain chemistry and circuitry can heal and rebuild itself. Yoga may be able to help with this as well.” – AmericanAddictionCenters.org
According to the MayClinic, “biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control some of your body’s functions, such as your heart rate. During biofeedback, you’re connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information about your body.
This feedback helps you make subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want” such as helping with withdrawal and cravings.
These are just some of the examples of alternative therapies that are out there today. Several others include nutritional therapy, herbal medicines, reiki, and massage. Typically these therapies are offered in combination with other traditional treatments such as Intensive Outpatient, Residential, or Medication Assisted Treatment. We recommend consulting a professional addiction counselor or medical professional to decide what treatment option is best for you. You can find treatment options in your area using our resource search tool.
Do you know of any organizations providing alternative therapies? Let us know! We are currently adding these resources to relink.org!