Holistic Treatment Methods at Inpatient Rehab
According to the Alabama Department of Mental Health, “The integration of mental health and substance abuse treatment is at the forefront of a national trend toward a more holistic approach to wellness.” Though medication and behavioral therapy are still used in nearly every rehab center across the country, some are branching out to include holistic treatments which can be very beneficial to patients.
Inpatient rehab centers are often more likely than outpatient centers to provide holistic treatment options. Even now, there are many facilities that offer specified and helpful treatment options to patients and encourage them to follow their own path when it comes to substance abuse treatment.
The Relationship Between Inpatient Treatment and Holistic Treatment
As stated, most holistic treatments and programs that support holistic approaches to treatment are found in inpatient facilities as opposed to outpatient ones. This is true because of several reasons.
- Inpatient facilities often cost more and, therefore, can provide more treatment options to patients. In many cases, outpatient facilities are government run or run by a nonprofit organization which means that these facilities do not have the funds to provide more treatment options (especially those which are not endorsed medically).
- Inpatient facilities allow patients to freely pursue treatment in a controlled environment. Many patients choose inpatient care because it protects them from going through their recovery alone, especially in the beginning, or they need the 24-hour care inpatient facilities provide. This is partially why these facilities offer more treatments and programs; the patients need more options for their extended time at the facility.
- In some cases, inpatient facilities can afford to be more experimental or try different treatment techniques. This is because many of them are run by private companies and not nonprofits or government offices.
For many reasons, holistic treatment methods are more likely to be available at inpatient rehab facilities. It is also important to understand why an individual in inpatient rehab would benefit from holistic treatments like these.
How Does Holistic Treatment Help?
According to a study on holistic treatments from the NCBI, these treatment options can actually be extremely beneficial to patients in ways that other treatments may not be. Holistic treatment programs can provide “an opportunity for patients to express thoughts and feelings” in a new and different way. Medications and therapy are incredibly important to a person’s overall recovery success, but holistic treatments may reach them on a different level. And these facilities intend to provide both which is extremely helpful and important.
The program described in the study is similar to that of an inpatient rehab center that implements holistic treatment methods. “The authors describe features of this program that they believe to be unique and that focus on ways to help patients develop a stronger sense of self-identity, self-esteem and self-confidence,” perhaps in ways that traditional treatments may not be able to. While these treatments are still necessary and important, holistic treatment can be helpful too in showing patients a new way of thinking about themselves and their drug abuse.
The NIDA states that “addiction is complex” and “no single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” It is important to remember these principles of effective treatment programs when considering inpatient rehab and holistic treatment methods. Because of the complexity of addiction, there may be a treatment method that particularly affects a patient and others that may not. In addition, all patients are different and need to be given specialized treatment programs in order to succeed.
Specific Holistic Treatments
There are many types of holistic treatment methods that have shown some promise in treating substance abuse disorders. While not all of them may be available at one particular facility, some may. It is important to call or visit an impatient rehab facility before actually choosing to attend. This way, you can know just what treatments are available.
Common holistic treatment methods used by inpatient rehab facilities (and as listed by the NCBI study) include:
- Dance/movement therapy
- This treatment method can be particularly freeing and especially comforting to those who would rather not discuss their issues words. It is healthy as well and may be considered a form of exercise which is also extremely beneficial to patients.
- Tai Chi
- Another form of exercise and movement, Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art that also helps with relaxation and strength, two aspects that are very important in recovery.
- Art therapy
- For those who are comfortable with the arts, this can be another very freeing treatment method. Individuals who work well in art therapy will be able to use their creativity to help solve the problems involved in their addictions and recoveries.
- Arts and crafts
- This can also be a comfort to individuals in inpatient rehab and, in many ways, less intense than art therapy. A patient may be able to relax while working on a project with their hands.
- Spiritual growth and development
- Certain facilities encourage spiritual treatment for patients. Many individuals feel that it helps them and strengthens their resolves to stop abusing drugs and lead better, more fulfilling lives.
- Vocational services
- While still considered a holistic treatment, this can be very beneficial to patients in any kind of treatment facility as substance abuse can often cause financial and vocational problems. Helping patients in this situation is extremely important.
Some other holistic treatment methods also utilized by certain inpatient rehab centers are
- Journaling allows patients to look at what they have been through and where they are headed, in their own words.
- Nature walks
- Particularly in facilities with lots of room and set in natural environments, nature walks can be very soothing and allow for self-reflection.
- Another form of exercise and/or spiritual development (depending on the facility), yoga can be incredibly beneficial, partly because it teaches patients to control their breathing which can be a very helpful technique.
- Nutritional classes
- These are incredibly helpful for those who may have become malnourished as a result of drug abuse.
Holistic treatment methods at inpatient rehab are varied and often incredibly helpful. Patients who would benefit these treatments should be able to receive them, especially if they are in need of inpatient treatment in particular.