Nowadays alternative treatments are being taken much more seriously than they have in the past. As people start to realize the value in some of these treatments when it comes to addiction, they begin to incorporate them into their recovery. Many of these alternative treatments are now being offered in rehab centers and by therapists.
Nevertheless, there is still controversy surrounding the question of whether or not these kinds of therapist can actually make a difference. Most experts on addiction treatment agree that many of them can be used as a supplement to traditional methods of therapy. The following are some of the most popular and most promising alternative therapies that are being used to treat addiction.
12 step groups, therapists, counselors, and many others encourage a regular meditation practice for not only leading a more mindful, harmonious life, but also to help prevent a relapse. Mediation helps an individual gain more awareness of their thought patterns and emotions, and develop a healthier relationship with them so they no longer have a strong influence over behavior. Mediation also helps regulate a person’s mood, lowers stress, and prevents cravings. Recent studies have shown that former addicts who regularly practice meditation have a lower chance of relapsing than if they had chosen traditional relapse prevention therapy.
Yoga is a combination of holding specific body postures, breathing, and meditation practice. This ancient Indian practice emphasizes a union between mind, body, and spirit. The result is a sense of inner peace that can have a significant impact on lowering stress, anxiety, and even depression. Yoga also increases one’s awareness of their own body and encourages a release of repressed emotions. The breathing involved in a yoga practice also helps detoxify the body. All of these aspects combine to help an ex addict build greater self awareness, ignore cravings, and build more inner strength.
Regular aerobic exercise such as running, walking, or bicycle riding has been proven to help boost mood, otherwise known as a natural high. Having a regular exercise regimen can also give a recovering addict a new sense of purpose, self confidence, and clearer mental functioning. The physical benefits are great too – weight loss, a healthier heart, and many others are associated with exercise.
This alternative treatment is popular among recovering addicts mostly for its ability to treat mental disorders like anxiety and depression. There is also an acupuncture treatment specifically designed to reduce cravings. This treatment has been shown to reduce cravings in those withdrawing from an opiate addiction.
5. Animal therapy
Animal or pet therapy gives a recovering addict the opportunity to care for someone other than themself. This helps them discover a different part of themselves that is caring and nurturing. It also encourages a deeper understanding of what nurturing means. Spending time with animals has also been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even help raise self esteem. Some examples of animal therapy include equine therapy, and pet therapy with specially trained and certified cats or dogs.
6. Art therapy
This is another form of therapy that involves an activity that encourages development of specific traits. With art therapy, a person can spend time outside of their comfort zone by participating in the creative process. Art therapy has also been shown to help boost confidence and a sense of self worth. This type of therapy has been valuable for people with co occurring disorders as well.