A holistic approach to medicine is based on the idea that all elements of a person need to be considered together, including body, mind, spirit, and societal factors. Applying this to addiction recovery means healing the whole person rather than just one isolated aspect of their lives, such as physical dependence or psychological trauma. This approach is becoming increasingly popular in rehab centers across the country as more professionals realize its healing and restorative value.


“Holistic” doesn’t mean “alternative medicine.” A holistic practice is any that takes into consideration the whole of the human mind and body, and attempts to treat it as such. In this sense, exercise is wonderfully holistic: it is one of the most reliable ways to improve physical health while acting as a natural mood booster, providing relief from depression and anxiety.

When you are recovering from an addiction, the physical and mental benefits of exercise can be absolutely invaluable. Exercise can make your body stronger and fitter, relieve you from negative emotions, give you a sense of purpose and motivation, and increase self-esteem. All of these help in your journey toward sobriety, allowing you to find strength and support from within.


Meditation – often called mindfulness – is the Buddhist practice of learning to focus, clear, and relax the mind. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular in the West as non-Buddhists discover the mental health benefits of practicing meditation. It teaches you to accept things as they are, let go of negative or harmful emotions, and achieve a sense of inner peace. Learning to do this can be a great support tool during addiction recovery, when the mind is often troubled and seeking some form of relief.

Set up a meditation room in your home and dedicate a few minutes of each day to the practice. You can sit however feels most comfortable, play soothing music, and even burn some incense. The easiest way to get started for beginners is to follow a guided meditation. Check out the top meditation apps as recommended by The Guardian to find the one that works for you.


Yoga is, in some ways, a cross between exercise and meditation. The movements can help build muscle, flexibility, and balance, making yoga an excellent workout that is easily adaptable to all fitness levels. Meanwhile, the focus on breathing mindfully and using the practice to focus on the self makes it deeply meditative. In fact, the physical practice of yoga originated as a way to prepare the body for stillness in meditation.

Yoga then combines the benefits of a good workout and a good meditation session. It can build confidence, identify destructive habits, help you remain present and focused, and build confidence, all of which combine to help you move on from your addictive tendencies.


Aromatherapy is a more subtle way of helping you recover from addiction, but it can be an effective aid. This is because you can use certain scents to guide you toward better moods and more positive states of mind. In particular, aromatherapy can help you combat stress by helping you create a soothing atmosphere.

Invest in a few basic aromatherapy oils. You can start with these five as recommended by MindBodyGreen. Whenever you need to unwind and relax, use them in a diffuser, in the bath, or directly on your body. You can also incorporate aromatherapy into your yoga and meditation practice, which will help you create a more relaxing atmosphere for your mindfulness practice.

These holistic practices are not in themselves cures for addiction. For many people, traditional forms of treatment like counseling will still be useful if not necessary. However, by incorporating holistic elements into your routine and into your recovery treatment, you can help yourself feel stable, centered, and healthy enough to progress and get better. You can learn to fight your urges by controlling your body and calming your mind while developing a sense of confidence and self-love that will be essential to achieving your recovery goals.

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