While many people think of addiction as a purely physical condition, it is actually much more complex. Drug and alcohol addiction affects your body, mind, and spirit. It affects your relationships, keeps you from working toward goals, and can impact every part of your life.

Holistic addiction treatment includes traditional treatments, like psychotherapy, medications, and education. It also includes holistic therapies to soothe the body and mind during detox and rehab. People in holistic rehab programs may participate in exercise, massage therapy, mindfulness, yoga, and more.

Participating in holistic therapies during addiction treatment can give people healthy coping skills to use throughout recovery. Taking part in practices that reduce stress, foster connection, and boost self-esteem can significantly reduce the risk of relapse.

Holistic therapies are essential in treating the whole person–not just the physical dependence. Meaningful, long-term recovery can happen when people take a holistic approach to addiction treatment.

This article will explore eight holistic treatment methods that can be beneficial during recovery. You will learn:

  • The benefits of using holistic therapies
  • An overview of common holistic therapies
  • Where to find holistic addiction treatment

If you or a loved one struggles with substance use disorder (SUD), reach out to the First Step Behavioral Health specialists to explore our holistic treatment programs.

8 Holistic Therapies to Use During Addiction Treatment

Addiction recovery can be challenging. Addressing the physical, environmental, behavioral, and emotional roots of your substance abuse takes work, patience, and plenty of support.

Holistic practices can help you to feel calmer, more comfortable, and more focused during addiction recovery. Some treatment centers offer a wide range of holistic therapies to provide comfort and healing throughout recovery.

Here are eight types of holistic therapies to support addiction recovery.


Yoga is a holistic treatment approach that can be beneficial in recovery. Practicing yoga can help people create a strong mind-body connection. This connection can help people stay grounded and present in the current moment instead of focusing on the past or future.

Yoga has excellent physical benefits, as well. Regularly practicing yoga can improve strength and flexibility. It can also help people reduce stress and increase emotional resilience.[1]

Group yoga sessions can also foster a strong sense of community. Many treatment centers offer group yoga classes to help people soothe and strengthen their bodies and minds in recovery.


Meditation is a time-honored practice that encourages people to focus on the current moment. People may practice meditation alone or in a group setting. There are guided meditations to follow, or you may meditate on your own.

Meditation helps people gain control over their minds and emotions. It teaches people to have thoughts without judgment. Regular practice allows people to call their attention away from a harmful or stressful thought and back into the present moment.[2]

Practicing meditation can reduce stress, soothe the mind, and help people feel more in control of their thoughts.


Chiropractic care can help to align your body, relieve pain, and allow for whole-body healing. People may participate in chiropractic care during and after treatment to improve functioning and increase flexibility.

Equine therapy

Spending time with horses can help to ground and empower people in recovery. Riding, grooming, and caring for horses relieve stress and boost self-confidence.[3]

Many people in recovery struggle with feelings of isolation or loneliness. They may need to build up trust in others or work to improve their own sense of self-worth. Equine therapy can help people develop physical and emotional strength that can support long-term recovery.

Nutrition support

Nutritional therapy is essential during addiction recovery. Learning to prioritize a balanced, nutritious diet can benefit your body and mind as you work to put addiction in the past.

Good nutrition nurtures the body and mind. Eating well can help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with withdrawal. It can also help to rebuild muscle and replace nutrients after a period of malnutrition.


Regular exercise can boost blood flow throughout the body. Getting your heart pumping can help to reduce stress, flush out toxins, and build stamina and strength.[4]

Exercise groups or individual exercise plans can help people feel more confident about their bodies and minds. People build resilience by participating in new physical activities. Regular exercise can also boost your social connections by providing an activity to share with peers.

You do not have to train for a marathon or take up powerlifting to get the benefits of exercise. Regular, enjoyable exercise that raises your heart rate is enough. Walks, yoga, cycling, and swimming are all great activities you can enjoy during your treatment program and beyond.

Music therapy

You don’t have to have precious music experience–or talent–to benefit from music therapy. Music therapy doesn’t always mean playing music. It could also include listening to music, drawing or painting along with music, or learning how to play a new instrument.

Music therapy provides a new way for people to process and express their emotions and experiences during recovery.[5]

Art therapy

Art therapy includes many creative outlets, including painting, drawing, making collages, working with clay, and more. Art therapy can benefit people in recovery by helping them channel strong emotions in a new, healthy way.

Find Treatment Now

Addiction can take your life off course. Take the first step of your recovery journey by contacting the intake team at First Step Behavioral Health. Our caring specialists can answer your questions, help you find the right treatment for your needs, and schedule an intake assessment.


  1. Frontiers in Psychiatry: Neurobiological basis for the application of yoga in drug addiction
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH): Mindfulness meditation in the treatment of substance use disorders and preventing future relapse: neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical implications
  3. BMC Substance Abuse Treatment Policy: Equine-assisted services for individuals with substance use disorders: a scoping review
  4. Sage Journals: Exercise in the Treatment of Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review
  5. BMC Addiction Science & Clinical Practice: Music therapy, neural processing, and craving reduction: an RCT protocol for a mixed methods feasibility study in a Community Substance Misuse Treatment Service

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