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Holistic Recovery: Blending Traditional & New Therapies

Issue 31

In partnership with the Recovery Research Institute

What is Holistic Medicine?

Holistic medicine is a unique way of healing. It combines the usual medical treatments with new, alternative methods. This approach doesn’t just focus on one problem, like addiction. Instead, it looks at everything — your body, mind, spirit, and emotions — to help you heal completely.

Why Holistic Therapy?

Even though some of these therapies don’t have a lot of scientific proof, they’re becoming more popular. More and more, traditional programs for addiction include these new methods. People are finding them helpful, even if we still need more research to understand why.

Types of Holistic Therapies

  • Aromatherapy: This therapy uses good-smelling oils from plants to improve your mood and health. It’s about balancing your mind, body, and spirit with these scents.
  • Art Therapy: Here, you can express your feelings through drawing, painting, or crafting. It’s a way to explore your emotions without needing words.
  • Equine Therapy: Spending time with horses can be healing. You might learn to take care of them, or even ride them. Studies show this can help people feel less stressed and more at peace.
  • Guided Imagery: This therapy is like a mental vacation. You imagine peaceful scenes and focus on breathing to relax. It’s shown to lower stress and improve your mood.
  • Massage Therapy: A massage therapist uses a gentle touch to relax your muscles. It’s known to help with pain and can also lift your spirits if you’re feeling low or anxious.
  • Meditation & Mindfulness: This practice involves quieting your mind and paying attention to how you feel, without judgment. It’s been found to lower blood pressure, ease pain, help with sleep, and quit smoking.
  • Music Therapy: Using music can be very uplifting. Whether it’s singing, dancing, listening, or playing instruments, music has been shown to ease pain, reduce stress, and improve sleep.

Learn More

For more information on these and other recovery services, visit the Recovery Research Institute at recoveryanswers.org. Remember, each step you take is a step toward healing.

The Recovery Research Institute (RRI) is a leading nonprofit research institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, dedicated to the advancement of addiction treatment and recovery.

Founded in 2012 by Dr. John F. Kelly, RRI is a team of innovative scientists working through research, education and outreach to enhance recovery through science, conducting and disseminating the most up-to-date research findings for individuals, families, healthcare professionals, and policymakers alike.

Addiction is one of the greatest public health crises of our time, with staggeringly high rates of mortality, disease, and disability. RRI knows that stable and long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug use disorders is possible and that rates of recovery can continue to be improved through focused scientific investigation and a commitment to public education.

RRI has given us permission to publish articles from their website (recoveryanswers.org) for this column. A special thank you to John Kelly and his team for allowing us to amplify their work!

Please visit recoveryanswers.org to learn more.

Journey Team
Journey Team
The Journey Team is made up of writers, gatherers, creators and people with a passion to make recovery from addiction visible.

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