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Is there Holistic Treatment in Inpatient Rehab?

While traditional inpatient rehab programs do a good job at treating severe forms of addiction, these programs employ a standardized approach that may not work for everyone. Traditional programs view addiction as a disease of the brain and rely more so on medical and behavioral-based treatment interventions.

Holistic treatment programs view addiction as a disease of the mind, body and spirit and so place a heavy emphasis on treating all three aspects of the individual. For people looking for an alternative rehab option, inpatient holistic treatment programs offer a comprehensive approach to undoing addiction’s damaging effects while providing a solid foundation in the recovery process.

The Inpatient Rehab Model

As the most intensive form of residential-based care, the inpatient rehab approach derives from the Minnesota model, first developed in the 1950s. The Minnesota model views addiction as a biopsychosocial-based disease that negatively impacts a person’s physical health, mental stability and interpersonal relationships, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

With ongoing abstinence as the primary treatment goal, inpatient rehab programs employ the 12-Step program approach as a basis for helping addicts overcome addiction on a day-to-day basis. Treatment durations typically run from 28 to 30 days, though both shorter and longer programs do exist.

Inpatient Rehab Services

Addiction has negative effects on the body and mind as well as on the spirit. In effect, treating the body and mind becomes just as important as treating the spiritual self and vice versa. While holistic treatment programs do view addiction and recovery differently from traditional programs, they nonetheless incorporate many of the same treatment services used in traditional programs.

Services incorporated into the holistic treatment rehab process include:

  • Round-the-clock medical monitoring and supervision
  • Treatment for chronic medical conditions
  • Treatment for mental health disorders
  • Medication therapies
  • Behavioral therapy treatment

The Holistic Treatment Approach

Holistic treatment draws from a range of alternative treatment approaches in an effort to meet the specific needs of the individual in recovery. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, alternative approaches used include:

  • Biological-based interventions – vitamin, herbal and mineral therapies as well as alternative diet plans
  • Mind-body treatment models – uses meditation and relaxation techniques to strengthen the mind-body connection
  • Energy-based medicine – works with the body’s natural energy fields to enhance physical, mental and spiritual well-being
  • Body-based approaches – employs massage techniques to strengthen the structural forces that support the body
  • Alternative medicine – includes alternative approaches to treating illness, such as acupuncture and acupressure

The holistic treatment approach employs alternative interventions alongside traditional treatments to enhance the therapeutic benefits gained in recovery. In effect, this range of treatment options enables holistic treatment programs to specifically address each person’s treatment needs as well as cater to individual preferences.

Holistic Treatment Services

Inpatient rehab programs mainly administer acute care, which entails treating chronic medical and psychological disorders alongside addiction problems. For these reasons, any one program may provide a range of services ranging from medical to behavioral to holistic-based interventions.

Holistic treatment interventions offered can also vary depending on a person’s overall condition. With a range of alternative interventions to choose from, available services may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Herbal therapy


Acupuncture, a technique based on traditional Chinese medicine, views the body as housing a series of pressure points that run along healing energy pathways. This practice involves the use of needles, heat or laser light to stimulate pressure points and clear blockages throughout the body.

Acupuncture can be used to provide relief from uncomfortable withdrawal effects, such as:

  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal distress

As an ongoing holistic treatment, acupuncture can also help reduce drug cravings throughout the course of recovery.


As one of the more popular body-based treatment techniques, biofeedback uses feedback instruments as teaching devices in terms of helping a person identify and control uncomfortable bodily sensations and processes, such as:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Blood pressure

In the process, a person can learn to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with detox and withdrawal. Biofeedback techniques also work well at helping reduce stress levels, which can run especially high during the early stages of recovery.

In effect, each of the alternative approaches offered through inpatient holistic treatment programs works to strengthen the connections between mind, body and spirit as a means for helping recovering addicts take back control of their lives from addiction.


inpatient rehab

Yoga is a great method of treatment during inpatient rehab.

Yoga techniques involve a series of stretching and breathing exercises designed to center the person and promote an overall sense of relaxation and well-being. With regular practice, this holistic treatment approach increases a person’s concentration and sense of control, which can prove invaluable during times when the urge to use drugs seems overwhelming.


Meditation practices train a person how to induce relaxation states at will. Inpatient holistic treatment programs use this method to help recovering addicts develop mental clarity, which works well when combined with behavioral treatment interventions. In effect, medication helps reduce anxiety levels and counteract the more adverse and emotional symptoms of withdrawal.

Herbal Therapies

Frequent and/or long-term drug use disrupts the brain’s chemical balance leaving the brain in a state of disarray once a person enters treatment. Herbal therapies offer a range of benefits during recovery in terms of helping to counteract the chemical imbalances brought on by drug abuse. Herbs such as ginseng, kudzu, valerian and kava can off considerable relief from symptoms of insomnia, depression, anxiety and drug cravings.

Who Will Most Benefit from Inpatient Holistic Treatment?

In general, addiction recovery entails a process of ongoing healing for the mind, body and spirit. Unless treatment addresses the roots of the addiction problem, a person stands to go through multiple rounds of treatment before actually reaping any reward. People who’ve made little to no progress with traditional treatment program approaches may well benefit from inpatient holistic treatment.


Ultimately, no one-treatment approach can meet everyone’s needs in recovery. Inpatient holistic treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on the importance of treating the whole person as opposed to just the physical and mental aspects of addiction. For some people, this approach to treatment can make all the difference.

If you or someone you know is considering inpatient holistic treatment, feel free to call our helpline at 1 (800) 895-1695. Our representatives are available 24-hours a day to answer any questions you may have about treatment and recovery.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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