What Does Holistic Treatment Look Like?

Addiction and mental health treatment has evolved tremendously in the last few decades. As a result of this evolution, individuals now have more options for treatment than ever before. While the abundance of options can be overwhelming, it means there is now a higher level of customization available.

Alongside traditional treatment methods and evidence-based modalities, more treatment facilities have started implementing holistic treatment options in their programs. Holistic treatment focuses on treating the whole person, not just the symptoms of a disease. Understanding holistic treatment and its benefits may help you determine if it’s a viable option for your path to wellness.

Defining Holistic Treatment 

Before discussing its benefits, it is best to begin by defining what the term “holistic treatment” means and what a “holistic approach” to treatment is. A holistic approach considers the interplay between a person’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs when seeking treatment. Rather than seeking to alleviate symptoms at a surface level, holistic treatment dives deeper to discover the root causes of an individual's struggles. Everyone’s experience with addiction or mental illness is different, so individualized treatment is a necessity.

Another fundamental factor of holistic treatment is its focus on wellness. Those in recovery are often told that treatment requires them to make life changes. To live a life of recovery, individuals must strive for improved health and wellness. Holistic practices help people make healthy life choices and, in the long run, improve well-being in every aspect of life. 

Types of Holistic Practices to Try 

Holistic therapy programs usually feature personalized, non-medical, whole-person approaches to recovery. Recovering individuals can practice these approaches through several mindfulness-based practices. Upon leaving treatment, those practices become tools to help those in recovery maintain long-term healing and a healthier lifestyle. Consequently, holistic tools are helpful when integrating back into everyday life post-treatment. 

The following practices are simple mindfulness-based holistic practices that anyone can try.


Yoga helps individuals struggling with addiction and/or mental illness by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings and offering a healthy outlet to cope with stress. Yoga can encourage people to increase strength and self-awareness, develop healthy exercise and eating habits, and even achieve emotional healing through intentional movement and breath. 


Meditation is a form of mindfulness that helps individuals slow down, breathe, and focus on the present moment. In addition to reducing and managing stress, meditation helps people lower their heart rate, normalize their blood pressure, and improve sleep. 


Acupuncture is another holistic practice many people try. This holistic healing method involves a trained professional inserting thin needles into certain nerve points in a patient's body. The acupuncturist may then press on or move the needles in certain ways with their hands or small electrical devices. Doing so promotes blood flow and electrical stimulation in the body to activate the body's natural healing processes.

These are just a few holistic approaches to try. Some practices will be more effective than others for certain people. When individuals begin experimenting with different holistic techniques, they will learn what works best for them, their body, and their situation. One should consult their doctor or a mental health professional to determine what practices may best benefit their recovery process.

Practicing Wellness at NorthStar

NorthStar Transitions offers an extensive experiential therapy and wellness program to our clients in addiction treatment. The experiential therapy and wellness program continues throughout all levels of care. 

Experimental therapy and wellness produce similar benefits to those of holistic treatment. Our program takes clients out of their comfort zone to engage with peers and therapists through authentic interactions outside of traditional group therapy. Through this practice, clients can implement new skills or learn new coping techniques through experience as opposed to groups or lectures. 

Additionally, our wellness programming can be equally beneficial as the holistic practices listed above. Our general wellness program helps clients develop healthy habits and routines during addiction treatment. Learning to implement a healthy diet and regular exercise is one main focus of this program. Research indicates that these are both strongly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression, reduced cravings for drugs and alcohol, and increased self-confidence. 

Our recovery plans implement exercise and healthy eating habits throughout treatment. Upon leaving NorthStar, the hope is that clients can continue utilizing tools such as these to regulate mood and handle stress in recovery. 

Treatment is the best and most effective way for individuals struggling with addiction and mental illness to heal. Untreated addiction and mental illness can have adverse effects on one's physical health, emotional well-being, and the lives of those around them. Reach out to NorthStar Transitions today to get help. Our sub-acute detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and intensive outpatient care options provide a range of ways to change one's life one step at a time.

Traditional addiction or mental health treatment methods typically involve evidence-based treatments, intensive outpatient programs, or partial hospitalization care. Options such as these are beneficial and invaluable to a successful treatment program. Additionally, more and more treatment facilities are implementing holistic approaches to treatment in their programs due to their many benefits. Holistic treatment focuses on treating more than just the illness–it treats the whole person. That means considering a client’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs during treatment. Everyone’s struggle is different, so having a range of options provides necessary customization. NorthStar implements routines like exercise and healthy eating in our general wellness program. The goal of holistic and wellness programs is to teach clients skills during treatment that they can continue utilizing to maintain long-term recovery. To learn more or seek treatment, call (303) 558-6400

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