Through the years, the addiction recovery community has developed numerous recovery models based on a variety of medical and holistic philosophies. Blue Skies prefers a more holistic approach, although we do give place to medicine and psychotherapy as tools in overcoming addictive behaviour. Our holistic philosophy centres on treatments including massage, meditation, and acupuncture.
What we offer should not be considered an ‘alternative’ to traditional medical treatment of addiction. Rather, we give our clients the opportunity to do things differently. Our holistic treatments go beyond medical detox and psychotherapy to address the whole person in body, mind, and spirit.
Why have we chosen a holistic approach? Because we firmly believe that a human being is more than just a physical body. If addiction recovery were a mere medical issue and nothing more, we should see tremendous recovery rates through medical detox and prescription medication. Nevertheless, we do not. We don’t because addiction involves more than just the physical. The goal of holistic recovery is the complete wellness of body, mind, and spirit.
Massage therapy is utilised to help clients relax so they can better focus on getting well. Alcoholics and drug addicts typically arrive at our centre very fearful and tense. Unfortunately, these negative emotions and their accompanying physical characteristics can inhibit recovery by making it difficult for clients to focus. Massage can help considerably.
When a client is relaxed and at ease, he or she is better able to participate in psychotherapeutic treatments and counselling. He or she is better able to focus his/her thoughts on recovery. He or she even responds better to medical treatment. Massage is not a cure for addiction in itself, but it is a very useful tool in the recovery process.
Blue Skies makes use of meditation therapies in much the same way massage is used. For example, mindfulness meditation can help the recovering addict relax and focus by getting his or her mind off the world around him/her. Meditation separates him/her, mentally and emotionally, from the high-pressure world that has partly fuelled addictive behaviour. Achieving that separation opens the mind to new ways of thinking and seeing the world.
As with massage therapy, meditation is not a cure for addiction in and of itself. It is part of a broader holistic treatment that seeks to help recovering addicts relax, clear their minds, and learn new ways of thinking. This further opens the door to achieving a more peaceful state within the spirit. When all three parts of the person are at rest, great strides can be made in achieving wholeness.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice with a long history of effective use for pain relief. A trained acupuncturist inserts very small needles into certain pressure points in the skin, thereby activating the natural mechanisms within the body to deal with physical problems. Acupuncture is becoming a more recognised tool for addiction treatment as well.
Numerous studies have not been conclusive as to whether acupuncture works effectively for most recovering addicts. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests it can be very helpful for some. For this reason, Blue Skies includes acupuncture as an option in our treatment regimen.
Those who support acupuncture for addiction treatment believe it helps the body to re-channel its natural energies. We already know that alcohol and drugs alter brain functioning to the point of disturbing the natural balance of neurotransmitters, thereby leading to conditions such as tolerance. It is possible that the natural electrical energies of the body (known as ‘qi’ in traditional Chinese medicine) are also interrupted and disturbed by addiction. Acupuncture helps to restore those energies to proper function.
Blue Skies strives to maintain an open mind toward all sorts of physical, mental, and holistic treatments for drug and alcohol addiction. We do not rule anything out just because it does not follow traditional Western medicine. If our primary goal is to help addicts who want a complete and permanent recovery, then we owe it to them to explore a full range of holistic treatments that show promise.
For more information about holistic massage, meditation and acupuncture for addiction treatment, please contact us at Blue Skies. We would be more than happy to answer questions regarding our treatment programmes.