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Holistic, natural and all-encompassing approaches to self-soothe addiction

March 2, 2015
by Rebecca Flood
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There is evidence and research that shows that the utilization of spiritual, homeopathic, natural and holistic ways of healing has long-term effects on one’s recovery from chronic illness, including those who suffer from the disease of addiction. There are some simple practices that facilities, programs and individuals can do to create a soothing and healing environment. These practices can be administered to soothe the body, the mind and the spirit, allowing for one’s healing to be more complete and occur at deeper levels. As we explore these holistic approaches, please keep in mind that you should also seek consultation from your healthcare professional in the use of these techniques.

Patients who are physically detoxing from medication or substances that they may have used during their addiction can suffer from post-acute withdrawal. This type of withdrawal is an extended withdrawal from whatever chemicals have been harming the body as a result of addictive behavior. There are holistic ways of addressing the ongoing phenomenon of cravings that afflict those suffering from withdrawal. The ongoing ways of dealing with some of the co-occurring disorders and side effects of our disease can be utilized to support a more complete and deep healing process in the initial stages of the recovery journey. Some of the most common side effects of withdrawal, post-acute withdrawal and cravings in early recovery are identified as insomnia, anxiety, depression, mood swings, digestive issues, discomfort and aches/pains in almost all substance use disorders. In this two-part blog, we are going to walk through a few simple approaches that residential, outpatient and even private practitioners can easily provide as complementary holistic accompaniments during treatment. These simple approaches can be placed in the waiting areas of offices to improve, enhance and nurture one’s ability to stay in treatment. By utilizing these self-soothing techniques in your services, the hope is that patients will be motivated to receive the level of care necessary for further healing so that they can stay committed to their journey long enough for the miracle to happen.

Some of the natural ways of addressing the post-acute withdrawal, cravings and early recovery side effects include the use of chamomile, melatonin, GABA, acupuncture, whirlpools, massage therapy, yoga, Reiki, mindfulness and nutritional foods. These are all known to have healing properties. This names only a few of the holistic approaches that can be utilized to address these areas of concern. I would love other people to contribute their thoughts and give examples of practices that they are using to achieve positive outcomes. My hope is that this can be a living discussion around this ever-evolving practice of providing natural, homeopathic and supportive ways of healing this chronic and incurable disease that over 23 million Americans live with on a daily basis.

Simply providing or having access to chamomile tea in your lobby, patient dining areas, or snack rooms can go a long way. It can assist someone in being more open, calm and relaxed while receiving services or preparing for a restful evening.



Rebecca Flood

President and CEO of Ashley Addiction Treatment


Rebecca Flood is president and CEO of Ashley Addiction Treatment. She previously served as CEO...

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