Alternative approaches such as yoga and meditation are a complement to traditional, evidence-based treatment modalities. Examples of alternative therapies include acupuncture and massage therapy. These approaches are used as tools to help in the recovery process. They integrate physical, mental and spiritual aspects into the treatment of mental health disorders and substance abuse. For example, after medical stabilization, yoga can help clients recovering from substance abuse regain focus and self-confidence.
How Alternative Approaches Help
Alternative approaches treat the whole person and are targeted to the individualized needs of each client. They provide relaxing, calming and meditative effects, linking mind and body. Meditation, massage and acupuncture are used to facilitate healing and help reduce shame and boost self-esteem. A growing body of research indicates these therapies can reduce symptoms and promote recovery in clients being treated for addictions and psychiatric disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Benefits of Alternative Approaches
Alternative approaches provide a range of benefits. Meditation and mindfulness can help people overcome emotional barriers to healing. Benefits include:
- Increased awareness
- Enhanced mind-body connection
- Improved self-esteem
- Reduced feelings of sadness or depression
- Diminished anxiety and stress
- Reduced suicidal thoughts
- Decreased mood swings
- Decreased fatigue and insomnia