At Work Wise we like to maintain a global perspective on wellbeing and mental health. To this end, we are very grateful when approached by experts in the United States of America to contribute to our news updates. Thank you so much for this informative and well researched piece.

Recovery from substance abuse must encompass mental, physical, emotional and spiritual healing to be successful. Neglecting one aspect of your overall well-being can leave you vulnerable to relapse behavior and undermine the recovery process altogether. Alternative therapies can offer a comprehensive approach to treatment that other treatments aren’t always able to provide, and you can even use technology to aid your recovery. Generally speaking, the more integrated substance abuse treatment is, the more effective it will be in the long run. The more ways you learn to cope with your addiction, the better your chances of recovery will be.

Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT is an energy psychology approach that involves tapping with your fingertips on a series of points around your body (similar to acupressure points). As you tap, make a series of statements naming the sources of your problems and emotional issues, the aim being to unblock parts of your body where energy flow may be blocked and to achieve a deep-seated acceptance of yourself despite your addiction and other problems. EFT can be an effective means of coping with cravings and temptations that cause them.

Yoga and meditative therapies

Making a mind-body connection is at the center of yoga and other meditative practices. Sometimes, addictive behavior is the product of a lost mind-body connection. In other words, your body engages in damaging behavior even though the mind knows better. Meditation seeks to restore this important connection to impart mindfulness so that you’re able to live in the moment, a crucial capability for anyone battling addiction. This helps the recovering addict develop the ability to make good, conscious decisions. For some people, yoga can help make a spiritual connection as well. Yoga is also a physical discipline that increases muscle flexibility and joint health. If you’re just starting a yoga practice, check out some helpful beginner apps like YogaGlow and 5-Minute Yoga Workouts.

Art therapy

Art therapy is a comfortable way for people dealing with substance abuse to get involved with alternative therapy. It’s a relaxing form of self-expression involving any one of many different artistic endeavors, including painting, drawing, collage, sculpting, woodworking and jewellery. Rehab patients can relax while expressing their thoughts and feelings in the way that’s most comfortable to them. Therapists then view the results and discuss the emotional wounds they indicate.


While yoga is an activity that can help you recover from addiction, you may be looking for an activity that’s more strenuous, such as biking, running, or weightlifting. By working out regularly, you can reduce stress, maintain structure, improve sleep, and lower alcohol- or drug-seeking behavior. Look for ways to stay motivated, such as taking on a workout partner or measuring your progress with a smartphone or fitness tracker. New fitness trackers and smartphones have all kinds of features that can enhance your workout. For example, the Fitbit Inspire is easy to use and waterproof and can track your activities. Or Apple’s newest smartphone, the Apple Watch Series 5, can detect falls and has always-on display which makes it much easier to see information.

Equine therapy

In this unique therapy, patients take care of horses along with other therapeutic activities. An attending therapist observes how you interact with the horses to identify patterns of behavior that reflect how you think of yourself and how that impacts your addiction. Patients learn self-confidence as they learn to care for and get close to the horses.

Diet and nutrition

Nutrition is very important in addiction treatment because eating a healthy diet helps one feel better during recovery and encourages an adherence to sobriety. It also helps rid the body of toxins left behind by addiction. That’s why diet is an important supplement to addiction recovery. What you eat can also drastically affect your mood levels, which can aid or harm your recovery efforts. For example, if the microbiome in your gut aren’t healthy, your body may not be producing enough serotonin, which can cause your mood to dip.

Alternative therapies are effective as complementary treatments to more traditional approaches, a way to strengthen what you’ve learned as you strive to better learn about yourself and how best to avoid thoughts and actions that can threaten your sobriety. Alternative therapies are important because addiction is so complex: no one treatment is effective for everyone, and often, more than one treatment is needed. For some people, alternative therapies are a last resort, a search for help that they haven’t been able to find through other means. However, they may not be a good option for someone with a serious problem requiring restraint or isolation.
Addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Often, patients need different kinds of treatment to achieve sobriety. In such cases, alternative therapies can be very helpful.

Courtesy of