How to Find an Effective Holistic Alcohol Rehab

How to Find an Effective Holistic Alcohol Rehab

When searching for alcohol rehab, you might come across the term “holistic alcohol rehab” or “holistic rehab”. In this context, “holistic” refers to a type of rehab wherein different aspects of your health (emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual) are fulfilled in order to help treat your disease better overall. Essentially, holistic alcohol rehab involves using a combination of addiction rehabilitation disciplines in order to treat your whole body and overall healthiness, which in turn should solve your issues involving substance abuse, particularly alcohol addiction and dependence.

The main claim to fame of holistic alcohol rehab centers that allow them to say they’re the best form of alternative treatment is the fact that they take care of the many aspects of health of an addict that tend to be affected by their addiction. To wit, addiction destroys an addict emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, such that when they attempt to overcome their addiction, their damaged bodies and minds also prevent them from recovering, resulting in relapse.

How Does Holistic Alcoholism Treatment Work?

 Holistic alcoholism and drug addiction recovery centers assist patients seeking help for and reprieve from their grave addictions by improving the healthiness of their body, mind, and spirit. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, holistic drug and alcohol recovery programs can assist patients in the following:

  • Identification of addiction triggers.
  • Stop the addition early on before it worsens.
  • Find alternatives to alcohol abuse or outright alcoholism.
  • Discovery of the events that led to substance abuse in the first place.
  • How to cope with triggers through relaxation, though disruption, and visualization.
  • Development of a long-term recovery plan catering to the unique needs of the individual patient.


Some of these techniques are considered alternatives to standard or mainstream treatment. However, other holistic alcoholism rehab centers instead combine traditional and alternative treatments together in order to achieve the same holistic results.

The absolute best recovery centers are those that combine traditional and alternative treatments together, such as 24/7 inpatient medical care, drug detoxification, and individualized therapy or dual diagnosis with nontraditional services like Ayurveda, naturopathic medicine, massage, acupuncture, meditation, and herbal therapy.

  • A Combination of Traditional and Alternative Treatments: Even though treatments like acupuncture and mindfulness meditation are linked more to holistic treatments than medication-assisted treatment, and psychotherapy, rehab facilities like Lanna Rehab believe that a yin-yang balance between spiritual, mental, and physical therapy is the way to go in order to experience truly holistic rehabilitation and recovery.


Some alcoholics will probably only opt for traditional non-holistic or medical rehabilitation techniques because they’re proven scientifically to help them in recovering. However, holistic rehab treatments for alcoholism don’t only mean CAM or Complementary and alternative medicine. They also involve using traditional western treatments together in order to treat every last aspect of your health that’s affected by addiction.

  • Natural Healing and Traditional Methods: The best holistic rehab programs offer a combination of natural healing techniques with traditional medical rehab services as a sort of Eastern Medicine meets Western Medicine service. Natural healing removes alcohol toxins from your body without medication use so that they won’t do a number on your liver and kidneys.


 On the other hand, when faced with emergency situations, pharmaceuticals may be necessary in order to deal with some of the deadlier side effects of alcohol withdrawal, since during those critical weeks time is of the essence. So you can do yoga or chiropractic care on top of counseling, behavioral therapy, and medical detoxification so that any chance of relapse is decreased significantly.

  • Substance Abuse Statistics and the Holistic Solution: According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, about 2.1 million visits to hospital EDs or emergency departments were due from substance abuse in 2009. So for 100,000 individuals annually, they have 647 ED visit distributed among them.


Meanwhile, 31.8 percent of the visits involved alcohol, 47 percent involved illegal drugs, and 52.1 percent involved pharmaceuticals. A holistic solution is called for when it comes to these emergency visits because medical detoxification and psychotherapy only scratches the surface of the consequences of alcohol abuse. Alcoholics might require something more complete.

 The Value of Holistic Rehab Care: Patients can face underlying physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual struggles that lead them to seek consolation through alcohol, says Louisiana’s Department of Behavioral Health. Ergo, there’s value in having the recovering patient go through mindfulness meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, and yoga among many other alternative rehabilitation services, particularly in healing your entire being in every way.

Holistic alcohol recovery programs assist in treating the entire spectrum of problems that helped cause and perpetuate the alcohol addiction in the first place. This is why 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous don’t stop with simple detoxification and has alcoholics go through counseling sessions and group therapy to uncover why they turned to the bottle in the first place and what they can do in order to cope without resorting to drinking.

 Alternative Approaches to Holistic Rehabilitation

According to the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (which was formerly known as the American Holistic Medical Association), holistic alcoholism rehab therapy consists of both traditional means of rehab along with the following alternative approaches that cater to the mental and spiritual aspects of the patient’s health. They include the following:

  • Ayurveda: Ayurvedic medicine is used by much of the Indian population. It incorporates different practices and relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation (and its western-medicine-approved equivalent, mindfulness meditation), and a specific dietary guideline to nurture holistic health or a singular mind, body, and spirit.


    • Yoga: Yoga doesn’t only have advantages when it comes to improving your physical flexibility or as an exercise that induces healthy weight loss. It can also be used by alcoholics to better discipline themselves and deal with the common side effects of alcohol withdrawal like depression, anxiety, and stress.


    • Meditation: Traditional Indian meditation techniques or the more westernized mindfulness meditation (as promulgated by Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR) helps you relax, focus, stave off anxiety, and perceive alcoholism triggers in a calmer, more objective fashion.


  • Traditional Chinese Medicine: Recovering from alcoholism isn’t easy and the danger of relapse is quite real. Although there exists western pharmaceuticals that can assist with withdrawal symptoms and alcohol abstinence (namely Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram), not all alcoholics can take them. Meanwhile, some TCM natural herbal medicines and practices have been known to support and improve traditional rehab techniques.


    • Acupuncture: Pressing needles into pressure points in the body can help ease many of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal and abuse. It also works well with traditional means of rehab like support groups, individual therapy, and group counseling. Acupuncture claims to assist in


Tai Chi: If Ayurveda has yoga, then TCM has tai chi. There’s a reason why tai chi is so popular in Mainland China, Taiwan, and other Asian countries as a type of exercise for the elderly and children. It’s a low-impact type of martial art that allows you to achieve physical healthiness and discipline that’s needed when you’re a recovering alcoholic.

  • Naturopathic Medicine and Herbal Therapy: Many of the Ayurvedic and Chinese medications are naturopathic and herbal in nature. You can avail of various natural medications and food supplements to help with the various side effects and complications associated with alcoholism. These supplementations can also boost your nutrition, especially if they’re strategically used to diminish your alcohol cravings and facilitate your detoxification.


  • Nutritional Interventions or Nutritional Therapy: Aside from using all-natural supplements and herbal medicine, you should also watch out for what you eat. Your nutritional health can help you combat the cravings and withdrawal symptoms of alcoholic abstinence even as you undergo round-the-clock medical surveillance during detoxification. Eating a healthy diet and watching out for certain foods can further strengthen your body and inner resolve to kick your alcoholic habit.


  • Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care or treatments can also offer stress relief for alcoholics who use their alcohol consumption as a means of relieving stress. Therefore, chiropractors and their knowledge in inducing relief in the musculoskeletal system and osteopathy can help alcoholics out, especially those suffering from physical pain that led to them drinking to dull their aches away in the first place.


  • Massage Therapy: Your psychotherapy and medical treatment for alcohol rehab can go hand-in-hand with relaxing massage therapy. Like chiropractic care, massage can provide immediate (if short-term) stress relief that soothes the aches and pains your body is going through as it acclimates itself to an alcohol-free or sober state.


  • Exercise Routines: Just as TCM has the martial art of tai chi and Ayurvedic medicine has the holistic practice of yoga to assist in alcohol recovery, western medicine recommends exercise routines to help improve your health and focus. Alcoholics tend to depend on alcohol for their happiness, entertainment, or recreation. Adding a workout regimen to replace your binge drinking can work wonders with the hole left by your abstinence from liquor.


  • Guided Imagery: This technique makes use of positive imaginary scenarios evoked by music and words heard by the patient in order to bring about a beneficial or motivational effect. For alcoholics who’ve turned to liquor in order to make up for their low self-esteem or sense of self-worth, this motivational boost can help wean them off the bottle and make something out of their lives through the inspiring offerings of this type of inspiring therapy.


  • Art or Music Therapy: You can use singing, drawing, sculpting, painting, or building something in order to substitute your alcohol dependence with something more positive and fulfilling. This type of therapy is particularly effective among the creatively, artistically, or musically inclined, although picking up this hobby and improving on it even though you lack the talent for it can be fun and satisfying in its own right.


  • Location Therapy: The majority of holistic alcohol recovery centers out there (including Lanna Rehab) concentrate on mindfulness meditation techniques and how a patient is able to connect with nature. This is why most centers have resort-like settings or have locations that are secluded and peaceful, such as nearby bodies of water or mountains. This type of setting can assist in nurturing alcoholics back to sobriety.


  • Homeopathy: A number of homeopathic remedies or treatments can allegedly be used as pharmaceutical alternatives to deal with the uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Samuel Hahnemann developed this controversial discipline back in 1796. Its doctrine is that a substance that causes symptoms of a disease on healthy people can cure similar symptoms on sick people.


  • Reiki: This is another controversial treatment that involves harnessing the “universal life force energy” for the sake of starting a process of physical healing within you. At the very least, as far as western medicine is concerned, practicing reiki techniques can assist with increasing your relaxation as well as alleviating some of the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (although no conclusive studies have proven such).


  • Spiritual Counseling: For those who are religious or seeking spiritual guidance, certain rehab facilities also offer spiritual counseling to better assist your rehabilitation. The more secular or atheistic of patients can opt out on this service but those who are faithful with their religion and yearn for spiritual fulfillment (whether they’re Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim) can get it from specific rehab centers in their area or abroad.


Admittedly, some of these alternative rehab techniques have questionable reputations when it comes to western medicine. However, even the most skeptical of patients can rest assured that as long as these alternatives are used in support of the main traditional rehab for the goal of holistic recovery, then they’re allowable.

You can refuse some of these alternative treatment methods if you feel that they’re not helping, which is something that’s to be expected of a tailor-made or individualized type of rehab anyway. You can go with the therapy that actually works for you and forego the ones that don’t help out while still undergoing the rest of the traditional rehab.

Holistic versus Traditional Rehab


yoga woman on green park background


Although the best holistic rehab centers combine alternative and traditional rehab services together, here’s what you need to know in regards to the pros and cons of both rehab types. Traditional rehabilitation approaches to drug and alcohol addiction recovery is mostly focused on evidence-based clinical interventions.

  • Detoxification and Therapy Sessions: Therefore, traditional rehab involves more detoxification periods and medical assistance when it comes to withdrawal symptoms. It’s viewed as more effective and safer. It also uses proven post-detox treatment therapies like individual and group therapy sessions, sober skills training, and continued post-treatment therapy to ensure relapse-free recovery.


  • Pseudoscientific versus Evidence-Based: Sure, some of the more esoteric treatments like reiki and homeopathy have unproven and pseudoscientific results that put into question their effectiveness, but most holistic rehab centers only offer similarly proven evidence-based alternative treatments anyway, like mindfulness meditation and massage therapy. If the patient is religious, then spiritual guidance can be of great value to him.


  • A Relaxed Environment with the Holistic Approach: The alternative therapies included with a more holistic rehab approach allow patients to undergo a more relaxed rehabilitation environment. This is because there’s more of an emphasis on the patient’s self-discovery and using the tools to enable his body to start a natural process of recovery and healing. Every aspect of his health is also touched upon so that any chance of relapse is dramatically reduced.


  • Prescription Medications to Safely Survive Withdrawal: Alcohol withdrawal can have serious or even fatal withdrawal symptoms and side effects, thus necessitating the usage of prescribed medications to help the patient survive these complications. Traditional rehab also offers medically assisted recovery with another set of prescribed medications to combat relapse, limit the benefits of continued alcohol use, and modify liquor cravings.


Holistic Practitioners Limit Pharmaceuticals: Holistic alcohol rehab adheres to the belief that the optimum method of detoxification is to minimize using drugs to get over substance addiction. Natural means of detox and purging are encouraged instead unless it’s an emergency situation and going the traditional rehab route makes more sense in a more limited period of time involving the life and death of the patient. Otherwise, treatments like herbal medicine or nutritional interventions might be called for.

In Conclusion


Asian woman sitting on rock by ocean looking over shoulder smiling in Maui, Hawaii


Holistic rehab doesn’t necessarily mean all-natural, alternative, or complementary medicine being used for rehab (although it could use them still). They also use conventional forms of treatment, like 12-step alcohol rehabilitation programs and the like. They also don’t refer to snake oil cures or ineffective and unproven therapy methods advertised as cure-alls. Instead, it caters to complete recovery by ensuring your health in all aspects so that you won’t trip and fall into relapse because your rehab center neglected treating your psychological or physical unhealthiness.

Many alcoholics who struggle with their liquor abuse seek treatment through traditional means, like Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step program or similar facilities following the same treatment pattern. They also search for anti-alcoholism medications and medical detoxification services to assist them in overcoming the inevitable and at-times fatal withdrawal effects of alcohol abstinence. With that said, holistic alcohol recovery centers are becoming increasingly popular among alcoholics, especially after doctors and experts have deemed their approach valid and sound for addiction treatment.

 Holistic Alcohol Rehab in Lanna Rehab, Thailand

 Contact the Lanna Rehabilitation Center today through their 24/7 hotline in order to avail of their holistic alcohol rehab and holistic approach to dealing with all sorts of addiction altogether. They offer free consultation for your rehab needs and they’re available through various medical or rehab tourism packages so that you can get the most out of your inpatient rehab investment. Their center serves as a safe place to heal as you go through your journey towards sobriety and alcohol abstinence.

Martin Peters

Martin Peters has a BA (Hons) Dip HE Dip RN CSAT III and is the Group Program Director Lanna Healthcare. He is a Registered Nurse and Certified Substance Abuse Therapist working in the mental health field since 1994; Martin has had a wide range of experience in management and supervisory roles within established healthcare systems, and has provided consultancy services to a number of private and public sector organizations in the UK and Asia in terms of management, policy writing, accreditation and recruitment. Martin’s addictions experience has been in developing inpatient services in Thailand since 2009, both clinical and operational. He has been instrumental in expanding and developing a non 12 step inpatient treatment centre and opening a further inpatient centre with a 12 step approach, implementing KIPU Electronic Records, strengthening hospital partnerships, introducing a Scholarship for students under the Masters in Addiction Studies Program at The ASEAN Institute for Health Development and working with an international accreditation body. Martin has also been a speaker at several international conferences on addiction, including ASEAN conferences and has also guest lectured at Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Sarghoda (Pakistan) Institute of Medical Sciences (Pakistan) and has been a representative on the CARF Standards Advisory Committee for 2016.In 2015. Martin became a Co-Founder of Lanna Healthcare, launching Lanna Rehab in March 2016 and opening Jintra in January 2018. In June of 2018, Martin was involved in the merger of Lanna and DARA, becoming Thailand's biggest private licensed operator. Martin is currently a Joint and Asia Health Co Ltd Owner Operator of Lanna Healthcare Co Ltd, which under its umbrella manages Lanna Rehab in Chiang Mai, Jintra Rehab in Chiang Mai and DARA Rehab in Koh Chang - all Thailand MoPH Licensed Addiction Facilities providing world-class treatment in Thailand.

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