According to an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 7.7 million adults in the United States have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder (SUD). Yet, only 9.1% of people receive treatment for comorbid disorders. The lack of support for dual diagnosis treatment highlights a gap in understanding how co-occurring disorders impact each other. Therefore, a holistic approach to care has grown to support the whole person.
At Insight Recovery Center, we are committed to supporting dual diagnosis with holistic and trauma-informed care for healing in recovery. A holistic approach to care can address the interconnected relationship between co-occurring conditions. However, you may wonder, “What is a holistic approach to care?”
What Is a Holistic Approach to Care?
As noted in an article from the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, a holistic approach to care is a complex and subjective concept. There is no singular definition that can define a holistic approach to care. However, in general, a holistic approach to care is a collection of approaches and interventions that meets your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Moreover, as noted in an article from the Western Journal of Medicine, a holistic approach to care is an attitudinal approach. An attitudinal approach emphasizes the uniqueness of your individual needs and the importance of the therapeutic alliance. In addition, while sometimes presented separately, a holistic approach to care is a comprehensive approach that includes humanistic medicine, psychosomatic medicine, and behavioral medicine:
- Humanistic medicine: Focuses on a therapeutic alliance, which emphasizes the relationship and personal development between client and clinician
- Psychosomatic medicine: Focuses on the interdependence and mutual influence of psychological and physical factors
- Behavioral medicine: Considers the psychosocial impact on illness
Furthermore, the comprehensive aspect of the holistic approach to care highlights the importance of treating the whole person as a path toward long-term healing.
Characteristics of a Holistic Approach to Care
As the Western Journal of Medicine article notes, a foundational piece of holistic care is a commitment to understanding and treating you in mind, body, and spirit. Thus, an emphasis on the mind, body, and spirit for healing can give you insight into the characteristics that make up a holistic approach to care. Holistic care encompasses the treatment itself and the impact of interwoven factors like setting, culture, relationships, and systemic barriers. Listed below are some characteristics of the holistic approach to care:
- Assuming responsibility for your health
- Emphasizes the role of education
- A variety of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities exist outside of traditional Western practices
- Emphasizes the therapeutic benefits of the setting in which treatment occurs
- A commitment to changing economic and social barriers to support
- Concerned with broadening the knowledge of clinicians to support whole-person care
Moreover, the characteristics of a holistic approach to care showcase the level of variety holistic care can offer to support healing. However, you may be wondering what kinds of treatments are considered holistic.
Types of Holistic Care
According to Alternative Medicine by Lisa Kisling and Regan Stiegmann, an alternative approach or holistic approach are typically therapeutic modalities that are alternatives to allopathic medicine. Moreover, allopathic medicine, also commonly called Western medicine, typically follows a disease-centric approach or symptom-specific treatment.
On the other hand, alternative medicine typically follows a whole-body approach to care. The whole-body approach to care is more commonly associated with ancient Eastern practices. Moreover, many practices found in Eastern medicine focus on stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself. Furthermore, as noted in Alternative Medicine, a holistic approach to care is often broken into multiple Eastern therapeutic modalities.
Listed below are the five categories a holistic approach to care is often broken into:
#1. Mind-body therapies:
- Tai Chi
- Positive imagery
- Engaging in creative outlets
#2. Manipulative and body-based practices:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
#3. Energy healing:
- Therapeutic touch
#4. Biologically based practices:
- Dietary supplements
- Special foods and diet
#5. Whole medical system:
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Traditional Chinese medicine
- Herbal medicine
- Naturopathic medicine
The categories for the holistic approach to care highlight the many ways in which holistic care can be used to support physical and psychological wellness.
Physical and Psychological Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Care
According to an article from the Journal of Healthcare, holistic approaches can support better health outcomes for physical and mental wellness. When the mind, body, and spirit are treated as separate from the whole, your health diminishes because the interconnected nature of being is left unaddressed.
For example, if you experience chronic pain, the combination of pain and inability to participate in activities may lead to isolation and depression. Thus, when the whole person is recognized in treatment, holistic care gives you the space to deepen your understanding of the impact physical and psychological distress can have on each other.
With a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection, you can expand your self-awareness of your needs. Moreover, a deeper understanding of the whole self can improve things like coping skills, adherence to treatment, and flexible adaption of individualized treatment.
Treating the Whole Person at Insight Recovery Center
At Insight Recovery Center, we believe in the importance of healing the whole person in mind, body, and spirit. Our commitment to whole-person care recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to recovery, as everyone’s experiences are different. Therefore, a holistic approach to care gives us a variety of tools to offer person-centered care that considers your individual experiences and needs in recovery.
Moreover, the holistic nature of person-centered care gives you the space to deepen your awareness of the mind-body connection and its impact on your well-being. The value of a holistic approach to care can be found in a commitment to building a treatment plan for you rather than trying to make you fit the treatment plan. When you are not restricted in what healing looks like, you can truly start to discover your recovery.
For many people, substance use disorder (SUD) typically co-occurs with a mental health disorder. However, few people are treated for co-occurring disorders, despite a foundation of research that highlights how co-occurring disorders impact each other. Moreover, many co-occurring disorders can worsen each other and perpetuate a cycle of self-medicating with substances to ignore or manage the symptoms of a mental health disorder. Therefore, holistic care provides various therapeutic modalities, practices, and interventions as impactful tools for healing that focus on treating the whole person in mind, body, and spirit. You can learn more today about the benefits of a holistic approach to care by calling Insight Recovery Center at (828) 845-8325