Acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga, crystal healing, massage, Reiki – what do they all have in common?

They’re part of a very long list of holistic therapies that are proving a hit with people recovering from addiction and more and more people are turning to holistic therapy for addiction recovery.

But it isn’t just about using holistic therapies for addiction.

Addiction isn’t just Addiction

Addiction itself potentially comes as a whole package of unwelcome things such as stress, anxiety, panic attacks, extreme mood swings, irritability, rage, low self- confidence and poor self- image…among other things.

And guess what? Holistic therapies such as Reiki, massage, energy medicine, rainbow therapy, yoga , crystal therapy and acupuncture have the ability to deal with these feelings at the root cause, making them a great support along with conventional therapy for addiction recovery.

Interest in yoga, as just a prime example, has soared over the last decade alone. Latest findings show there are over 10,000 yoga teachers registered with the British Wheel of Yoga (the official body appointed by Sports England).

That means there are around 20,000 to 30,000 yoga classes going on per week. That’s a lot of vinyasas! There’s even loads of studies on how yoga has the potential to be one of the best complementary holistic therapies for drug and alcohol addiction.

A study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported that “skills, insights, and self-awareness learned through yoga and mindfulness practice can target multiple psychological, neural, physiological, and behavioral processes implicated in addiction and relapse [they could be used as] promising complementary therapies for treating and preventing addictive behaviors.”

The narrative review went on to say that although yoga derives from the Brahmans in Northern Indian and mindfulness stems from Buddhist philosophy, both are being used more and more as part of secular healthcare treatments.  It’s no wonder more people are becoming aware of the benefits of holistic therapies – they’re being referred to mindfulness sessions by their GPs!

Yoga and mindfulness techniques help ease anxiety by promoting a sense of calm and ‘living in the moment.’ Something which is very important to a lot of people with various addictions – taking each day as it comes.

And not to mention yoga can keep you fit. Just think of how that can help alter our self image and raise our self confidence!

Growing Use of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has also earned its place as a holistic therapy in addiction recovery.

Ian Appleyard, Course Director of Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture at London South Bank University, recently discussed acupuncture as a potential complementary therapy on BBC World Radio:

He said, “Despite its growing popularity in the Western world, acupuncture is yet to become fully integrated in the UK health system.”

“Some doctors, although fully trained in Western medicine, start to delve into a variety of alternative medicines. Some chose to undertake weekend courses in acupuncture and use it in a rather mechanical way, whereas others will take the time to do three-year programmes.”

“There is much greater acceptance of acupuncture now than when I first became interested in acupuncture 20 years ago; this is primarily based on positive patient reports to local GP’s.”

This isn’t much of a surprise considering there was reported evidence that acupuncture may indeed act as a supporting treatment for depression and anxiety.

The Addiction Recovery Guide also supported this with a useful section on the scientific studies that support acupuncture for addiction. People are turning to acupuncture for cocaine addiction, smoking cessation and other substance abuse issues.

Bunmi Aboaba is an Addiction and Recovery Expert who specialises in sober coaching and sober companionship for professionals through her company The Sober Advantage. To find out more about Bunmi and complementary holistic therapies for alcohol and substance addiction or abuse, visit: