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The Benefits of Holistic Substance Abuse Treatment

There are many ways of treating substance abuse, but at Enlightened Solutions, we believe that holistic treatment methods are some of the most comprehensive. This means that the treatment affects the mind, body, and spirit – not just physical health. All of these factors work together for a comprehensive picture of wellness.

In our experience, holistic substance abuse treatment methods show people how to live healthier and happier lives without a need for alcohol or drugs. Holistic treatments also help clients learn skills to deal with triggers or cravings, as well as help repair relationships that were damaged through long-term substance abuse. Additionally, clients can sense a difference in energy levels, sleep, and even anxiety and depression levels.

All of this – and more – is possible with holistic treatment methods.

The Many Types of Holistic Substance Abuse Treatment

No matter what form the treatment takes, the goals of holistic programs are not just recovery, but also to promote building community and fostering self-reflection. These are also vital tools for getting sober.

Enlightened Solutions offers the following options for holistic treatment:

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that helps the body release tension, anxiety, and other negative emotions that perhaps enabled addiction. Through poses that challenge the body’s limits in a healthy way, focused breathing, and opportunities for meditation, yoga has a high success rate for helping clients achieve sobriety goals. The tools learned in yoga facilitate feelings of calm and relaxation while helping develop better impulse control and reducing stress. Many people who practice yoga regularly report decreased anxiety and depression, reducing the temptation to drink or use.

Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that many on the Western side of the hemisphere have found helpful in overcoming addiction. An acupuncturist applies special needles to five pressure points on both sides of the ears, which stay for about 45 minutes while clients relax in a comfortable chair. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive – relaxation and stress relief from needles?! – but it’s all about balancing the “yin” and “yang” within us. “Yin” and “yang” is a Chinese philosophy that describes interconnected but opposing forces dwelling in every person.

Acupuncture assists with recovery by promoting better quality sleep, which is vital during the detoxification and withdrawal process. It’s actually not uncommon for clients to fall asleep before their acupuncture is complete.

Additional benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Improved mood during detox
  • Better circulation
  • Increased energy and feelings of happiness
  • Reduced emotional trauma

Art Therapy and Music Therapy

Some of the most complex, unpleasant emotions can drive unique, creative forces. Think of your favorite songs: some of them probably aren’t “happy.” People connect so well to art and music that deal with more difficult aspects of life primarily because these feelings are universal. In the process of recovering from substance abuse, it’s natural to experience inner conflict or sadness as you think of the harm that was caused. Using creative therapies to express these emotions is an extremely effective way to facilitate healing.

At Enlightened Solutions, our primary modes of creative expression are through art and music. Clients can experiment with an array of instruments, canvases, and other artistic tools. Art therapy and music therapy are group activities that include time for processing connections to the art or music after the session is complete. Many people experience an array of emotions through the process of creating, some of which may be difficult to express verbally but come alive through painting or songwriting.

Art therapy and music therapy practices at Enlightened Solutions include:

  • Collage making
  • Drawing and painting
  • Writing short stories or keeping a journal
  • Studying famous works of art
  • Sculpting
  • Writing song lyrics or music
  • Writing poetry
  • Singing

Therapists will observe body language during the creative process, taking careful note of any anxiety or stress that comes up. Many times, people who don’t know how to express their emotions in words are better able to verbally process after spending some time painting or playing an instrument. In addition to facilitating communication skills, clients can begin to understand the connection between addictive behaviors and the emotions that drive them.

Chiropractic Therapy

A critical part of getting sober is being able to listen to the body, letting it tell you what it needs. Long-term addiction can dull this ability to listen. Too often, substances are used as a “quick fix” when the body is communicating signals of a deeper need. In other words, substances can mask feelings of stress or anxiety, but can’t actually cure them. Paying attention to the senses is vital at Enlightened Solutions, rather than masking them.

The average person is likely not aware of just how much tension is carried in the back and spine. Stress and anxiety can indeed affect the body physically. It’s hard to notice sometimes when you’ve been hunched over for a while, tightening your shoulders, or grinding your teeth to a point that your jaw hurts. The spine is connected to all of these functions, which is why chiropractic therapy is helpful.

Chiropractic therapy at Enlightened Solutions involves sessions with a doctor who focuses on the spine to relieve the nerves and other tensions due to years of using drugs and other unhealthy habits. After several sessions of chiropractic therapy, you may feel as if years of tension have just been lifted off your body.

Healing physically is only half the battle of recovering from substance abuse and addiction. The mental and emotional effects are just as important when it comes to healing and achieving sobriety. Enlightened Solutions is a treatment facility that addresses all of those factors in the types of treatments we offer. Our holistic treatment methods target the whole person, with a variety of methods that can suit any personality or need. Whether you heal through art, talk therapy, challenging yourself in yoga, or regular sessions with a chiropractor or acupuncturist, we can customize your treatment based on your unique needs. To learn more, speak with a staff member today by calling (833) 801-LIVE.

Why Should I Seek Holistic Treatment?

What do you think of when you hear the word holistic? Do you think of natural remedies? Do you think about things that connect the mind and body? The term holistic refers to a comprehensive approach. In terms of addiction recovery, holistic means treating the whole person.

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in utilizing treatments and strategies that help unify and heal the mind, body, and spirit. After all, you need all three to fully recover from addiction. We aim to address all areas of wellness to ensure the best possible outcome.

Connecting the mind, body, and spirit will help you form relationships between your behaviors and emotions. Through activities promoting this connection, you can not only mentally and physically, but also spiritually.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation involve significant mind, body, and spirit collaboration. Our instructors help you develop a practice that serves you and enables you to heal. We tie in the 12-Step process to help connect what you are learning outside of the studio to what your body is doing in the studio.

Yoga and meditation connect the mind and body through mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness can help strengthen the connection between the mind, body, and spirit.

Acupuncture Practices

Acupuncture involves the use of tiny needles and pressure points. While it sounds a little daunting, it can be extremely relaxing and beneficial. We know that addiction can create chronic anxiety and stress. Our focus on the Autonomic Point and Shenmen helps ease stress and increase relaxation. This acupuncture technique also focuses on the Kidney Point, Liver Point, and Lung Point. The kidneys, liver, and lungs all play important roles in healing and recovering from addiction. Learn more about how addiction affects health here.

The advantages of acupuncture are immense. Each of the benefits addresses the healing of the mind, body, or spirit. A few of the benefits include improved sleep, mindfulness, reduced cravings, more energy, improved mood, and more. Read about more benefits of acupuncture here.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is all about resolving imbalances. Addiction creates imbalance and disruption to the mind, body, and spirit. Substances such as benzos, opioids, and alcohol are often used to suppress physical or emotional pain. During treatment at Enlightened Solutions, you will be encouraged to focus on and pay close attention to the pain you are experiencing. You can then learn how to cope and heal from the pain in healthy and natural ways.

Addiction leads to an abundance of tension, most of which is held in the neck and spine. When you are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), you are most likely eating poorly, failing to exercise, and neglecting all forms of self-care. In turn, stress and tension will build up in the body, causing more and more discomfort and pain. Our chiropractic care can help release this tension and restore your body’s natural balance.

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy have a way of connecting us to ourselves and one another. These activities often occur in a group setting, allowing you to feel a sense of community and bond over shared experiences. Healing through the arts is something extraordinary. While traditional talk therapy has many advantages when it comes to addiction recovery, it is not always effective on its own.

Art and music therapy offer different methods for processing and expressing your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, you may not feel up to speaking about what you are feeling. Sometimes, it may feel more manageable to paint how you are feeling or listen to music that represents your current state.

Self-expression through art and music can be extremely healing and enlightening. Music and art often uncover emotions that otherwise would have remained unlocked. This powerful ability of music to aid in self-expression is essential for healing in recovery.

Enlightened Solutions doesn’t just claim to be a holistic treatment program – it lives up to the claim. The services mentioned above are only a few of the many offerings we provide to help promote the healing of the whole person.

We know that recovery will not be as successful without healing in all areas. Each day, our treatment team meets to discuss the progress and needs of everyone in our care. This is to ensure we are providing the best and most individualized holistic care possible to every client. Our programs help restore overall wellness and instill healing practices that clients are able to carry with them beyond treatment.

A holistic approach to treatment usually involves a variety of strategies and methods to address the healing of the whole person. When it comes to addiction recovery, holistic treatment is extremely beneficial for success. Our physical health affects our mental health. Our mental health affects our physical and spiritual health, and the pattern continues. In order to fully recover, you must work to improve each of these areas. At Enlightened Solutions, we have designed our program to encompass healing mediums and therapies to address the mind, body, and spirit. By strengthening all three and encouraging a connection between them, clients are better prepared to navigate recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and could benefit from our holistic treatment program, we would love to speak with you. To get started, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE

Can Animals Be Therapists?

It is said that man’s best friend is a dog. Can a dog also be man’s best therapist?

Anyone who loves animals knows how nice it is to come home to a dog who’s glad to see you, particularly after a bad day: to stroke a cat’s fur and listen to the kitty purr; to cuddle a nice, soft bunny; to saddle up a horse and go for a ride, or even to watch fish swimming placidly in their aquarium. All of these actions contribute to a sense of calm and well-being.

While a beloved pet will never take the place of a trained therapist, spending time with an animal provides both physical and mental health benefits that can aid in recovery.

Benefits of Having a Pet or Spending Time With Animals

According to an article that was published on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, owning a pet can decrease stress, improve a person’s overall cardiovascular health, and can decrease the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) circulating in a person’s system and increase the levels of oxytocin. Decreasing the levels of cortisol can lower blood pressure, prevent weight gain, boost energy levels, improve brain function, and strengthen the immune system. Increased levels of oxytocin contribute to the ability to form connections. A study conducted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale suggests that children who have pets in their homes develop stronger immune systems than do children in homes without pets.

An article in Psychology Today says that spending time with animals can be beneficial to people diagnosed with major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use disorder. Spending time with animals can contribute to feelings of calmness, comfort, and safety, and forming a bond with an animal can help people develop better self-esteem, improve their ability to trust and form connections, and improve socialization and communication skills. A study of adolescents with type 1 diabetes demonstrated that taking care of fish correlated to the teens better managing their diabetes.

Having a pet also lowers your cholesterol level, decreases triglycerides (fats carried in the blood), decreases feelings of loneliness, increases your opportunities to get exercise and spend time outdoors, and makes it easier to form connections with other people. If you have a tendency to isolate because of depression or feelings of shame surrounding addiction, having a dog can be a great way to get out of your head, get out of the house, and meet some other people.

If pet ownership isn’t a possibility, perhaps because you rent in a place that doesn’t allow animals, you are in college and live in a dorm, or you or someone in your household is allergic to animals, you can still have some of the benefits of being around animals. Go to a pet store and spend some time watching the animals there. If your area has an aquarium, zoo, or living museum, pay them a visit. Volunteer at an animal shelter or an animal rescue society. Find work as a dog walker or take care of people’s pets when they travel. 

Animals in Medical and Other Settings

Because of the mental and health benefits that spending time with animals brings to people, animals are used in more formal settings as well. This idea is not new. An article on animal-assisted therapy (AAT) published on the Alliance of Therapy Dogs website says that the ancient Greeks used companion animals to help people with physical and mental illnesses. Hippocrates, the Greek doctor considered to be the founder of medicine, thought that there was great therapeutic value in horseback riding. In the 1960s, child psychologist Boris Levinson is considered to be the father of AAT. Levinson began bringing his dog, Jingles, to work with him and found that when he did so that the children’s therapy sessions were more productive. Children were more at ease and communicative when Jingles was in the session. 

Now therapy dogs (typically well-trained pets) make the rounds at some selected hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, addiction treatment centers, and prisons. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, the use of therapy dogs can “significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue in people with a range of health problems.” These health problems include children undergoing dental procedures, cancer patients receiving treatment, patients with dementia, and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prisons use therapy dogs to “reduce violence and anti-social behaviors, cases of suicide, and drug addiction.”

Some airports now use therapy dogs as well, which was implemented after 9/11. According to Vane Airport Media, Inc., as of 2018, 58 airports in the United States had some sort of therapy dog program. For example, the Wag Brigade has been a tail-wagging presence at the San Francisco International Airport since 2013. The Wag Brigade now has 22 therapy dogs and one Juliana -breed pig, who enjoys playing her toy piano. The therapy animals all wear vests that say “Pet Me.” The Wag Brigade is a partnership between the airport and the San Francisco SPCA.

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Because of the mental and physical health benefits associated with being around animals, many treatment facilities incorporate some type of animal-assisted therapy into their programs. Activities will vary depending on the facility and the client, but can include grooming and feeding the horses, taking care of the tack, and cleaning out stables. Many programs also incorporate riding. Equine therapy lends itself well to recovery programs because working around horses can help people to identify and process their feelings. 

The ancient Greeks were right: animals are good for people. Don’t fire your therapist, but do find a friendly animal to be part of your life.

Spending time with animals is good for your physical and mental health. Because of this, Enlightened Solutions includes equine therapy as part of the holistic treatment modalities that they offer to patients working to overcome addiction or mental health issues. Equine therapy has demonstrated success in helping people to identify their feelings, which is part of the healing process. Located on the New Jersey shore, Enlightened Solutions offers alternative therapies to complement the one-on-one and group counseling that they provide. Other alternative therapies that they offer include art and music therapy, Family Constellation Therapy, horticultural therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic work. Every patient has a treatment program custom-tailored for him or her based on their individual needs. If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder or a mental health issue, consider Enlightened Solutions. The facility offers treatment in a compassionate and supportive environment. For more information call (833) 801-5483.


Lavender Should be Everywhere in Early Recovery

Lavender is a vital herbal support for anyone in early recovery.  It can bolster early recovery process through medicinal, self-care, mindfulness and spiritual applications.  Like many herbs, it can be explored in its living plant form, dried herbal form or also as an essential oil.  When engaging the essential oil, remember to mix it in a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond, to avoid sensitive skin reactions.  

Medicinally, lavender can support many of the physiological challenges that the body faces as it begins to detox and restore itself.  Some of the medicinal properties of lavender are anxiety reduction, digestive support and as a support to insomnia. In herbalist terms, lavender is an analgesic, anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic and a central nervous system sedative.  

Lavender can also be engaged in soothing self-care practices which are essential to early recovery.  A significant layer to the healing journey of the addict is to learn to be peacefully with their internal self and self-care practices are a safe way to explore this. Self-care practices that can be engaged with lavender are to take a warm bath with some drops of lavender essential oil. Another application can be to mix some drops of lavender oil in with some oil and practice self-massage.  Massaging the feet can be especially powerful to support the grounding and calming effect of lavender.  

Lavender as an essential oil can become a mindfulness practice.  Mindfulness is the practice of slowing or stopping the mental chatter and more fully occupying your body and senses in the present moment.  The simple act of smelling the lavender essential oil will expand your mindful presence.  It is powerful bridge to our mindfulness that we may not be able to access without this important tool.  

If possible, also get to know lavender in its living plant form.  There are many varieties and they often have some kind of beautiful soft lavender bud on a gentle green stem.  Sometimes, the buds will have tiny, darker purple flowers on them and are velvety to touch.Lavender represents the softness that we seek on this healing journey and models powerfully the practice of pruning and new growth that is available through it.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Healing the Physical Effects of Addiction with Eastern Practices

The eastern world largely refers to Asia and India in terms of spirituality.  In contrast, the concept of the western world is referring to the US and the culture birthed as it was settled. Each of these worlds has unique gifts to offer and it is valuable in recovery to learn how to harness and integrate them in their lives.  

In many ways, the eastern hold the most ancient spiritual wisdom.  The spiritual practices of this region have sustained themselves over many hundreds, even thousands, of years.  The practices are the very essence of the idea of tradition.  The spiritual practices of the western culture, much younger,have shorter lives before evolving into something new.  They bring forward spirit of innovation.  

These principles, tradition and innovation, bolster our recovery as we integrate them into our lives.  As we embark on the healing of our individual life from addiction, we are the settlers traveling to a new, unknown land.  We feel as though we are leaving our ancient selves behind and sailing for new territory. Some aspects of who we were will always be present, although, those parts of us will express in entirely new ways.  

With this invitation of a new journey, carrying forward the tradition of the past, and allowing it to evolve into a new form, play with one of these practices:

Chakra meditation

The chakras are seven energy centers, root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown, in your body. To explore one, find a seated position and connect to the center of your chest to your heart.  Envision a pulsing green light beginning as a small circumference, the size of your fist.  With each inhalation, imagine a contraction.  With each exhalation, an expansion leading to a greater circumference.  Continue this practice until you have filled the room with a pulsing green light.  


This indigenous practice is the ancient wisdom of the western world pre-settlement.  It can be as simple as allowing yourself to be led to a tree, ideally in bare feet.  Placing a hand on the tree and breathing in cohesion with this life-sustaining member of the natural world.  


This practice also comes from the ancient world and some people engage changes in the ancient languages from these practices.  However, you can also apply this practice to mantras in your own language.  Often, it is ideal to choose a simple mantra that can be matched to inhalation and exhalation.  For example, Thy Will (inhale), My Will (exhale).  


Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

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