There are many types of addiction treatment that people practice with the hopes of addressing their disease, easing their suffering, and improving their lives. While some types of addiction treatment, like 12-step programs and cognitive behavioral therapy, are most common, there is no one right way to do it. There are also alternatives to 12 step methods of recovery. Though perhaps the minority, some people find success with other types of addiction treatment, either alone or often in tandem with other more conventional therapies. Here are five alternative types of addiction treatment.
Acupuncture and Auriculotherapy
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that’s meant to correct the flow of life energy (the “qi”) through a person’s body by inserting small needles into the skin. Different acupuncture points in your body are meant to help correct different imbalances. Some people use acupuncture as a way to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Auriculotherapy is acupuncture of the ear, and it is thought to be particularly helpful for those suffering from addiction and alcoholism. Trained acupuncturists can perform these types of treatments. Acupuncture and auriculotherapy are meant to be coupled with mental health counseling and behavior modification.
Biofeedback training is intended to normalize brain wave patterns that are disturbed by drug and alcohol use and addiction. With biofeedback training, a doctor will use painless devices to monitor a person’s brain waves. The information gleaned from an individual’s unique brain wave patterns will help identify areas that need particular attention in addiction treatment. One of the main ideas behind biofeedback training is that if a person can learn to understand physiological responses in their body they can work to change them. Biofeedback training is often used in conjunction with relaxation exercises.
SMART recovery is a leading expert in this field, although smart recovery may not be limited to the label of biofeedback training.
Guided imagery is a form of therapy that aims to help people with addiction problems learn to relax and gradually alter the subconscious feelings that affect their behavior. In sessions, a therapist will lead a patient through a guided imagery script, and this often involves imagining the positivity of a life without drugs or alcohol. It also teaches muscle relaxation and breathing techniques that a person can use to relax themselves and release bodily tension.
Homeopathy is largely rejected by the medical community, but many practitioners believe it can help cure a person of addiction or alcoholism. With homeopathy, extremely diluted versions of a patient’s drug of choice and/or other substances are supposed to help trigger their body’s natural healing abilities. Homeopathic remedies are said to help ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as help heal the negative physical effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Licensed homeopathic doctors create personalized regimens for each patient.
Hypnotherapy is a treatment for addiction that involves a hypnotherapist guiding a patient into a trance-like state, in which they are more mentally susceptible to suggestions that can help learn more positive behaviors. It can also be used as a way to help an individual explore the deep-rooted psychological reasons behind their substance abuse. Hypnotherapy is best used after a person has detoxed. Some therapists also teach patients self-hypnosis methods that are meant to help them overcome cravings they might experience in their daily lives.