Every living thing is the sum of the mind, body, and spirit; three systems working in tandem to improve and maintain health, mood, and quality of life. The medical focus must be given to each of these systems, their interactions, and their health. The mind, body, and spirit affect a client’s overall well-being and receptiveness to treatment. For example, the mental illness of depression can lead to liver disease, a physical ailment, which in turn reduces the quality of life and results in hopelessness, a spiritual issue.1
A failure among medical professionals of past generations is treating the symptom and not the cause. The renewed interest and increasingly mainstream applications of holistic healing for the mind, body, and spirit bode well for future medicine.
The mind, body, and spirit are, by nature, incredibly complex. As such, the definitions above serve as an overview as opposed to complex analysis.
Addiction impacts all aspects of the mind and in multiple, increasingly severe ways. Here’s how addiction can impact the body, mind, and spirit.
Addiction can wreak havoc on the body through ways such as:
Addiction disrupts several brain functions as well, such as causing:
Spirituality is an important factor in healing. Spirituality does not always infer religion but rather a willing introspection of self and personal shortcomings, wants, and events. Spirituality allows a person to understand not only who they are but what they need to be happy. In terms of recovery, spirituality assists in hopefulness, life outlook, and to some degree, a lower emphasis on ego resulting in an understanding of how personal actions affect those around us.2
Holistic healing, a method of healing that views the client as one system, combines mind, body, and spirit to individualize treatment. Some individuals may need more spiritual help than mental or more physical than spiritual. Only by focusing on each faucet of individual recovery can providers discover the most efficient treatment for their clients. 3
Holistic therapy and traditional medicine serve as two sides of the same coin. Where one has shortcomings, the other has benefits. For example, holistic medicine excels in uncovering the root cause of addiction but does little to help with the harsher symptoms of drug use, such as withdrawal or advanced symptoms.
In comparison, traditional methods can soothe side effects, increase healing rate, and some cases, nullify mild symptoms. However, traditional medicine has less of a focus on the disease or illness as a whole and instead centers around treating symptoms, not the causes of addiction. Proper treatment will often be a combination of the two. 4