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Everyone has a unique recovery journey during treatment for substance use disorder (SUD). Some people find cultural traditions comforting and effective for healing from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. According to Heart Views, “Complementary and traditional systems of healing are widely used in the general population.” Eastern medicines, Indigenous rituals, and other forms of traditional healing are often incorporated into personalized treatment plans. West Coast Recovery Centers offers culturally sensitive treatment options to clients recovering from substance abuse. 

Complementary Traditional Healing Techniques

Traditional healing takes many forms, from herbal remedies to ancient meditative practices. People recovering from substance abuse benefit from engaging in treatments and activities relevant to their cultural beliefs and heritage. All people in recovery can be shit from participating in complementary therapy and holistic treatment services. Eastern medicine is one of the most commonly used alternative holistic therapies. However, in recent decades, other traditional techniques have begun to become more mainstream in addiction recovery programs. 

Traditional Eastern Medicine

Eastern medicines can provide comfort and familiarity to some people in recovery. Herbal medicines and alternative therapies offer people in recovery an alternative to traditional talk therapy and medications. 

Some of the complementary treatment options people use to improve mental health include: 

  • Yoga
  • Meditation 
  • Acupuncture 

Research has shown these alternative holistic therapies reduce stress and improve the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for some clients. Holistic therapies, including acupuncture, provide additional therapeutic support for people in recovery. According to Chinese Medicine, “Acupuncture has been used to treat addiction for three decades l. For example, auricular acupuncture (AA) is effective in treating alcohol and drug abuse in both Europe and the United States.” West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to try holistic methods to reduce stress during early recovery. 

Red Road Curriculum

West Coast Recovery Centers uses the Red Road curriculum to help guide individuals in treatment through the recovery process. “Walking the Red Road” is an approach to healing that commits people to actively practicing the following Seven Sacred Virtues of the Lakota:

#1. Wóčhekiya – Prayer
#2. Wičákha – Honesty
#3. Wahwala – Humility
#4. Waúnšila – Compassion
#5. Waóhola – Respect
#6. Wawokiye – Generosity
#7. Wóksape – Wisdom

West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to “Study these values, practice them, learn the sacred ceremonial songs, participate in sweat lodge ceremony and be genuine and diligent in honoring these ways.” Indigenous clients and individuals interested in following these seven principles benefit from participating in the Red Road curriculum at West Coast Recovery Centers. 

The Benefits of Traditional Healing in Recovery

Traditional healing methods reduce stress and help people connect with their cultural identity. Many people in treatment feel isolated. Most traditional forms of therapy require interaction between the client and clinician or peers, reducing loneliness and self-isolating behaviors. According to Substance Abuse and Misuse, “[P]articipation in spiritual and traditional events lends itself to a dynamic treatment experience for clients.” In addition, “[S]piritual events teach clients practical coping skills for overcoming addiction in a way that is culturally relevant and appropriate.”

Some of the benefits of using traditional healing methods during recovery from substance abuse include:

  • Creates a cultural connection to treatment 
  • Fosters a sense of identity 
  • Encourages personal growth 
  • Increases self-awareness 
  • Strengthens the mind-body connection
  • Provides spiritual support and renewal 

Traditional healing provides community support and a space for people to connect with cultural, spiritual, and personal beliefs. Rituals and ceremonies can be used alongside traditional addiction recovery treatments, including psychotherapy, to provide a more holistic approach to care. 

Traditional Healing at West Coast Recovery Centers

West Coast Recovery Centers uses the Red Road curriculum and other traditional forms of therapy to help clients focus on changing how they view themselves and recovery. The treatment programs are culturally sensitive and accommodating of traditional forms of healing. Clinicians use comprehensive assessments to determine the best approach to treatment for each client, including any culturally significant factors impacting their recovery. 

Embracing Cultural Diversity in Recovery

Some, but not all, traditional medicines are based on spiritual beliefs and practices. According to the Journal of Religion and Health, “[T]here is an increasing recognition in modern Western medicine of the importance of patient spirituality in treatment and healing.” The clinical team provides clients with the resources and information to incorporate traditional healing and spirituality into their care plan.

Some ways clients embrace cultural diversity during treatment and long-term recovery include:

  • Attending cultural gatherings within the sober community
  • Participating in cultural events and activities 
  • Attending culturally sensitive support groups
  • Showing respect for the cultures of others

The care team at West Coast Recovery Centers embraces cultural diversity and encourages clients to use whatever holistic therapies make them feel most comfortable during treatment. Many forms of traditional healing include family or community involvement. The care team can help clients connect with loved ones or other members of their support system who support alternative forms of healing. Cultural diversity in treatment creates a vibrant, sober community, allowing clients to pursue many different paths to recovery from substance abuse. 

Traditional methods of healing have been used to treat mental health disorders for thousands of years. Addiction recovery programs use cultural beliefs and traditional healing to help some clients feel more comfortable during the treatment process. Everyone has a different view of treatment and recovery. Some clients benefit from participating in healing rituals and other traditions used by their ancestors. However, alternative and traditional therapies are available to anyone who chooses to take part in them. West Coast Recovery Centers offers complementary services, including Indigenous values and Eastern medicine. Clients are encouraged to use whatever holistic therapies help them engage more fully in treatment. To learn more about our programs and services, call us at (760) 492-6509.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
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