Have you ever noticed that the word “whole” pops up quite a lot? You might even say it is used a whole lot, right? We use “whole” to describe milk. Whole milk has all of the fat that is naturally part of milk.
We use “whole” to describe food. Whole foods are those that have not been processed and that include things like fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, fish and shellfish, eggs, and the grains known as…well…whole grains—including oats, barley, and brown rice.
We use “whole” in metaphors. “Whole new ballgame” means something that is completely different from what might be expected. “Whole hog” means doing something with great enthusiasm. “Whole enchilada” means everything is included.
Holy cow, that’s a lot of uses of the word “whole.” And here is another: At the Aviary Recovery Center, we are focused on a whole-health approach to care.
Let’s take a look at what that means.
An Expanded Focus Supports Sobriety
When you think of getting treatment for a substance use disorder, there is a good chance that you think of the process as fairly straightforward. You start with detoxification, you continue on through rehabilitation, and if you have chosen a treatment facility like The Aviary, you have access to ongoing support once your time in residential treatment comes to an end. From there, you work to stay sober for the long term.
But just how are you supposed to do that last part? It is a fair question—and it brings the notion of whole health to the fore.
A whole-health approach to treatment recognizes that many strategies and resources are used in combination to support sobriety. Acknowledging this from the start means that learning to employ those strategies and to access resources can be a part of your treatment rather than an afterthought once you are back to your day-to-day life.
What sorts of things are we talking about? We’re glad you asked.
The Various Parts of the Whole-Health Approach
There are a variety of ideas and strategies that come together to form a whole-health approach to supporting your sobriety. For example, a whole-health approach includes life skill building, the development of healthy practices in several areas, and possession of knowledge and insight that will continue to serve you well over time.
Among the many life skills that can be learned and strengthened in support of your sobriety are:
- Effective communication
- Problem solving
- Creative thinking
- Awareness of self and of others
Establishing healthy habits in a range of areas supports your sobriety as well. Those areas include:
- Physical health—including exercise and nutrition
- Mental/emotional health
- Consistent sleep routines
- Spiritual (not necessarily religious) practice
- Supportive relationships
The key information to keep in mind in support of your sobriety includes:
- A substance use disorder is a brain disease that can be treated and effectively managed but not cured
- Due to something called “neuroplasticity,” you can develop new, healthier habits
- Relapses are quite prevalent, but a relapse is not the end of your recovery journey
- You are better served by positive self-talk than by replaying negative storylines on a loop
The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts
Our overall point here is fairly straightforward: Sobriety is more easily regained and maintained when it is treated from a whole-health perspective. Each of the strategies, ideas, and reminders above is good on its own, but taken together, all of these things—and others like them—can work together in powerful and effective ways.
That is why it is so important to choose a treatment center that is committed to this whole-health approach. As we have noted—and as we hope this blog entry indicates—The Aviary Recovery Center is just such a place.
The Aviary Offers a Whole Lotta Help
Sometimes, a person with a substance use disorder puts off getting help. Perhaps they are convinced they are in control of their drug or alcohol use. Maybe they are embarrassed and unwilling to admit to having a problem for fear of damaging their reputation (or self-image). Perhaps they just can’t see how they can interrupt their busy, demanding life long enough to pursue treatment.
While we understand these potential barriers to getting help, we want to be wholly clear here: The time to get treatment for a substance use disorder is always right now. Waiting—for any reason at all—just prolongs your struggles and delays your opportunity to reclaim not only your sobriety but your life as well.
The Aviary Recovery Center, near St. Louis, MO, offers compassionate, evidence-based treatment supported by our staff members’ experience and expertise. In keeping with our commitment to a whole-health approach to addressing substance use disorders, we will create a personalized treatment plan just for you. When you are ready, we are, too—and we will go whole hog when it comes to helping you regain your sobriety.