Why Is “Create Your Own Path” Treatment So Effective?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Nutrition March 20, 2024

Why Is “Create Your Own Path” Treatment So Effective?

The Buddha famously said, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way and not starting.” This embodies what it takes to have a successful recovery. One of the hardest parts of recovery is taking the first step and starting the journey, and the other difficult part is keeping that journey going. Notice that both of these difficult tasks must ultimately come down to the individual. Yes, recovery is a We program, but it is the individual who must decide to take and continue the journey of recovery. This is also what makes a “create your own path” concept of treatment so effective.

What Does Individualized Addiction and Mental Health Care Look Like?

The Buddha also famously said, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can, and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Of course, in recovery, this does not mean that we don’t utilize the help of others. It just means that the choice to recover must always be up to the individual. As is often said in recovery circles, “No one can get anyone else sober; they must want to do it for themselves.”

This is also part of what makes individualized mental health and addiction treatment so effective. It leaves a lot of decisions up to the individual, which gives them essential autonomy and authority in their own recovery. 

Individualized addiction and/or mental health care is going to look very comprehensive and goal-oriented. An individual is going to make a decision early on as to what the goals of their recovery are going to be. Then, a recovery plan that utilizes many means, methods, and modalities will be created to accomplish those goals. An individualized recovery plan is also going to look very collaborative, as the individual is going to have a lot of say in the direction their recovery plan is going to go.

Why Is Individualized Treatment So Effective?

Individualized treatment can be particularly effective because it allows the individual to have the final say in what is working and what isn’t working in their recovery plan. It is also effective because it allows the individual to decide the pace and how they are going to recover.

Some recovery plans only focus on one type of treatment. This can leave many individuals either lacking the type of attention they need or falling behind in their recovery process. It is also very important to have a quality experience while in treatment because, if not, there is a very real chance of relapse.

Many people don’t realize just how prevalent relapse is in the U.S. According to the peer-reviewed journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.” Also, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.” This is emblematic of why individualized addiction and/or mental health care is so important. The same can be said about comprehensive treatment.

Why Is Comprehensive Treatment So Effective?

There is a lot of basic logic in why comprehensive treatment is so effective. Comprehensive treatment offers multiple ways for an individual to recover. It simply makes more sense to have more options at one’s disposal for recovery. 

For example, psychotherapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be working very well for someone’s recovery. However, it may work much better if it is supplemented with experiential therapy like nature immersion therapy and a holistic tool like yoga.

Then, in another scenario, CBT may not be working well for an individual. In that case, it is good to have a comprehensive recovery plan with other options that can supplant it, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, or interpersonal therapy (just to name a few). Having all of these options is also part of what makes the “create your own path” type of treatment so effective.

Why Is “Create Your Own Path” Treatment So Effective?

Creating one’s own path in recovery is a great way to ensure that one will stay on track and see their recovery to the end. It is also very helpful in allowing the individual a chance to visualize a successful long-term recovery outcome.

Creating one’s own path to treatment is so effective because it also helps the specialists and professionals understand where the individual is at at the beginning of their recovery journey. Many recovery centers don’t take into account the specific needs of the client upon intake into their program. With a “create your own path” program, this is not possible because the client discloses their specific needs right away. It gives the client a “voice” right from the beginning.

The Buddha also said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” A “create your own path” treatment plan reminds the individual that victory in recovery will ultimately belong to them (though everyone around them will also certainly benefit from it). Also, a “create your own path” treatment plan is an exceptional way to ensure that one recovers at the cellular level.

What Does It Mean to Heal at the Cellular Level?

Healing at the cellular level is all about healing the whole mind, body, and soul. It is about the interconnectedness of one’s entire “self,” the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. If one component does not heal, then the others will not effectively and completely heal either.

Healing at the cellular level is also about healing the root/core causes of one’s problem. This is usually the “issue under the issue.” For example, “What is causing the anxiety?” or “What is causing the addictive behaviors?” This is why many people in the recovery sphere often say, “Alcohol and substances are but a symptom of something else that is going on.” Very often, this “something” that is going on has to do with some type of past trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is much more common than many people may know.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.” Also, “About 5 out of every 100 adults (or 5%) in the U.S. has PTSD in any given year. In 2020, about 13 million Americans had PTSD.” Addressing issues like these is essential for healing at the cellular level. 

The good news is that there are many effective treatments that can do just that. These are treatment modalities like nutritional therapy, horticulture therapy, yoga, surf therapy, and nature immersion therapy.

Create Your Own Path: Nature Immersion Therapy

Nature immersion therapy is very similar to what its moniker describes; it is about immersing oneself in nature for the betterment of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Of course, it is more than just taking a walk outside. It is also about working with trained professionals to discuss what emotions these nature experiences brought up and what they may mean for one’s recovery. 

Nature immersion therapy also offers an extensive amount of benefits. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, wellbeing and liveliness.” Also, “Besides improvements to physical and psychological well-being, exposure to natural environments has been shown to bring about positive impacts on cognitive functioning… While cognitive restoration and physiological well-being are the prominent and renowned benefits of nature exposure, there is one important construct that is often overlooked in environmental psychology research studies – that is, the human-nature relationship; also known as connectedness to nature (CN).”

This “connectedness to nature” (CN) is also something that can be very special on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. There are numerous magnificent landmarks and landscapes that one can connect with, such as amazing waterfalls like the Akaka and Rainbow Falls, beautiful beaches like Carlsmith and Spencer Beach, and stunning overlooks like Laupahoehoe Point. Yes, there is even a live volcano that one can engage in awe of the Kilauea Volcano. The Hamkua Coast is also directly connected to the healing waters of the Pacific Ocean, which is perfect for surf therapy.

Create Your Own Path: Surf Therapy

Many people who create their own path to recovery choose to do things that they never thought they would ever do. For many, on Hawaii’s Big Island, this includes surf therapy. This is especially true at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab because a mere 15-minute journey from our luxury 30-acre property sits one of the premier surf breaks on the Hamakua Coast, Honoli’i. Here, clients can catch amazing waves while also meditating between breaks (as beautiful green sea turtles swim below).

Being a physical activity, surf therapy offers some of the same benefits as other exercise regimens. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Sport and exercise are known to be long-term beneficial to physical and mental health and the overall well-being of both individuals and society as a whole. During physical activity, hormones are released, and other physiological processes occur, leading to an overall improvement in mental health, and improving sleep quality. Regular physical activity in the natural environment can bring even greater benefits, such as reducing anger, depression, and stress, and contributing to wellbeing.”

However, surf therapy also offers some very specific benefits. According to the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychology, “A growing body of evidence worldwide has validated the use of surfing as a therapeutic mediator to achieve positive change such as increased well-being. Surf therapy is defined by the International Surf Therapy Organisation (International Surf Therapy Organization, 2019) as an intervention that combines surf instruction, surfing, and structured individual and/or group activities to promote physical, psychosocial, and psychological well-being. In addition to physical exercise, surf therapy interventions typically include individual mentoring, social skills development, psychoeducation, and group discussions focused on increasing resilience and personal growth.”

Create Your Own Path: Horticulture Therapy

Another type of therapy that many people choose as they “create their own path” at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab is horticulture therapy. This is because Exclusive Hawaii Reahb’s lush 30-acre property is lined with amazing citrus, coconut, and fruit trees, pineapple patches, guava bushes, and bursting vegetable boxes. All of these are ready for clients to get their hands dirty, connect with nature, and continue the process of healing at the cellular level.

Many people don’t realize just how beneficial horticulture therapy can be. According to the 2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “People’s interactions with plants, through goal-orientated horticultural activities in the form of active gardening, as well as the passive appreciation of nature, could be therapeutic to people with mental disorders in many ways. First, horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment. Second, it could help people to reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability.” These are also benefits that have been found in practicing yoga.

Create Your Own Path: Yoga

A big part of yoga is learning how to better control one’s thoughts and emotions. The Buddha said, “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind, he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

Yoga has been practiced over 3,000 years. Originally, it began as a solely religious or spiritual practice in search of enlightenment. However, it has now moved into many other realms, including the realm of recovery. 

While, of course, “enlightenment” is not a guaranteed benefit of yoga, yoga does offer many other exceptional benefits. According to the International Journal of Yoga (IJOY), “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions. Yoga therapy involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional, and spiritual pain, suffering, or limitations. Yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.”

As one can see, a combination of therapies and tools like nature immersion therapy, surf therapy, horticulture therapy, and yoga can be a great path toward recovery from mental illness and/or addiction. Of course, many other options can also be used, like CBT, DBT, nutritional therapy, infusion therapy, acupuncture, and meditation (just to name a few). The key is to keep “creating a path” until the right one is fully forged.

Creating Your Own Path to Recovery With Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

The Buddha also wisely said, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” This is what recovery at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab is all about: helping clients rediscover their love for themselves and the world around them.

Remember, recovery is about the journey, never the destination. Creating the path for that journey is a great way to ensure that it will be a great ride along the way.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe in a “create your own path” approach to treatment and recovery. We believe that giving clients choices and autonomy in their recovery is essential for getting to the root/core causes of mental health and addiction issues and for healing at the cellular level. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of mental illness, addiction, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the positive path to a healthy, successful recovery. For more information about the importance of individualized and comprehensive mental health and addiction care and why the multi-angled approach to recovery can be so effective, reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.