Holistic Therapies

At Early Break we use holistic (or alternative) therapies to help our young people when making changes to their substance use.  All of the therapies listed below are available to young people who are clients of Early Break and their use is set out in each individuals care plans.


Aromatherapy isn’t just about smelling good and feeling relaxed, although those two things are incredibly important, aromatherapy helps with some of the problems connected with substance misuse. There are many different “essential oils”, each with its own unique properties to help you. The oils are made from pressing different plants and flowers and the therapist will mix different oils for your own unique blend depending on what you want them for. Some oils can calm you down; others can pick you up. Some oils can help you to increase your energy levels; other oils may be able to help you with aches and pains.

The use of essential oils can help to improve both your physical and mental well-being. The oils can be used in different ways. They can be massaged into your skin or put in your bath, meaning that the oil is absorbed into your blood stream, or they can be put on your clothes or pillow and that way enter your blood stream through your respiratory system.

Aromatherapy helps with addressing substance misuse in the following ways.

  • Helping you to relax
  • Boosting your immune system
  • Increasing your energy levels
  • Aiding sleep
  • Calming and soothing your mind
  • Reducing tension
  • Lifting dark moods and reducing feelings of depression

Aromatherapy can be used on its own or combined with the massage therapy by having an aromatherapy massage.

Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture came from China many years ago. Acupuncture uses our bodies own energy ‘Qi’ (pronounced “chee”) by placing small pins on specific points across the body and has been used in the UK with people who are using substances since 1990.  Some people are put off by the sight of pins but we can assure you it is completely safe and relatively painless. At Early Break the acupuncture therapists have been trained in the ‘NADA 5 Point Acupuncture Protocol’.

In acupuncture the ear is seen as a mini-map of the body with over 200 acupuncture points each corresponding to different parts of the body. NADA acupuncture uses 5 points in each ear and has been proven to help people who are making changes to their substance use. Some of the benefits of acupuncture are:

  • Reduced cravings for substances
  • Feeling of relaxation and well-being
  • Reduced withdrawal symptoms
  • Improved sleep pattern
  • Stimulation and strengthening of organ systems especially the kidney, liver and lungs

Each of the points used has its benefits and a combination of points can be used depending on what the young person wants out of the therapy.  The points we focus on are the points that relieve anxiety and stress, improve sleep, and reduce toxins in kidney, liver, blood, lungs, skin and immune system.

Acupressure uses the same points as acupuncture but instead of pins, small silver or gold beads are applied to the surface of the ear by adhesive tape on the acupuncture points. These beads tend to become sticky after 3-4 days and are easily removed by peeling back the adhesive tape.


Electro Stimulation Therapy (EST)

Electro Stimulation Therapy (EST) is a relaxing, non-invasive therapy. It is sometimes called ‘Black Box Treatment’ because the box it is stored in is black! EST is a very safe and simple treatment where small electrical pulses are passed through the body via ear clips, small hand held dumbbells or small rubber pads. These electrical pulses help stimulate the body’s natural production of certain chemicals that can be depleted through the use of substances. The power for the EST box is supplied by batteries not mains electricity.

There are a number of benefits from EST such as:

  • It can lift low moods
  • It helps to combat cravings
  • It helps to reduce stress levels
  • It can help to improve sleep patterns

With EST you feel an increased benefit from receiving the therapy the more often you have it.

Indian Head Massage

Massage helps to reduce stress, anxiety and tension by relaxing both the mind and the body. It can create a sense of well-being, enhanced self-esteem, and ease emotional trauma through relaxation. It also helps to elevate the mood and reduce pain by the release of endorphins. Regular massage may also strengthen the immune system, due to the release of toxins and increase in white blood cells.
Having an Indian Head Massage is a fabulous experience. It is relaxing and calming and helps to restore inner harmony. The therapist massages your head, neck and shoulders and can use aromatherapy oils so that you also get the benefits from them.

Indian Head Massage has been proven to help people who want to make changes to their substance use. Some of the benefits are:

  • General relaxation for tired and stressed muscles
  • Knots and tensions released from the neck, shoulders and upper back
  • Improved circulation
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Improved concentration and alertness
  • Helps relieve tiredness, edginess and feelings of anxiety