Living with a cruel disease like lupus can often involve treatment methods that do not provide complete relief of symptoms caused by the disease. This can sometimes lead to anger, frustration, and anguish among people living with the disease. Maintaining a healthy and thriving lifestyle can be a lot of work when living with lupus, and often people find themselves looking for other ways to help relieve symptoms. Alternative medicines, which are medical treatments that are not regarded as orthodox by people in the medical profession, can help people with lupus manage their disease. Some alternative medicine and therapies are acupuncture, herbal supplements, massage, hydrotherapy, yoga and meditation. In the following paragraphs we will discuss each of these alternative forms of treatment and talk about their benefits to someone who is living with lupus. Remember, it is important to discuss these treatments with your doctor before trying any of them!
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Hydrotherapy: Uses water to revitalize, maintain, and restore health in individuals. Treatments include saunas, steambaths, footbaths, and application of cold and hot water compress.
External Hydrotherapy: This type of hydrotherapy involves immersing someone in water or is the application of hot or cold water to the body. Hot water hydrotherapy can be beneficial to lupus patients because it relaxes the muscles and causes sweating. This is used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, poor circulation, and sore muscles.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy has many benefits that are not limited to but include: loosening tight muscles, encouraging relaxation, hydrating skin cells, boosting the immune system, helping with stomach problems, headaches, joint and muscle pain, nerve problems, and stress.
Yoga: Many of you have probably heard about exercising by using yoga, and it’s plethora of benefits to the human body. Yoga is the spiritual, mental and physical practice that aims to help rejuvenate the body and steer it away from negativity. Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and exercise to improve a persons overall health.
Benefits of Yoga: Yoga can help the body cope with lupus in many ways. It can provide physical and emotional stability, as well as help to relieve stress. It also can help with pain relief by relieving tights muscles and sore joints.
Click here to read about one woman’s personal battle with lupus and how she used yoga to help relieve symptoms.
Meditation: Meditation is used in yoga, but can also be a helpful practice to relieve lupus related stress on its own. Meditation helps to train the mind to have positive thoughts and leave negativity on the side. It has a calming and peaceful affect. There are many types of meditation including:
Guided Meditation: Imagining mental images of places or situations that you find relaxing.
Mantra Meditation: Process of silently repeating a thought, word or phrase to prevent distracting and stressful thoughts.
Benefits of Meditation: Meditation can help many people who are stressed by the effects of an illness. It can help one to gain new perspectives on a stressful situation, and also can help to build skills to manage stress.
Massage: Massage therapy can be beneficial in many ways. Technically it is the pressing, rubbing, or manipulation of skin, tendons and ligaments.
Benefits of massage therapy: Massage therapy has many benefits including but not limited to: reliving stress, joint and muscle pain. It helps with maintenance of chronic pain as well as tissue inflammation on skin. It also can help increase mobility due to how it helps muscles and joints.
Acupuncture: Accupunture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine that stimulates certain points of the skin using thin needles. Chinese Medicine explains accupunture as a technique that is used to “balance flow of energy or life force.” The process of accupunture may seem scary, but rarely causes any pain. During the process, thin needles will be inserted into skin and manipulated by twirling. Mostly, the needles are kept in place for at least 20 minutes, while you are instructed to relax.
Benefits: Acupuncture has many benefits, including some that can be helpful towards patients with lupus. Acupuncture can help people with chronic pain such as muscle and joint aches. It also helps sooth stomach indigestion and helps migraines.
Herbal Supplements: Many people use herbal supplements and find them helpful to rid themselves of certain annoying things that pop up during their lifetime. Some herbs can be helpful, but be mindful that some can actually be harmful to you. It is important to make sure that you check with your doctor before taking a herbal supplement, as some may interact with your medications or be unhealthy for you. Below are some herbal supplements that may help with lupus symptoms.
Thundergood Vine: This Chinese herb may help ease pain that comes with arthritis and also may help soothe the immune system.
Green Tea: Green tea can help with many issues, but for people with lupus, the ingredient polyphenol may be beneficial. It is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body.
Turmeric: The chemical curcumin is ground from the turmeric shrub and may help to lessen inflammation.
In the paragraphs above, only a few alternative medicine techniques have been discussed. There are many types of alternative medicines out there, but it is important to make sure you research the type thoroughly before trying it. Also, remember to check with your doctor before trying anything new!