- Complementary therapies help you proactively deal with the disease progression of lupus.
- They also help bring down the dosage of certain medicines.
- A therapy that may work wonders for someone might not work well on another person.
Are you on lupus treatment? Do you want to know if there are better options to improve your health? More than 50 percent of lupus patients worldwide try complementary therapies. Complementary therapies are therapies that are followed in addition to routine medicines prescribed by doctors. The seven complementary therapies are:
1. Relaxation techniques
One of the best suited complementary therapies is relaxation techniques. A direct correlation between a sound mind and a sound body is a concept from time immemorial. Mind makeup can heal the body and a healthy body can nurture a healthy mind. When you calm your mind, you de-stress yourself. Stress has a major role to play in pain. When you reduce stress, you also reduce pain, which is one of the symptoms of lupus.
One of the simplest ways to relieve stress is to have a breathing technique.
- Sit straight and try to voluntarily relax.
- Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath into your lungs.
- Then slowly breathe out.
Through this breathing exercise, you make way for more oxygen in your body than you normally do.
Yoga is a form of exercise that works similarly. In addition to soothing your mind, it helps you shed those excess pounds that put pressure on your joints. Professional guidance is of utmost importance.
Remember to train yourself from an expert before you begin any form of complementary or alternative therapies including yoga.
Relax your muscles
Lie down straight on your back. Direct each muscle of your body to de-stress itself, one after another in a head-to-toe fashion. This technique unlocks muscle tension and relieves fatigue seen in people with lupus.
Imagine yourself in your favorite vacation spot. Visualizing yourself in a relaxed ambiance can naturally calm your senses.
Prayer is a type of meditation that calms, relaxes and de-stresses. That’s how it’s been effective.
Aromatherapy is a relaxation therapy that uses natural oils. Calming scents such as peppermint and lavender are used for inhaling, bathing, and massaging. They relax your senses and have been proved beneficial in certain diseases.
Hypnosis is another type of mind intervention wherein the person who is being hypnotized reaches a state of utmost attention or concentration. He is not aware of the surroundings but is not blind to the surroundings either. It’s easier to guide the mind in such state. This therapy has been proven to be beneficial to many diseases including arthritis and fibromyalgia.
3. Cognitive therapy
Cognitive therapy involves teaching patients new thoughts and behavior to tackle long-standing illnesses such as lupus. This type of therapy may require several sessions.
Regular exercise helps. Exercising prevents complications such as heart diseases, being overweight, and bone diseases, which are common in lupus. It also beats fatigue or excessive tiredness by boosting stamina. Exercise can also encourage a sound sleep.
Opt for personalized programs to prevent unwanted effects such as a shoot up in your heart rate.
Mild electromagnetic waves help you heal. Electromagnetic devices are worn over acupressure points for up to 24 hours a day for 4 to 8 weeks. They reduce excessive tiredness that is seen in most lupus patients.
6. Alternative medicine
Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and acupuncture are some of the Eastern medicinal practices that have been used for treating lupus along with allopathy or Western medicine. They treat the body as a single unit and focus on treating the root cause of the problem rather than focusing on the signs and symptoms of the disease.
- Homeopathy - treats various symptoms of lupus such as skin lesions, joint aches, and headaches.
- Ayurveda - treats lupus with a mixture of certain medicines such as Asparagus racemosus, Withania somnifera, and Tinospora cordifolia.
- Acupuncture - involves inserting fine needles into certain areas of the body. It is an ancient Chinese method of treatment where it is believed that life air passes through these channels. By triggering them, the circulation of life air is restored, thereby restoring a person's optimum health.
7. Diet therapy
The following supplements are beneficial to lupus patients:
• fish oil
• flaxseed oil
• vitamin D
• dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
• vitamin A
• herbs such as Uncaria guianensis (cat's claw), Uncaria tomentosa, Astragalus membranaceus (astragalus) and Tripterygium wilfordii (thunder god vine)
It is important to find the right match. Some therapies may not work for you. Take some time to check which therapy is helping you and work on that. Complementary therapies help you proactively deal with the disease progression of lupus. They also help bring down the dosage of certain medicines. However, your doctor’s advice is crucial as supplements have unwanted effects, especially when used in combination with a few medications.
Choosing the Right Therapy
Lupus, as we know, is an inflammatory condition that affects one or more parts of the body. Sometimes, the symptoms grow on you and it turns chronic before you know it. The therapies explained above work in different levels for different people.
Sometimes, if a therapy is coupled with another, it gives optimal results. Likewise, a therapy that may work wonders for someone might not work well on another person. Thus, a constant medical advice is needed before taking any course of action or before pursuing any type of therapy. As lupus is an autoimmune disorder, it could lead to various other conditions during its course. Thus, you must not jump to conclusions with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of your illness.
Consuming the right amount of calories, having smaller frequent meals, and following a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle are important to achieve maximum benefits out of the lot. A healthy way of doing this could be by discussing it with the doctor first and then adhering to a few therapies that work the best for you. You would not know the outcome unless you don’t try a combination of methods, be it cognitive or alternate medicine, or hypnosis or alteration in one's meals, etc. The key lies in moderation. Do not have a blind faith in any therapy. Try and test it and adopt the one that works in your favor, of course with consultation and proper medical advice.