The Best Alternative Medicine for Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Since fibromyalgia brings many uncomfortable symptoms that touch all areas of the body, it’s no surprise that treatment can be tricky. From pain and tenderness to stiffness and fatigue, you may find that there are simply too many simultaneous symptoms to treat, or perhaps you don’t know which one will pop up next.
While there’s no firm evidence that alternative fibromyalgia medicine is effective enough to replace pain medication, a holistic approach may bring more physical and psychological relief to fibromyalgia sufferers. Certain alternative therapies are safer and will be more useful than others, so be sure to consult with your health care provider before you try any complementary therapies.
Diet, Exercise and Physical Therapies to Ease Symptoms
There are several lifestyle changes and healthy habits that can increase your strength and energy, and they may be able to combat pain and tenderness, too. Although no single method will work for every patient, some popular physical approaches to pain relief include:
- Dietary supplements. Vitamin D, magnesium, and 5-Hydroxytryptophan are the favored supplements for fibromyalgia pain and are often safe and healthy for the body. However, since any supplement can have dangerous side effects when combined with other medication, be wary and work with a doctor who knows a lot about supplements for pain relief.
- Massage. Massage techniques like manual lymph drainage therapy can be used to increase circulation, reduce stiffness and increase your pain threshold. However, even slight pressure can be excruciating when you suffer from fibromyalgia, so any hands-on therapy should be used only when you feel up to it.
- Acupuncture. This traditional Eastern approach to clearing the energy pathways in the body may bring some pain relief. Although no results are guaranteed, there’s also a very low chance of adverse side effects with acupuncture.
- Heat therapy. A moist heating pad on sore points can soothe muscles by encouraging blood flow. Balneotherapy, also known as spa therapy, involves bathing in warm water and can have a similar effect on sore muscles and sleep quality.
- Vibration therapy. A specialized machine sends vibrations throughout the whole body as a form of mild exercise for your muscles. Your muscles will contract and relax as they would during normal exercise but without the physical effects, which means less pain.
Psychological Therapy as Alternative Medicine for Fibromyalgia
Although they can take a bit more time and effort to see results, these mental techniques can bring lasting improvements and help you develop better control over your symptoms when they do manifest:
- Tai chi. Studies have shown that tai chi can have positive effects on sleep, pain, stiffness, and general quality of life. The gentle movement is both meditative and relaxing for the muscles, and it can be practiced as often as you like.
- Biofeedback. The ongoing pain of fibromyalgia can cause you to clench your muscles and store extra tension in your body, which can lead to even more pain. Biofeedback is a physiological exercise in pain control: with the help of a therapist or specialized equipment, you can learn how to interpret and change your body’s physiological response to pain.
- Hypnosis. This technique can help you integrate positive thinking into your daily life, and may actually influence pain sensation in the brain. In any case, positive thoughts can keep your mood high, and bolster your energy and motivation, so you have nothing to lose.
The best alternative medicine for your fibromyalgia will depend on a variety of factors including medical history, current medications, and your personality. Speak openly and often with your team of healthcare professionals to ensure everyone is well-informed about your treatment plan, and you will have a better chance of finding a safe and effective complementary remedy.