Today, more and more individuals with arthritis are searching for natural or alternative therapies instead of medications that often have serious side effects.

What are Alternative and Natural Therapies?

Alternative and natural therapies are a wide array of things a person can use instead of taking medications. These can be herbal or all natural therapies to various medication procedures. The various therapies in this article are meant to educate those with arthritis and are not intended for any one person to use without first doing their homework on the product or procedure before administering.

The types

For arthritis sufferers, there are several different types of alternative and natural therapies available. The list of the alternative and natural therapies available today includes:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Ayurveda
  • Apitherapy
  • Joint Manipulation
  • Copper bracelets
  • Hypnosis
  • Magnet therapy
  • Prolotherapy

Here is a breakdown:

Diet

Adding anti-flammatory foods to the diet helps to reduce pain due to reducing inflammation. These foods include vegetables, fruits, oils, fats, and a few spices including turemic and ginger.

Of course, side effects for changing the diet can include weight gain, weight loss, and irritability.

Exercise

Exercise that has been proven to be successful for those with arthritis includes swimming, yoga, walking, and strength exercises. However, according to the type of arthritis a person may have the type of exercise that should be performed can vary.

With exercising, the side effects are normally only sore muscles and tiredness until the person begins to get use to exercising. On the other hand, over exercising can be harmful to any individual.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for centuries for all kinds of illnesses and has been successful in relieving pain from arthritis. The way acupuncture works is that it decreases pain by increasing the chemicals that block pain known as endorphins. Side effects of acupuncture include at the sight of the needle insertion include soreness, tingling, heaviness, and numbness.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been used for years to aid in reducing inflammation as well as pain in the fibrous tissue while increasing mobility. The most common essential oils include:

For pain and stress – juniper, marjoram, and geranium

For anti-inflammatory – coriander, cajeput, lemongrass, lemon verbena, Roman chamomile, pine, niaouli, and lavender.

Muscle relaxant – rosemary

For severe pain – cajeput, clove, and nutmeg

Art therapy

In the book Medical art therapy with children By Cathy A. Malchiodi, the idea of using art therapy with children with rheumatoid arthritis can actually help the child express the location and even the seriousness of the pain, therefore helping the caregiver better understand the child and what areas of the body need attention.

Ayurveda

Ayureda is a holistic approach to caring for ones health which includes such things as a healthy, meditation, lifestyle changes, spiritual practices, ayurvedic herbal supplements, exercise, yoga, and massage.

The first recommendation is to fast. Twice per day, the person should consume a drink of 1 tsp of honey, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 250 ml warm water. Massaging the body with mustard or sesame oil can aid in reducing pain. Light exercise is also recommended along with drinking orange juice and adding Vitamin C supplements to your diet.

Apitherapy

Apitherapy may sound a bit uncomfortable, as this is a therapy that utilizes bee stings. This form of therapy has been used for many years to help with not only the pain associated with arthritis but also offers healing properties for lupus and sclerosis. Reyah Carlson spoke at the North American Beekeepers Conference in Orland recently on the benefits of apitherapy. Bee venom contains forty healing components with one being melittin which was found in a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts in 2009 as an anti-arthritic and an anti-inflammatory agent. Of course, some individuals are allergic to bee venom, which can be a very dangerous therapy for these individuals. For those that do not have any reaction to bee venom, no side effects are noted.

Biofeedback techniques

Biofeedback techniques use equipment that measures bodily functions such as temperature of the skin, heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and tension of the muscles and then teaches the person how to change these occurrences via imagery or relaxation. Since the technique is to help a person learn their own body to correct issues that can bring on pain there are no side effects.

Joint Manipulation

Chiropractors us a hands on therapy known as joint manipulation. These treatments have been successful to relieve pain and other issues associated with the bones, joints, connective tissues, and muscles. Along with joint manipulation, other medications or even topical creams may be recommended to help with pain and inflammation.

Copper bracelets

Copper bracelets are one of those old folk remedies, but it may actually have some beneficial properties. It is thought that the copper is absorbed into the skin, which relieves the pain in the joint. There is

no scientific proof that jewelry of any kind that helps arthritis sufferers, however, taking copper supplements may actually be beneficial for reducing tissue and joint damage. The side effect of using copper in any form is an allergic reaction.

Hypnosis

Research has shown that hypnosis has proven to be an effective tool in reducing emotional distress, fatigue, and pain associated with arthritis. This alternative therapy is also performed to reduce inflammation, swelling, and encourage healing.

Magnet therapy

For those with arthritis, magnet therapy may be an alternative therapy that is believed to increase circulation, which aids in reducing pain and inflammation. Today this form of alternative therapy is used for its healing properties in Korea, China, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, as well as other Eastern European countries.

Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy also known as non-surgical ligament reconstruction is an alternative therapy that uses the injection of solutions to encourage the production of new cells. This type of therapy actually gets to the main core of the problem and is being used to treat a wide array of degenerative problems.