There are a lot of people having HIV or AIDS and make use of alternative therapies and medicines along with medical treatments so as to improve their overall health and well-being. In this current post we will talk about some of the alternative therapies to ease symptoms of HIV.
5 Alternative Therapies to Ease Symptoms of HIV:
There are several alternative therapies to ease symptoms of HIV. Some of them are relaxation therapies, physical or body therapies, herbal medicines and supplements. Let us take a look at these therapies.
Meditation, visualization and other relaxation therapies focus on how your mind and imagination can help in promoting your overall health and well-being.
Meditation: Meditation is a specific way of concentrating that might actually allow your mind and your body to become absolutely relaxed. It helps people to focus and remain quiet. There are several forms of meditation; and most of them involve deep breathing and paying attention to your body and your mind. At times people sit still and keep their eyes closed to meditate. Meditation can even be casual. For example, you can even meditate when you are taking your walk or while watching a sunrise.
Meditation could be used by individuals with HIV for relaxation. This helps them to deal with the stress that arrives due to their illness. If you are feeling overwhelmed, meditation can actually help you to calm down and to focus.
Visualization: One more method to feel relaxed and less stressed or anxious, is visualization. Those who use this technique of relaxation, imagine that they are in a pretty safe and relaxing place like the beach. Most of us make use of visualization without even realizing it; for instance, when we remember about a happy time in our lives or when we daydream something good. Focusing on a safe and comfortable place can actually aid you to feel less stress and at times it can also reduce the pain as well as the side effects caused by HIV or HIV medicines that you are taking.
Now, coming to the various physical therapies, these are the therapies like yoga, aromatherapy, and massage that help to ease symptoms of HIV. Such therapies focus on using an individual’s body and senses for promoting healing and overall well-being. Let us know about some of these physical therapies here.
Yoga: Yoga along with massage therapy might help in reducing pain in case of some people. Research has shown that yoga can benefit in improving feelings of overall health and also reduce depression and anxiety.(1) Yoga has even been known to improve levels of CD4 cells, which are the immune cells of the body that are attacked by HIV.
Yoga is a set of exercises that are used for improving people’s fitness, increasing body flexibility, and reducing stress. Yoga can include various breathing exercises, stretching, and strengthening poses, and even meditation. Many individuals, including those with HIV, use yoga for reducing their stress and to become relaxed. Some individuals think that yoga aids in making them healthier in general, and making their body stronger. There are several types of yoga. You can take a professional yoga class and perform the yoga moves under the guidance of an expert. However, it is always important to consult with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture might help in treating nausea and other side effects of HIV treatments. It is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves placing of thin and solid needles into various pressure points on your body. Acupuncture can release chemicals in the body that helps to relieve pain. Many individuals suffering from HIV make use of acupuncture. Some of them think that this physical therapy can help to ease symptoms of HIV and also the side effects like nausea and fatigue, from the HIV medicine. Some individuals say that acupuncture can be used to get you relief from neuropathy or body pain that is caused by nerve damage from the condition of HIV or the medicines that are used for treating HIV. There are some other people that report that acupuncture offers them more energy.
Massage: Massage is another type of physical therapy that is actually an amazing way to deal with the stress and with the side effects that occur with HIV and other illnesses. During massage therapy, a therapist moves and rubs the body tissues of the affected individual. There are several kinds of massage therapy. You can try the massage therapy to reduce back pain, muscle pain, soreness, and headaches. Apart from all these, massage also improves the blood circulation and reduces tension.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy that is based on the idea that some specific smells can actually change the way one feels. The smells used in this aromatherapy come from various plant oils, and they can be either inhaled or be used in massages and baths. People make use of aromatherapy so as to help them deal with fatigue and stress. Just for instance, lavender oil helps to calm you down and makes you sleep better.
NOTE: Keep in mind that the plant oils used in aromatherapy can be really strong and even be harmful. So, it is always essential for you to talk with an expert and your doctor before using these oils.
One more alternative therapy to ease symptoms of HIV could be the use of herbal medicines. Though there is not enough evidence in support of the effectiveness of herbal medicine in relieving symptoms of HIV, however, a brief course of some herbs might support the immunity in case of people with HIV.
Research has shown that Milk thistle, is a herb that can be beneficial in this regards.(2) Milk thistle is a herb that is commonly used by people to improve their liver function. Individuals with HIV should always inform their doctor about any of the herbal medicines or treatments they are taking for HIV. This actually helps the doctor to monitor for any kind of drug interaction or any kind of side effects.
One of the most common symptoms experienced by HIV patients is loss of appetite. There are some antiviral medicines that can upset stomach. Medical marijuana helps in reducing pain, control nausea and also increase appetite. However, medical marijuana is legal in only some states. Moreover, smoking of marijuana is also linked with various other health risks. However, if you are trying to use medical marijuana as an alternative therapy to ease symptoms of HIV then you need to consult with your healthcare provider before using it.
Useful Supplements: Some of the useful supplements that help to ease symptoms of HIV are vitamin D and calcium for improving bone health, vitamin B 12 for improving health of pregnant women, selenium for slowing down the progression of HIV, fish oil for reducing the level of cholesterol, and whey to help with weight gain.
Harmful Supplements: There are also some supplements that might be harmful and cause problems with the effective treatment of HIV. Some of them are garlic supplements that can make specific HIV treatments less effective, St. John’s Wort that too can make HIV treat less effective, Ginseng and Echinacea that are used to improve immune functions can interact with specific medications of HIV.
So, here we talked about some of the best alternative therapies to ease symptoms of HIV. Though there are some alternative therapies to ease symptoms of HIV, it is always important for you to note that you should always talk with your doctor before using any of them for treating your conditions.
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