Joint pain can make it hard to do anything. If your current treatment plan isn’t doing enough to manage that pain, it’s important to consider all the available alternatives. Below you can learn about three of the most common alternative arthritis treatments, how effective they are, and what researchers have to say about their use as medicine. As always, be sure to consult your doctor before trying any alternative treatments for arthritis.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy that has been prescribed to help cure everything from warts to the common cold. Despite its folksy origin, when it comes to alleviating arthritis pain, apple cider vinegar has proven to be an effective alternative treatment.
The reason why apple cider vinegar can be effective at alleviating arthritis pain is disputed in the medical community. Proponents of apple cider vinegar and all-natural health blogs have widely asserted that apple cider vinegar works because it alters the body’s pH balance, dissolves harmful crystallization in the joints, and provides important nutrients for joint health. But Professor Robert Moots, a rheumatologist at Liverpool’s University Hospital, has soundly discredited these widely-asserted statements as unfounded.
Regardless of the reason why it works, many people who try apple cider vinegar report feeling pain relief. If you’re interested in trying it, there are dozens of different ways to do it at home. For example, you can mix one cup with five cups warm water, and soak your joints in the mixture. You can mix it with olive oil and apply it directly to the skin. You can even drink two tablespoons with a glass of water or juice.
Reiki is based on the belief in a healing energy that flows through a person. A Reiki practitioner attempts to inspire vitality and healing in the body of their patient by redistributing the body’s energy. A typical Reiki healing session will last between an hour and ninety minutes. The patient sits or lays in a comfortable position, during which time the Reiki practitioner positions their hands over specific points on the patient’s body, attempting to infuse those places with energy.
Very little research has been done on the effect of Reiki for arthritis. Some people who suffer from chronic arthritis pain report that their pain was reduced with Reiki healing, but its efficacy at treating joint pain is yet to be proven by a rigorous scientific study. However, it is a risk-free procedure, and some people do report results. If you would like to explore every avenue for treatment, there’s little harm in trying Reiki healing.
Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese belief that people possess a type of energy called chi, which has an integral relationship to our wellbeing. In this system of belief, imbalanced chi is the source of illness. During a typical acupuncture session, the patient rests on a table while needles are inserted into the skin for around 40 minutes, distributed across the body to help balance the chi.
Unlike Reiki healing, acupuncture has been researched extensively, and it has proven to be an effective treatment for many types of chronic pain. Some researchers believe the reason why acupuncture for arthritis works is because of our expectations and belief. That may mean that the health benefits of acupuncture are the result of the placebo effect. Regardless of the reason why it works, research has shown that acupuncture does work for many people. The World Health Organization recognizes about three dozen medical problems that can be relieved with acupuncture, including arthritis.
Like with Reiki and apple cider vinegar, acupuncture is widely considered to be safe. Many insurance companies will cover acupuncture sessions, and your doctor might be able to recommend an acupuncturist with all the appropriate licensing and qualifications.
Have you tried any of these alternative treatments for arthritis? Let us know about your experiences with them in the comments below.