Submitted by the Endometriosis Foundation of America
The painful symptoms of endometriosis can be debilitating. Luckily, if properly diagnosed, the disease is treatable. In addition to conventional treatments, alternative therapies such as diet and nutrition, acupuncture and other complementary treatments can help manage the symptoms of endometriosis.
Alternative therapies include many different methods. Some of the most popular therapies reported by the endometriosis community include herbal medicines, acupuncture and various kinds of massage, exercise, biofeedback therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Below are some of the most commonly practiced alternative therapies to help treat endometriosis.
Diet & Nutrition
Eating a healthful diet of low refined carbohydrates and limiting caffeine, sugar, preservatives, additives, red meats and processed foods has been shown to be helpful in several patients. Dietary measures can be adopted as needed to suit a young woman’s active social lifestyle to make the restrictions manageable.
Anecdotally, there is evidence that certain diets promoting anti-inflammatory, healing properties can promote hormonal balance and reduce symptoms. The dietary approach can also address the Candida (yeast) and food allergy concerns that many women with endometriosis experience. While no single diet or food approach will work for all women and girls with the disease, it is a non-invasive means of improving overall health.
This ancient practice involves the insertion of thin needles at various points in the skin. This is said to bring relief by restoring the balance and “energy flow” of our bodies. Some researchers believe that acupuncture also releases endorphins, a natural painkiller produced by the body.
Because exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, it is a demonstrated stress reliever, pain reducer and depression fighter.
This healing method is not a singular therapy, but rather includes combinations of fasting, vitamin and mineral therapy, color therapy, colonics, hydrotherapy, herbs, breathing exercises, physical exercise, massage, joint manipulation and acupuncture, among others.
This treatment employs essential oils extracted from plants. Some oils have been found to have anti-viral, anti-fungal and even anti-bacterial properties. Effective oils for endometriosis include sage, cypress, fennel, bergamot and geranium.
Pain may be relieved by correcting structural problems through the manipulation of muscles, ligaments and bones.
This differs from osteopathic treatment in that chiropractors believe pain can be relieved by correcting dislocations (subluxations) in the musculoskeletal system alone. Areas concentrated on include primarily the lumbar spine and the thoracic spine area, which also has beneficial effects on the immune system, long thought to be involved in the basis of endometriosis.
Trained herbalists believe this treatment works because of the impact selected remedies have on excess levels of estrogen, suggested to be linked to the flare of endometriosis pain. Herbs said to be helpful in relieving endometriosis include blue cohosh, cranberry, plantain, St. John's wort, peppermint, valerian, dong quai, false unicorn, evening primrose oil, chasteberry/vitex, black cohosh, uva ursi, couchgrass, red raspberry, yam, and white willow.
Consult a licensed professional as to dosing, regimens and other information on any therapy or treatment you may try.