Complementary and alternative medicine can have great effects in helping those dealing with HIV. Acupuncture, herbal treatments and other alternative medicines have found to especially help side effects from medication for HIV, as well as feelings of depression and anxiety someone with HIV may be dealing with.
The National Institutes of Health gave almost $520 million to the complementary and alternative medicine field in 2010. Included in government-sponsored trials were potential HIV therapies such as acupuncture, yoga and Reiki.
Yoga & massage to reduce pain
HIV patients deal with chronic pain, sometimes it can be debilitating. It is easy to turn to painkillers to help the pain, but these can lead to even more problems like dependency. Yoga and massage are natural alternatives that can be used to reduce pain. Massage helps relax the muscles and can help decrease joint and muscle pain. Massage is also a great mental relaxer as well.
Yoga can help improve overall health and peace of mind. Yoga positions and stretches can help mobilize the body and at the same time reduce tension areas.
Foods that can help reduce symptoms
- Eat foods rich in B-vitamins, calcium, iron. Common foods that have high amounts of these vitamins and minerals include almonds, beans, whole grains, spinach and kale.
- Antioxidant-rich food such as blueberries, cherries, bell peppers and squash.
- Take fish oil to help reduce inflammation and promote the immune system.
- Consider probiotics, probiotic supplements help support gastrointestinal and immune health.
- Green tea: has antioxidant and immune-strengthening benefits
- Maitake mushroom: Maitake mushroom also has immune and antiviral effects. Another way to take the mushroom is by an extract, which you can find at a local health store.
Acupuncture is used to help alleviate common symptoms of HIV like fatigue, insomnia and nausea. There are almost no side effects to acupuncture and is completely natural. Acupuncture can also hope pain management and anxiety and stress caused by HIV.