Welcome to the tenth day of the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based on given prompts provided by WEGO Health.
Today’s prompt reads:
Alternative Medicine: Write about alternative treatments and regimens and tell us how you feel about them. What do you support? What is crazy? Have you used any?
As my condition is neurological, and the dizziness is looking like it is being caused by a problem between the signals between my brain and eyes, then I am not so sure that alternative medicines would really work in my particular case. I would not say that I think the idea of any alternative therapies however is ridiculous; if a person finds something that works for them and helps them to feel better in a world of chronic pain or illness, whether it be conventional medicine or alternative medicine than I think a person should be free to choose whatever works best for them.
Admittedly, when the anxiety and dizziness first started to become a major problem and an obstacle that impacted on my everyday life, I did try Chinese herbal medicine after someone recommended it to by Mum – sadly it didn’t work for me, but it wouldn’t stop me from trying it again for some other ailment or even recommending it to someone else for them to try – after all, our bodies are different from person to person and one treatment which works for person A, will not however work for person B. I did however find that aromatherapy helped somewhat with the anxiety, and using lavender on a regular basis helped me feel calmer and less nauseous. I have just bought a little wheat bag and have hung it my bed to help send me to sleep, even when the dizziness and pain is stopping me from doing so, and has found that it has been doing the trick!
Last week, I had a flare of my IBS symptoms, with bad cramping in my stomach, and a great friend suggested drinking peppermint tea. I found that it instantly calmed my IBS symptoms, and the cramping instantly eased. So although alternative therapies may not solve the entire set of symptoms caused by my neurological disorder, at least I have found something to help during flares of IBS.
As a lot of you may know that my symptoms such as the pain and trembling in my legs as well as the dizziness and vertigo has started becoming worse of late, and a few people have suggested alternative treatments such as seeing a Chiropractor or perhaps even attempting acupuncture. Although I am not closed off from trying alternative forms of treatment, I think one of the worries of such treatments is the cost. In Wales, receiving prescriptions is free, however alternative treatments are not offered on the NHS, and can be very costly. For example, a friend of mine was spending approximately £90 a week on sessions with a Chiropractor, and perhaps one of the worries is the financial implications on using such treatments especially if they fail to work.
Next year, I am going on a cruise with my parents and am aware that they offer treatments such as acupuncture on board the ship that we are going on; perhaps I will give it a try – after all, isn’t one of the benefits of going on holiday is to try new experiences?
But for now, perhaps I shall stick to my own personal alternative regimens that for most part ease my symptoms, such as wearing a hat when out in my wheelchair. I have found doing this ease the dizziness somewhat; blocking the visual stimuli that can make the dizziness worse, or even trigger an episode of vertigo.
One thing that living with chronic illness has taught me is that whatever helps us live with such debilitating symptoms or even eases them, then we should take full advantage of, however crazy they may appear or even what other people think…
Would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! Have you tried any unconventional or alternative treatments in your quest to feel normal in the chronically ill world? Feel free to post your stories and comments below…