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Alternative Therapies to Help Relieve Arthritic symptoms

Studies have shown that some alternative therapies can help you manage arthritis symptoms. So why not keep an open mind? Don’t consider your approach to managing arthritis symptoms complete until you look into alternative therapies. Here are some ideas:

Meditation and Relaxation 
 Meditation and relaxation techniques can help reduce muscle tension and the stress that can accompany arthritis. In one study, RA patients who meditated 45 minutes a day reduced their stress by one-third. 

 Yoga is an exercise that can increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, and promote balance. It's also associated with increased mental energy, positive feelings, and fewer body aches and pains. Yoga can be an effective way to increase physical activity. 

Tai Chi 
 Tai chi is a slow-moving meditative exercise that originated in China. Many people practice tai chi to ease pain and stiffness, improve balance (which can help decrease the risk of falls), and improve overall health and well-being. It involves breathing deeply as you move your body slowly, gently, and with awareness. 

 Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for over 2,000 years. It involves locating specific points in the body to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. It is thought to decrease pain by releasing the body’s natural chemicals that block pain. Acupuncture has been shown in a government study to provide pain relief and improve function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. 

Nutritional Supplements
 Nutritional supplements, when taken correctly, may also be beneficial. However, some of these may interfere with other medicines you are taking, so before you try adding a supplement, talk to your doctor. 

Massage Therapy
 Massage can help increase blood flow and increase warmth to a stressed area, which may help relieve pain
Exercise to help relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Contrary to what many people may think, exercise and staying active is not only good for your health, but it can also help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) announced that people with arthritis who exercise have less pain, more energy, improved sleep, and better day-to-day function.

Staying active also can help you:
Keep your joints flexible
Improve your ability to move

But before you start any exercise program, it's important to talk to your doctor.

Different types of exercises include:
Low impact activities like walking, swimming, water aerobics, or riding a bike are good options. These can put less stress on your joints while they help build endurance and improve cardiovascular health.
Strength Training — Strength-training exercises, like those that use weights or elastic bands for resistance, can build muscle tissue, which, in turn, helps support and protect the body's joints.
Together, range-of-motion and stretching exercises can help relieve stiffness and increase joint mobility. They can also help relieve stress. Moving your joints through their normal range of motion can help keep them flexible, so you can go about your daily routine more comfortably.

Besides helping to ease arthritis symptoms, exercise can also:
Improve your mood
Strengthen your heart
Improve blood flow
Help you lose weight
The importance of rest and sleep.

Any exercise regimen should include rest. Your body sends signals that tell you when to slow down or stop. It's important to learn how to recognize the signs of overexertion, which can include:
Lack of energy
Muscle weakness

Getting proper sleep is also an important part of managing arthritis symptoms. If you find that joint pain is interfering with your ability to rest or sleep, talk to your doctor.
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