Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Motor Neuron Diseases
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health
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Although there is no cure for motor neuron diseases (MNDs), various treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. In addition to conventional medical treatments for MNDs, alternative and complementary treatments, such as cannabis, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and energy healing, may also be beneficial.
Cannabinoids, the active compounds found in cannabis, may slow disease progression and help relieve symptoms such as pain, loss of appetite, excess saliva production, and muscle spasticity. Cannabis can be smoked, inhaled as a warm mist, ingested orally, or absorbed through a patch placed on the skin.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at various points on the body. Acupuncture may help reduce pain and muscle spasticity.
Massage may reduce pain and spasticity without unwanted medication side effects.
Yoga combines stretching, breathing exercises, and relaxation exercises. Practicing yoga may reduce muscle cramps and improve sleep quality.
- Energy healing
Some individuals with ALS have reported a reduction in symptoms or a slow in disease progression from energy healing. The goal of energy healing is to restore a balance of healthy energy in the body. Energy healing comes in many forms, but it typically involves an alternative medicine practitioner channeling positive energy to the client (usually via touch). However, no clinical trials on the effects of energy healing on motor neuron diseases have been done.
It’s important to note that a medical professional should always be consulted before trying any new alternative or complementary treatment.