UNITED STATES—Many people question the effectiveness of alternative medicine, but it is often used in the treatment of cerebral palsy. For individuals with cerebral palsy, undergoing therapy is vital in managing symptoms and improving overall mobility, and alternative medicine may be a part of their treatment.
Many types of alternative medicine practices have been used for centuries, and cerebral palsy sufferers may rely on them to reduce or control their symptoms. So, should you incorporate alternative medicine to treat cerebral palsy? If the type of cerebral palsy you have responds well to these therapies, you may find them incredibly helpful. Click here to read more about the 4 types of cerebral palsy.
Types of Alternative Therapies for Cerebral Palsy Patients
If you haven’t tried any of the following alternative treatments for cerebral palsy, you may want to consider giving them a try.
Cerebral palsy is characterized by joint inflammation, back pain, muscle weakness, and neck pain. To help relieve that pain, cerebral palsy patients incorporate acupuncture into their routine. Basically, acupuncture helps to improve functioning and muscle hypertonicity. This form of treatment has been used for thousands of years to treat numerous diseases. You have to undergo the process two to three times a week for about ten sessions to benefit from it fully.
For cerebral palsy treatment, the acupuncturist inserts needles into some body regions like the scalp, arms, legs, fingers, and feet.
For severe cerebral palsy or any mobility limitations, aquatic therapy comes in handy. Water-based treatments are fun and less invasive forms of exercise. Some of the activities involved in this type of therapy include length swimming, stride jumps, shallow water tuck jumps, jumping jacks, and wall and sit kicks.
Hippotherapy works to improve muscle tone and mobility, where the patient is required to ride on horseback. As the horse makes the movements, it creates certain patterns, which the horse rider mimics in order to stay mounted on the horse. Consequently, the muscles, joints, and bones of the patient become correctly aligned. Doing several sessions could help improve overall mobility.
This therapy can improve muscle strength in cerebral palsy patients. The commonly used type of stimulation is neuromuscular electrical stimulation, where high-intensity electrical impulses are directed to the muscles, leading to muscle contractions. However, this type of therapy is meant to be for a short duration. A different kind of stimulation is the threshold electrical stimulation that uses a lower intensity stimulus, but it doesn’t cause muscle contraction. Threshold electrical stimulation is performed when the patient is asleep.
Today, you can find multiple yoga facilities around the world for cerebral palsy patients. Exercise and meditation are said to help with alleviating all symptoms of cerebral palsy. Some of the healthy benefits of yoga include:
- Improved body awareness, flexibility, and strength
- Improved concentration by incorporating unique breathing exercises to reduce hyperactivity and encourage relaxation
- Enhanced development through the use of gentle and therapeutic exercises
This form of treatment includes using mind techniques to improve physical function and promote proper health. The mind-body intervention approach has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for many years. Additionally, this method includes guided imagery, hypnotherapy, meditation, progressive relaxation, tai chi, and deep breathing exercises.
Using Alternative Medicine to Treat Cerebral Palsy
It can be frustrating to undergo extensive, exhaustive, and costly cerebral palsy therapy. Even worse, you can go through all those treatments, yet your body doesn’t fully recover. Luckily, alternative therapies are available. Many cerebral palsy patients have found alternative therapy to help with the pain.
If your child has cerebral palsy, it’s essential for the parent to talk to their child’s doctor to incorporate alternative medicine into their routine. Plus, it’s advised you seek professional options first before starting an alternative form of treatment.