Precautions in Complementary Therapy

Whatever you decide, do not just come off your pain killing medication because you are taking another approach. Control of pain and inflammation is important, and in most cases, non orthodox treatments will work well in conjunction with medical drugs. There may be exceptions, however, as for some homeopathic or herbal remedies, so never embark on these treatments without first consulting your conventional doctor.

You should also tell your homeopath or herbalist what drugs you are taking. Any reputable complementary therapist should be prepared to talk with your doctor if necessary, in fact, a therapist may well recommend that you consult your general practitioner before you start a course of complementary treatment. Be wary of any complementary therapist who talks disparagingly about conventional medicine.

A final question to ask yourself is do I want the complementary therapy to work directly in the arthritis, or to help me cope with the anxiety, depression and stress that seem to come with the condition? Many people who suffer from arthritis become depressed to some degree and it is perhaps inevitable that you will feel bitter at times about having an incurable condition.

It is increasingly being accepted that, with all major diseases, thought processes affect physical processes. Certain alternative regimes such as visualization and meditation will help to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and soothe you so that the pain abates but, helpful as they are, such therapies cannot directly ease the arthritis. By contrast, a strict dietary regime that cuts out all acid forming substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and white sugar, and replaces them with alkaline forming foods such as fresh vegetables and pulses, can have a direct effect on the joints.

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