LOOKING AT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE WITH WESTERN AND EASTERN MEDICINE

March 21, 2018

Living with an autoimmune disease can be very difficult. According to ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy), 1.15 million Australians suffer from autoimmune disorders and diseases, with women making up over 60% of the afflicted. In fact, autoimmune disease is among the top 10 leading causes of death amongst females in all age groups in first world countries.

Western Medicine 

In western medicine, the most common treatments for autoimmune disease include steroids and daily medications to combat inflammation and other symptoms. In some cases blood transfusions and chemotherapy may be recommended.

It is widely noted in western and eastern medicine that autoimmune diseases respond harshly to stress. Amongst common recommendations from both schools of thought are those of stress management, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Despite having some common recommendations for autoimmune disease treatment, traditional Chinese medicine takes on an entirely different strategy when it comes to disease management. Treatments include acupuncture and acupressure, which are meant to target the affected areas of the body and stimulate natural healing. Massage is also recommended, which can be focused on the affected area but is also great as a full body treatment to promote whole body circulation and stress relief. Soaking in a tub or spending time in water is also recommended as the body naturally relaxes as it floats, deafening the senses and calming the neurons in the joints. 

Working Together for a Common Goal

A great way to help the management of autoimmune disease is to combine both western and traditional Chinese medicine. While it is recommended that you follow your regular doctor’s recommendations and prescribed medication regiment, that doesn’t mean you can’t pair your treatment with a weekly massage and regular acupuncture appointment.

If you are struggling with stress, consider working 10 minutes of deep breathing exercises or meditation into your morning and evening routine. In the evening you can pair this time with a hot cup of your favorite bedtime herbal tea (Chamomile is great for these relaxing times).

Try holding to a cup of steaming tea and breathing in the steam. Sit quietly, enjoying the warmth of your tea and the way the steam helps you open your lungs. Enjoy the peacefulness of this moment and let go of the day’s stress and worries. Doing this regularly will help you get better sleep which is proven to help your body heal itself. You’ll wake up feeling stronger and more equipped to take on the new day. 

Don’t be a victim of autoimmune disease, instead, be a survivor. We hope you consider these helpful tips and take control of your health today. 

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