According to the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), more than 30% of Americans—including many with myositis—use health care approaches that have been developed outside of conventional Western medicine. Most people use these alternative or traditional therapies in combination with mainstream methods for a complementary approach.

While many of these methods and products have not been rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness in the same way that drugs are tested, and while others have been found to be ineffective or shown mixed results, many have few risks and significant traditional support to recommend them.

If you are considering incorporating complementary or non-conventional approaches into your treatment regimen, it is important to discuss this with your medical doctor (rheumatologist, neurologist, primary care provider), so they can see the whole picture of what might be influencing your symptoms and recovery. And you should always take your conventional medications as prescribed; never stop or change these medications without first consulting your doctor.

TMA has combed the scientific literature and offers the following suggestions about complementary practices for your consideration. Please keep in mind that many of these ideas are not prescriptive, and some people may find them more valuable than others.

Diet and nutrition

Sun protection

Mind and body practices

Self-care practices 

More complete scientific research information about the usefulness and safety of complementary interventions is available through the NCCIH website.

The Cochrane Collaborative also gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help individuals make informed choices about healthcare treatment decisions.