Mind and body practices include a great variety of procedures or techniques administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher. The amount of research on these approaches varies widely depending on the practice. For example, many studies have been done using acupuncture, yoga, spinal manipulation, and meditation, but there have been fewer studies on some other practices.
TMA is unaware of scientific studies related to the effects of various mind and body practices on myositis specifically, and TMA does not specifically endorse any of these practices. Some TMA members, however, have found one or more of these approaches to be helpful.
Keep in mind that, when trying to decide which complementary approaches to use, most patients find the process to be an ongoing learning experience with lots of trial and error.
- Chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation
- The practices of traditional healers
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Traditional Chinese medicine
Stress reduction and adequate sleep affect more than your mood. Both have been shown to have a significant impact on your physical health, including immune system function. For people who live with myositis, high levels of stress and lack of sleep can cause flares in muscle weakness and pain and in skin symptoms. Limiting stress and getting enough sleep and rest are, therefore, therapeutic. The following approaches can be very beneficial in helping you to control stress levels.
- Massage therapy
- Relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation
- Tai chi and qi gong
- Healing touch and reiki
- Being in nature
A good night’s sleep may be especially challenging for those on prednisone. In addition to the stress-reduction suggestions above, the following are some good sleep hygiene practices that may be helpful.
- Avoid media stimulation an hour before bedtime, including television, computer work or games, and electronic books.
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime, including coffee, caffeinated teas, and chocolate.
- Create a regular bedtime routine, including regular sleep hours.
- Play soothing music or hypnotic recordings to help you fall asleep.
- Have some background white noise in the bedroom.
- Using antihistamines, melatonin, or tryptophan occasionally may be helpful.
- Drink calming herbal teas or warm milk before bedtime.
Laughter yoga – A presentation by Sheralee Beebe at the TMA Annual Patient Conference.
Integrative healthcare and myositis: Connecting the line between East and West – A presentation by Dr. Todd Gegerson at the TMA Annual Patient Conference