Interstitial Lung Disease – Alternative Therapies for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a group of chronic disorders that cause thickening, stiffening and scarring in the airways or other parts of your lungs. This can also impede oxygen delivery to your bloodstream through your lungs.
ILD can manifest in different ways, but some common signs include shortness of breath, coughing and difficulty breathing when engaged in activity or sleeping.
People with ILD typically experience inflammation in their lungs, leading to changes that eventually result in pulmonary fibrosis. The severity of these changes can range from minimal change to serious deterioration in lung function and decreased life expectancy.
There are a variety of alternative and complementary therapies you can try to enhance your condition and quality of life. These may include acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, meditation/mindfulness techniques and chiropractic treatments.
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for relieving the discomfort and pain associated with pulmonary fibrosis by targeting specific areas of the body that are causing discomfort and inflammation. You may use acupuncture to reduce stress, helping you manage your condition better and live your best life possible.
You can learn acupuncture techniques at home or work with a qualified practitioner who will provide the necessary skills to treat your pulmonary fibrosis with this ancient treatment. The practitioner uses fine, hair-like needles to stimulate the body’s natural energy flow, relieving tension and stress while improving overall wellbeing.
Patients with pulmonary fibrosis have several options for massage therapy to choose from. All types of this type of therapy aim to increase circulation to your lungs, which in turn will help deliver more oxygen into your bloodstream. Some massage therapists specialize in treating this condition, so make sure you ask which specific massage is most beneficial for you.
One of the advantages of mindfulness is its ability to help patients focus on their thoughts and feelings without becoming overwhelmed. This can be especially helpful for those living with a long-term illness who are feeling overwhelmed by all of the different challenges they must overcome.
A physical therapist experienced in pulmonary fibrosis can work with you to create an exercise program tailored specifically for your condition. You may start slowly, then gradually increase the intensity of the workouts if desired.
Vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients can support your lungs, cardiovascular system and immune system. Your doctor will discuss with you specific needs and suggest the correct supplements tailored to suit each individual case.
Supplements can also be combined with conventional medicine for improved outcomes. For instance, someone suffering from pulmonary fibrosis may benefit from calcium and magnesium supplements to reduce pain and swelling.
Some individuals with pulmonary fibrosis struggle to get enough oxygen in their bloodstream, so an oxygen concentrator may be necessary. This device dispenses small amounts of oxygen directly into your lungs so it can enter quickly and efficiently into your system.