Scleroderma and Alternative Therapies

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Symptoms and Treatments
Books on Alternative Therapies

Overview of Scleroderma and Alternative Therapies

Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Scleroderma. Excellent information on herbs, vitamins, acupuncture, massage therapy, and biofeedback. Aetna InteliHealth.

A Positive Approach to Scleroderma by Dr. Andrew Weil. This is a respected source for information on alternative therapies. Dr. Weil.

Mayo Clinic's Top 10 Complementary Therapies Safe and Effective Treatments That Enhance Conventional Medical Care. Their top 10 include acupuncture, guided imagery, hypnosis, massage, meditation, music therapy, spinal manipulation, spirituality, tai chi, and yoga. Amit Sood, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, on BottomLine.

Scleroderma Symptoms and Treatments Look up each of your scleroderma symptoms here to find other ideas for conventional and natural ways to deal with them. ISN.

Warnings about Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Beware of Internet Health Fraud The Internet is chock-full of misleading, misguided and mistaken information on the one hand, and trustworthy, cutting-edge science on the other. How can we decide who and what to believe? These sites offer some practical guidance. ISN.


Acupunture Acupuncture is not without risks. There have been some reports of lung and bladder punctures, some broken needles, and some allergic reactions to needles containing substances other than surgical steel. Acupuncture may be harmful to the fetus in early pregnancy since it may stimulate the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and oxytocin, which affect labor. There is always the possibility of infection from unsterilized needles. And some patients will suffer simply because they avoided a known effective treatment of modern medicine. The Skeptics Dictionary.


Alternative/Complimentary Therapies for Scleroderma.Doctors of Chiropractic medicine (D.C.) manipulate or adjust the spinal column with easy, manual thrusts to move the spinal vertebrae back to their normal positions. A chiropractor will sometimes also manipulate the joints of the neck, arms, and legs. Chiropractors also are concerned with a patient's overall well-being and recognize that many factors affect health, including stress, exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center.


Hypnosis. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although you're more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, your free will remains intact and you don't lose control over your behavior. Mayo Clinic.

Look up each of your symptoms on the main Scleroderma Symptoms page to find many other ideas for natural and conventional treatments.


Massage and Serious Health Conditions. Clinical research has shown that massage therapy has benefits for many serious medical conditions. It alleviates pain and aids in the healing process. American Massage Therapy Association.


Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. MBSR treatment effects on pain, HRQoL and psychological well-being vary as a function of chronic pain condition and compliance with home meditation practice. PubMed, J Psychosom Res, [2010]. (Also see Emotional Adjustment)

Stress Reduction

Stress can play havoc with the immune system, as well as trigger and worsen attacks of Raynaud's. Alternative therapies that help reduce stress, such as biofeedback and yoga, may improve scleroderma symptoms.

Strive for moderation in everything—just enough but not too much exercise, good sleep every night with sufficient rest breaks during the day, and well-balanced, regular meals.

Symptoms and Treatments

Look up each of your symptoms on our main Scleroderma Symptoms page to find many other ideas for natural and conventional treatments.

Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Complementary and alternative therapies might be effective for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases; however, given the low number of trials and the heterogeneous methodological quality of trials, further in-depth research is necessary. PubMed, J Crohns Colitis, 2015 Jan;9(1):86-106. (Also see Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Books: Alternative Medicine

The Arthritis Foundation's Guide to Alternative Therapies Should you try acupuncture? Is there a reliable herbal remedy to help you sleep better? Which alternative remedies are helpful, and which ones are probably bogus? Get help with these tough questions!

Go to Arthritis Treatments
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