There are many reasons why, as an endometriosis patient, you may be tempted to try complementary or alternative treatments to help you manage your condition. For example, endometriosis can generally not be cured, only managed, even with medical treatment. Sometimes, even women who have undergone surgery to reverse endometriosis-related infertility have experienced re-growth of excess endometrial tissue after some time. If this is the case, you may well ask yourself, why bother with conventional medicine at all?
In Defense Of Conventional Medicine
A couple of points before we move on to the benefits of alternative endometriosis therapies...
Firstly, conventional medicine may not cure endometriosis, but it certainly helps many sufferers to keep their symptoms under control. And, just as conventional medicine doesn't provide a sure-fire cure, neither is there any clinical evidence that alternative medicine does.
Secondly, complementary medicines are called complementary for a reason - they are meant to complement, not replace, your medical treatment. If you are suffering from reduced fertility or severe pain due to endometriosis, you would be ill-advised to ditch the conventional treatment in favor of shiatsu massage or aromatherapy oils - even though you will find people on websites and online forums telling you that that's exactly what you should do.
Our advice: always speak to your doctor about any herbal remedies or alternative treatments you are taking. He or she needs to make sure that they do not interact negatively with any medical treatment you receive now or in the future.
The Argument For An Alternative
Some women find that alternative medicine brings them relief from their endometriosis that they've never had from conventional treatment. No one really knows why or how this happens, or why alternative medicines don't work for everyone. Many women also find these treatments relaxing and spiritually therapeutic - they say that the practitioners of these treatments treat their patients as people, rather than a medical problem in need of solving.
Finding A Practitioner
Believe it or not, your medical doctor may be able to recommend someone. Failing that, your local telephone book, community center and the internet can probably provide you with some names of practitioners in your area. Make sure that you check out someone's credentials and place of work before going to them for treatment. This is particularly important with acupuncture, which involves piercing the skin with fine needles - this must be performed in a hygienic environment.
Herbs And Oils
You can buy herbal remedies and aromatherapy oils for endometriosis at health stores, or, if you don't have a store nearby, you can order online.
The following herbs are supposed to be good for endometriosis: chasteberry, dan quai, milk thistle, Chinese yam, virburnulum opulus.
These aromatherapy oils are thought to have an anti-cramping effect on the muscles: rose, chamomile, lavender, jasmine.
Homeopathy is a holistic approach to medicine, which treats the whole person, not just the illness. A practitioner of this therapy will treat you according to your physical and spiritual needs. This may involve herbs, oils, massage, counseling, dietary changes and mental exercises.