If you deal with psoriasis, you know how frustrating it can be to find relief. The good news is that there are natural options available that may help manage your symptoms and improve your overall health and well-being.
Naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine that provides a holistic approach to finding and treating the root cause of an illness or disease rather than just treating its symptoms. It promotes wellness and treats illness through natural methods such as diet, exercise, and stress management.
You can rest easy knowing that naturopathic physicians are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges. They may collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
Naturopaths focus on identifying the underlying causes of health issues and can provide you with an individualized treatment plan. They’ll look at potential triggers such as food sensitivities, stress, or other lifestyle factors to address the root cause of symptoms and help you reduce the risk of psoriasis flare-ups. This can allow you to better manage your psoriasis over time without having to resort to medications or stronger treatments.
Here are a few ways that naturopathic intervention can help your psoriasis:
When it comes to treating a condition like psoriasis, it can be helpful to start from the inside out. The cornerstone of any naturopathy diet is eating whole organic foods and natural ingredients. This means avoiding processed foods or anything with artificial additives, flavors, or preservatives.
You want to focus on eating nutrient-dense plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. These contain essential vitamins and minerals to help reduce inflammation while also strengthening the immune system.
It’s also important to avoid foods known to trigger flare-ups. Under the guidance of your practitioner, you may be asked to eliminate certain foods from your diet to see if it makes a difference. Common causes of flare-ups are red meat, dairy, and wheat.
As part of your overall assessment, your naturopathic physician will check for any vitamin deficiencies. You may be recommended to take certain supplements to help balance your system and help relieve your symptoms.
Including vitamins like vitamins A, C, E, and D in your diet can help improve your skin and immune system and decrease your symptoms.
Supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric can also help reduce inflammation with their anti-inflammatory properties. Your practitioner can guide you on what your body needs.
Exercise is very important for your overall health, but when you have psoriasis, finding the right balance is key to setting you up for success to feel better both mentally and physically over time.
While we know exercise is important for stress relief — a common trigger for flare-ups — too much exercise and sweating can make flare-ups worse for some. Naturopathic exercise encourages low intensity workout options to get moving without overdoing it.
Focus on low impact exercises such as yoga, tai chi, walking, or swimming to feel relaxed and be in the moment. These activities can also help improve circulation to enhance your overall skin health, promote healing, and prevent further irritation in affected areas.
Strength training is another great option, as you can start with low intensity and build up over time.
Psoriasis is often linked to an unhealthy digestive system, so improving gut health is an important part of managing your psoriasis symptoms.
A naturopathic physician will address balancing your microbiome — the bacteria found in our gut, which largely affects the rest of our bodies when it comes to health and wellness.
Luckily, there are many ways to improve your gut health. Eating a variety of foods high in fiber, along with fermented foods that contain healthy bacteria (think yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir), and taking probiotic supplements can further improve gut health and reduce inflammation in the body.
Acupuncture, originating from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is used to treat chronic pain and other health problems. Trained practitioners insert thin needles into specific points on the body. These points are believed to connect with different parts of the brain and nervous system, allowing them to send signals that reduce inflammation and improve circulation throughout the body.
Many have found that acupuncture treatments can reduce symptoms of psoriasis, such as redness, itching, and pain.
It can also help improve your mood by releasing endorphins, which are the hormones that create feelings of pleasure and relaxation. An important factor, considering anxiety and depression are often associated with psoriasis.
With stress as a common psoriasis trigger, massage can be a great alternative treatment to help you relax and improve circulation. Plus, massage can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Massage therapists will typically use lotions and oils on the skin when applying different motions, techniques, and pressures on specific areas of the body. Let your massage therapist know that you have psoriasis and if any of their lotions or oils will be a problem.
Be proactive and plan a massage around stressful events that you know are coming up to help prevent a flare-up. You can also do your own massages at home with lotions and oils of your choice to keep your skin well-hydrated. Moisturize often to stay ahead of a flare-up, especially if dryness is a trigger.
Psoriasis can be difficult to manage but there are alternatives like naturopathy available if you’re looking for a more holistic approach to your care.
By focusing on and treating the underlying causes of your psoriasis, rather than just managing symptoms, naturopathic treatments can offer relief from your symptoms without resorting to medications with potentially harmful side effects.
If you’re considering this type of treatment, be sure to speak with a qualified practitioner who understands your individual needs before starting any new regimen or making any major dietary changes.
Medically reviewed on April 19, 2023
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