Some psoriasis patients report alternative therapies can help relieve their psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis symptoms. They include:
Developed in Asia more than 5,000 years ago, acupressure uses gentle pressure on the body's key healing points to reduce pain and stress, increase circulation, and boost your immune system. There is no scientific evidence that acupressure can control pain associated with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, but some people may find it beneficial.
Like acupressure, acupuncture has its roots in ancient China. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles along key meridians. The World Health Organization states that acupuncture is useful as adjunct therapy in more than 50 disorders including low back pain, headaches and nausea. No clinical studies directly support its use with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. However, some patients have reported success. A large scale review published in the September 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine shows positive results when using acupuncture to treat chronic pain conditions. Should you decide to try acupuncture (or acupressure) it is important to visit licensed acupuncturist. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help you find a professional in your area.
Massage involves the manipulation of superficial layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, improve lymph circulation and promote relaxation. During a massage the licensed massage therapist may use a variety of techniques to loosen and stretch muscles and joints. Massage can be beneficial for those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. An experienced massage therapist can modify any massage session to meet your comfort level. Here are some tips for finding a licensed massage therapist:
Tips for Visiting a Massage Therapist
- Tell the massage therapist about your psoriasis when you make the appointment. If they do not understand psoriasis either explain that it's not contagious or call a more experienced practitioner.
- Ask what essential oils and lotions they use. Some may be irritating to your skin. If you have lotions you prefer, bring them with you to use during your visit.
- If they are a new practitioner to you, you may want to bring materials such as those from the National Psoriasis Foundation with you to your appointment to help you explain about psoriasis.
Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) is an ancient energy healing system that was introduced by a physician in Japan in the early 1900s. “Rei” means “universal life” and “ki” means “life force energy” in Japanese. Reiki is a relaxation technique that can address mental stress, emotional stress and provide healing. A Reiki practitioner uses healing touch by placing his or her hands on meridian positions on your body. You also can learn to practice Reiki on yourself.
To find a Reiki practitioner in your area, visit the International Center for Reiki Training »
Do you have additional questions about alternative therapies?
NPF’s Patient Navigation Center is the world's first, personalized support center for psoriatic disease. Our Patient Navigators can help you find natural health specialists in your area and answer your questions about alternative approaches to relieve your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
For free and confidential assistance, contact our Patient Navigators »