People with epilepsy sometimes turn to alternative therapies if they find that the initial treatments they started on aren’t adequately managing their seizures. Or in some cases alternative therapies are used to mitigate side effects from anticonvulsant medications.
Many people with epilepsy find that the use of alternative therapies helps to manage their epilepsy, although comprehensive research has not proven this fact. It is also important to discuss any alternative therapies with your neurologist as there are some that have been shown to be detrimental when used in conjunction with anticonvulsants, such as St. John’s Wort.
Alternative therapies can include relaxation, holistic, and psychological therapies
Relaxation therapies such as massage, aromatherapy, and meditation can control seizures in some people by reducing their stress levels. Aromatherapy is very similar to massage, although it involves the use of essential oils and aromatic plant compounds in addition to manual relaxation of the muscles. Reflexology is another type of massage that targets “reflex points” primarily in the feet and hands. Meditation can also help manage epilepsy by inducing a calmer state of mind. The following links provide more information on these four types of relaxation therapies.
Holistic therapies, are therapies that aim to treat the person as a whole as oppose to solely treating specific conditions or symptoms. This can include herbal remedies as well as homeopathic or ayurvedic treatments. Sometimes acupuncture is also used to help manage epilepsy. The following links provide more information on these four types of holistic therapies.
Training/ Psychological Therapies
Training and psychological therapies include treatments such as autogenic training and neurofeedback. Autogenic training consists of mental excercises that can help to control seizures by inducing a relaxed mental state. Neurofeedback is a computer-based training technique that can teach individuals to control their brain activity and relaxation levels.