Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Some types of alternative medicine may help people with Parkinson's disease, including:

  • Coenzyme Q10. Early research suggested that coenzyme Q10 in high doses may be beneficial for people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Unfortunately, larger studies haven't confirmed this. Coenzyme Q10 appears to be safe.

    You can buy coenzyme Q10 without a prescription in drugstores and natural food stores.

  • Massage. Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. These services, however, are rarely covered by health insurance.
  • Acupuncture. During an acupuncture session, a trained practitioner inserts tiny needles into many specific points on your body, which may reduce your pain.
  • Tai chi. An ancient form of Chinese exercise, tai chi employs slow, flowing motions that may improve flexibility, balance and muscle strength. Tai chi may also prevent falls. Several forms of tai chi are tailored for people of any age or physical condition.

    A study showed tai chi may improve the balance of people with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease more than stretching and resistance training.

  • Yoga. In yoga, gentle stretching movements and poses may increase your flexibility and balance. You may modify most poses to fit your physical abilities.
  • Alexander technique. This technique — which focuses on muscle posture, balance and thinking about how you use muscles — may reduce muscle tension and pain.
  • Meditation. In meditation, you quietly reflect and focus your mind on an idea or image. Meditation may reduce stress and pain and improve your sense of well-being.
  • Music or art therapy. Music or art therapy may help you to relax. Music therapy helps some people with Parkinson's disease to improve their walking and speech. Participating in art therapy, such as painting or ceramics, may improve your fine motor skills and strength and help you express your emotions.
  • Pet therapy. Having a dog or cat may increase your flexibility and movement and improve your emotional health.
Nov. 12, 2013