It has been estimated that about 80% of the caregivers of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Becker muscular dystrophy use complementary and alternative medicine for their child. In our experience, this is also true of people living with LGMD2I, most of whom have tried alternative medicine to maintain a certain level of wellbeing.

Based on surveys on the use of alternative therapies in several types of muscular dystrophies, we have created the list below. However, our list should not be construed as a validation and a recommendation to use these therapies or practices. We are not aware of any study that tested and demonstrated the benefits of alternative medicine in people with LGMD2I. So, the information that we share is anecdotal. We invite you to do your own research on the practices/therapies that interest you.

We classified alternative practices in Mind-Body Medicine, Botanicals and Dietary Supplements, Energy Practices and Physical Therapies. It is important to keep in mind that these practices should be complementary to a balanced/healthy diet and physical exercise routine. As note, both Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM combine many of these practices to treat not only the apparent disease but the person as a whole. These are called holistic medicines.

Nutrition, Exercise, and Botanicals and supplements are discussed in separate sections.

Mind-body medicine

  • Self-hypnosis/hypnosis:

    for stress reduction, pain management, muscle relaxation.

  • Meditation/Relaxation:

    for stress reduction, muscle relaxation, acceptation, improvement of sleep quality.

  • Breathing:

    for stress reduction, pain reduction, improvement of pulmonary function.

  • Yoga:

    improvement of sleep quality, pain reduction, increase of muscle tone.

  • Companion animal:

    for anxiety relief, mood enhancing, help with socializing.

Energy practices

  • Acupuncture:

    for pain relief.

  • Massages (Healing touch, Reiki, Tui Na):

    for pain relief, anxiety relief, mood enhancement.

  • Qigong:

    improvement in coping skills, improvement of wellbeing

Physical therapies

  • Massages (lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, …):

    improvement of range of motion, reduction of stiffness, increased relaxation.

  • Reflexology:

    increased relaxation, pain relief.

  • Osteopathic/chiropractic manipulation:

    Improvement of the lower back function, pain relief.