Natural remedies for brain injury provide a gentle alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and their potential harmful side effects.
These remedies shouldn’t be looked at as a perfect or complete replacement for modern medicinal techniques, but they can function as a great supplement to your traumatic brain injury treatment plan.
Natural Remedies for Brain Injury Patients
Below is a list of a few natural remedies for brain injury. As always, talk to your doctor before trying any of these treatments to make sure they are safe for you.
Research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy for treating brain injury is limited. However, there have been placebo-controlled studies that show essential oils can reduce nausea and symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are common side effects of TBI.
While most essential oils are safe, they are not regulated by the FDA, so it is unclear how they interact with certain medications. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor beforehand.
2. Massage Therapy
Many of the symptoms associated with mild traumatic brain injury (such as cognitive defects and balance issues) are identical to the symptoms of whiplash. So if you feel like nothing is working to reduce your symptoms, it’s possible the issue is stemming from your neck.
Massage therapy is a great way to relieve tension in your neck and finally get rid of those symptoms.
3. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Oxygen therapy involves lying in an enclosed chamber breathing pure oxygen for 60-90 minutes. The idea is, since your brain requires extra oxygen to heal from an injury, oxygen therapy can help supply this.
The science behind it indicates that oxygen therapy does reduce inflammation in damaged brain tissue, and can be effective when used together with other therapies.
Oxygen therapy has not yet been approved for brain injury patients, so most insurances will not cover it.
If you do decide to try oxygen therapy, make sure you go to a clinic with a doctor on site. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor first to discuss any possible health risks that may be involved.
Another helpful natural remedy for brain injury you can try is acupuncture. Not only can acupuncture help relieve many TBI side effects, several studies have shown that it promotes the production of BDNF, a neurotrophic factor that aids in the production of new brain cells.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s a miracle cure. While some brain injury patients report significant improvements after acupuncture, some do not see any benefits, so there is no guarantee it will help everyone.
Still, if you are looking for more natural ways to recover from TBI, acupuncture might be a good fit for you!
5. Aquatic Therapy
For brain injury patients with severe physical limitations, aquatic therapy can be a great fit!
Aquatic therapy is skilled physical therapy that takes place in a warm water pool. The water makes your body lighter and easier to move, but still provides enough resistance to improve your strength.
Some of the benefits of aquatic therapy include:
- Decreasing muscle spasms and spasticity
- Decreasing the force of gravity to make walking easier
- Increasing circulation and cardiac function
- Improving body posture and balance
You do not need to know how to swim to participate in aquatic therapy.
6. Interactive Metronome Therapy
A promising technique for treating cognitive problems after brain injury is Interactive Metronome Therapy.
Interactive Metronome Therapy is an online program that challenges a person to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions.
IMT helps a patient learn how to:
- Focus and attend for longer periods of time
- Filter out distractions
- Improve ability to monitor mental and physical actions
- Improve coordination
Studies have shown significant cognitive improvement in patients who have participated in metronome therapy.
7. Natural Healthy Brain Foods and Vitamins
Probably the best natural remedies for brain injury come from the food you eat.
After all, your brain needs fuel to function and to heal, and its main source of fuel comes from what you eat.
You’ll want to consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, such as those found in a good brain injury diet. These will reduce inflammation and stimulate your brain’s production of new nerve cells.
Some foods you can eat to promote brain healing include salmon, blueberries, and avocados.
Curcumin, which is found in certain spices such as turmeric, has many neuroprotective benefits and reduces inflammation in the brain, so definitely consider adding that to your diet.
If you have trouble eating or getting the right amount of nutrients through your food, you can always try supplementing your diet with vitamins for brain injury.
And that’s it! These are the best natural remedies for brain injury. We hope they help you find new ways to boost your recovery.