Alternative Therapies to Benefit the Thyroid

Dr. Andrew Weil's book, Spontaneous Healing celebrates the many alternative therapies which can be beneficial additions to your healthcare regime. God designed our body to heal and it will work toward healing itself, given half a chance.

Dr. Weil writes that M.D.s are great for some situations (for example, prescribing antibiotics and setting broken bones), but he recommends patients explore alternative therapies if they develop chronic conditions which do not respond well to the drugs and surgery approach offered by M.D.s.

Here are some strategies that I believe have benefited my thyroid function.

Shoulder stand The shoulder stand sends blood to the neck and gently increases pressure on the thyroid in a way which seems to be stimulating. I learned about it from the "Thyroid" article in the database at Dr. Weil's internet site. I have found the shoulder stand to be beneficial and I try to do it at least 10 minutes daily.

This position is relatively easy to get into and hold, but it may have health risks for those with blood pressure or other health problems. I have read that the shoulder stand may not be appropriate for women during menstruation or for children. If you have any questions, please discuss it with your physician before you try it.

Nutritional supplements

I'm a fan of food and prefer to get my vitamins, minerals, bioflavinoids, antioxidants, and other nutritional compounds from foods, which are more complete the way God made them than any extract or pill can ever be. Some people even believe that too many supplements (like too many drugs) can be hard on your liver and/or kidneys. However, I do realize that there are times when supplementation may be advisable.

I take a few (mostly food-based) supplements including lecithin, garlic, CoQ10, ginkgo bilboa, natural E and C, and B complex vitamins.

You can also try a formula designed for thyroid health, such as Thyroid and L-Tyrosine Complex from Enzymatic Therapy. It contains the amino acid L-Tyrosine, extracts from animal glands including thyroxin-free thyroid, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iodine, molybdenum, and Vitamin B12.

The book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., is one of the best references you can buy. It lists specific foods, herbs and supplements to nutritionally treat hundreds of diseases. The following supplements are recommended for people with hypothyroidism:

Essential Kelp
Very Important Raw thyroid glandular (prescribed by a physician)
Important Vitamin B complex and extra B12
Helpful Brewer's yeast
essential fatty acids
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

Prescription for Nutritional Healing also recommends supplements for people with hyperthyroidism:

Very Important Multivitamin and mineral complex
Vitamin B complex
Helpful Brewer's yeast
Essential fatty acids
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

Please read Prescription for Nutritional Healing for specific dosage recommendations.


The book Alternative Healthcare, published by Thunder Bay Press, explains thyroid problems this way:

"Nutritional deficiencies (for example, zinc, vitamin A, selenium and iron) and a toxic overload are thought to be the main factors involved in the onset of hypothyroidism. Researchers have found that exposure to some environmental toxins can cause the body to produce antibodies which attack its own thyroid gland. Nutritional therapists aim to enhance the body's detoxification abilities in treating such patients."

Exposure to chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine can affect the thyroid. (See the section, Thyroid Health Homepage: Things to Avoid.

There are a variety of approaches to detoxifying the body. I personally like the simplest ones: avoiding the source and eating cleansing fruit and juices. However, there are detoxifying herbs, colonics, chelation, and other treatments available through various healthcare providers.

Other approaches.

Alternative Healthcare also lists several other alternative therapies which address thyroid problems in a variety of ways. For instance:

  • Homeopathy can be used in conjuntion with conventional treatment by an M.D. to treat the acute symptoms of either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
  • Spiritual Healing believes that "Hormonal problems may have roots in the emotions -- for example, an inability to express anger may affect the thyroid gland." Reducing stress and seeking to restore balance and harmony in your life may help to rebalance your endocrine system.
  • Ayurvedic practitioners may suggest panchakarma for detoxification.

Accupuncture, accupressure, and reflexology

These traditional healing arts purport to be able to stimulate and regulate thyroid function. I've read a couple books and tried to stimulate the recommended pressure points without much result. Some authors suggest gently massaging the neck can benefit the thyroid. Others suggest applying pressure to the base of the big toe or other "energy points" on the body. I am considering going to a good accupuncturist to see if this therapy might be beneficial. Has anyone out there gotten good results from any of these?

My Favorite Books
I read a lot, but these are the books I trust. If you're feeling lousy and are confused about food choices, these books will give you hope and new direction. If this web site has been helpful to you, you can help us by ordering a book now through Amazon. Here's wishing you good health!

Prescription for Nutritional Healing is a wonderful reference book, written by an MD and a certified nutritional consultant. The book suggests sound nutritional strategies for coping with more than 250 diseases, including hypothyroidism. You'll turn to this book again and again!

In the Complete Book of Juicing, Dr. Michael T. Murray (one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicines) reveals how fresh fruit and vegetable juices can help combat cancer, aging, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney stones, ulcers, and other health conditions. Over 150 easy recipes included.

I love the balanced approach presented by Annemarie Colbin in Food and Healing. She analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a number of alternative diets, explains the remarkable healing qualities of specific foods, and describes how to tailor a diet approach that is right for you.

Fit for Life changed the way I think about food. If you're confused about what to eat, you'll appreciate the simple, natural advice in this book. This is the book I buy and give to friends who ask me the secret of my good health.

Living Well with Hypothyroidism is a great resource for those of us dealing with the condition. In her book Mary Shomon discusses symptoms, conventional treatments and alternative treatments, including new research on the value of adding T3 to the more traditional T4 hormone replacement. Very helpful!

Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices is the first and still the best book on why and how juicing restores health. The book was written by Dr. Norman Walker, who literally invented juicing and reportedly lived well past 100. This affordable little book contains very specific advice for treating hypothyroidism and many other conditions, and is available in most health food stores.


The Thyroid Health Homepage has provided this material for informational purposes only. We do not prescribe and we do not diagnose. If you use the information on this website without the approval of a health professional, you prescribe for yourself, which remains your constitutional right, but neither the author nor the Thyroid Health Homepage assume any responsibility.

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Thyroid Health Home page / revised November 2003.
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