Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Alternative Medicine

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I can only speak to my own experience and hope that gives you some insight into what POTS is and how it can affect you or the people around you.

There are many different types of alternative medicine outside of traditional doctors and hospitals. I personally use a blend of both. Below, I’m going to outline some different types of alternative medicine I’ve used, but please know there are many more. Most of these are not covered by insurance, so you will need to find a specialist and pay out of pocket.


Acupuncture is done by a professional acupuncturist. They will take long, thin sterilized needles and place them all over your body, into areas that are supposed to relieve pain. They will ask you about your symptoms first before doing the treatment to personalize it to your needs. I know plenty of people who swear by acupuncture and go biweekly to receive treatment. I personally tried it once, but I am allergic to certain types of metals and ended up with hives everywhere the needles were.

Cranial Sacral Massage

Cranial Sacral massage is like a normal massage, but you stay fully clothed and it is not as deep. It is more about releasing pressure and fluid around your body, particularly your brain. You can find professionals to do it around the US and other parts of the world. Each professional will have a different technique, but the methodology behind it remains the same. I found it extremely relaxing and calming.


Massage is the practice of kneading muscles to release tension and toxins in the muscle. For the most part, you see a masseuse who has a padded table that you will lay down on, either face up or down at different parts of the session. In general, you will be naked for your massage. There are many different types of massages that can be beneficial. I personally like deep tissue massages, but it depends on the person. Massages can be great if you have muscle pain. I find it helps with neuropathy quite a bit and also helps with my nerve pain.


Cupping is a method of taking traditional glass bowls, lighting a flame under them to draw out the oxygen, and placing them on your skin. More modern cupping techniques have pulls to draw the air out, so no flames are used. The idea is to draw the toxins in your body to the skin’s surface so you can wash them away with heavy fluid intact, much like massages. In general, it does not hurt. You will be left with what looks like bad bruises where all of the cups were, but they don’t feel like bruises, just like normal skin. I haven’t noticed a difference, but it’s something I opt into when I get a massage if I can.


Reiki is a form of energy healing. Your Reiki professional will place their hands slightly above different parts of your body, such as your legs and arms, and hold them there, possibly making slight motions. The idea is to get you into a relaxing and meditative state while changing your energy to help you feel better. You will be fully dressed but should wear comfy clothes. For the most part, you will lie on your back while your Reiki professional is over you, helping you heal. I find it very relaxing and calming.


Yoga is exercise and meditation mixed into one. The idea behind yoga is to focus on your breath while doing repetitive motions and mindful movements. I highly recommend yoga for POTS patients. You can do it entirely on the ground without standing, which is great for building muscle and working on your health. Breathing in a focused way is actually a form of biofeedback that is often used in mainstream medicine to control pain, which can only benefit you. Unlike most of the other alternative medicines, yoga can be done at home and for the most part self-taught.


Like yoga, meditation can be done at home. The goal of meditation is to focus on your breathing and clear your mind to help you relax. This can also help with biofeedback, which can help control pain. Meditation can be done at home, and there are several apps available to help you get started with meditation as well.

Cardiotherapy / Cardiac Rehab

Cardiotherapy is exercise designed to help your heart gain strength and hopefully lower your heart rate while regulating your blood pressure. I was also told by my doctor that it could help regulate your valves. Some forms of cardiotherapy are walking, brisk walks, walking on the treadmill, slow movements on the elliptical, and slow biking. Think cardio exercises but slower. You are looking to exercise, but your goal is to go slow to get benefits for your specific illness. I would highly suggest speaking with your doctor about cardiotherapy, maybe even seeing a physical therapist who specializes in POTS.

Further Reading

“Acupuncture: What You Need To Know | NCCIH.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Accessed 21 June 2023.

Ansorge, Rick. “What Is Cupping Therapy? Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More.” WebMD, 5 November 2022, Accessed 21 June 2023.

“Cardiac rehabilitation.” Mayo Clinic, 21 March 2023, Accessed 21 June 2023.

“Craniosacral Therapy Technique: What Is It, Benefits, Risks & Technique.” Cleveland Clinic, 5 October 2020, Accessed 21 June 2023.

“How to Meditate.”, Accessed 21 June 2023.

“Reiki | NCCIH.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Accessed 21 June 2023.

S, Acharya. “Alternative Medicine – StatPearls.” NCBI, Accessed 21 June 2023.

Stuart, Annie. “Massage Therapy: Styles of Massage and Their Health Benefits.” WebMD, 19 November 2022, Accessed 21 June 2023.

Upham, Becky, and Justin Laube. “All About Yoga: Poses, Types, Benefits, and More.” Everyday Health, Accessed 21 June 2023.

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