What is Arthritis?

As one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States, arthritis affects  one out of every three Americans, or roughly 70 million people. For most people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed Acupuncture, Nutrition, and sensible exercise programs.

Arthritis isn’t just one disease; it’s a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.

Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis ~

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness. OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ~

The other arthritis is Adult and Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They are a type of autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the synovial fluid membranes surrounding the lubricating fluid in the joints (there are at least another 100 lesser known subtype autoimmune arthritic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis AS).

RA can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time and can fluctuate between flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Strengthen Your Resolve

This period of reflection and renewed resolve may be challenging, but it can also be productive and rewarding. If health is a big issue, try to give a shot at acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help achieve the change you seek as it assists in illness prevention, stress relief, minimize aches and pains, improve energy, and you find yourself in better balance. Seasonal acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness, and increasing vitality.

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Here are a few ways that acupuncture can help you achieve your goals:

Eliminate Stress

Stress reduction is always on the top 10 list for New Year’s resolutions, and for a good reason–it is often the cause of illness and deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.

Improved Quality of Life

If pain is keeping you from living life to the fullest, acupuncture can help and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of the cause or where it is located. Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medication. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Get in Shape

Renewed enthusiasm to exercise in order to enhance fitness levels, train for a competition, or lose weight can come at a painful price for those who try to do too much too quickly. Recent studies show that acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries such as strains, sprains, musculoskeletal pain, swollen muscles, and shin splints.

Lose Weight

Losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings–all of which can help energize the body, maximize absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, and reduce anxiety.

Reduce the Impact of Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following to reduce the impact of arthritis:

Get Active – Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility, promotes relaxation, and has been shown to relieve chronic joint pain.

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Control Weight – Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.

Modify Job Tasks – Try to modify your movements, since repeated use of joints in jobs that require bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Speak with a health care professional about ways to reduce strain on your joints.

Nutritional Support During Allergy Season

Here are inexpensive, effective, and easy ideas in alleviating allergy symptoms.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar has long been used to treat many respiratory diseases including allergies and asthma. Depending on the severity of symptoms, the dosage will vary. The best way to use apple cider vinegar for your allergies is on a consistent basis. Mix 1 tablespoon ACV with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of raw bees honey and drink three times a day.

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey produced in New Zealand has been used to treat many conditions ranging from stomach ulcers to tinnitus (ringing in the ear). Manuka honey is a strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Since most of allergy symptoms are caused by bacteria, mold and yeast, and parasites, using Manuka honey makes a perfect sense. Some claim that locally-grown honey is a good alternative, however Manuka honey is known to be far more potent than any other honey brands.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that belongs to the ginger family. It is a natural nutritional supplement that helps to cure many health problems, including allergies, because it contains curcumin, a compound that acts as a decongestant. Tumeric also acts as anti-histamine in reducing the mast cell de-granulation or histamine release.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion root and leaves are natural detoxifiers and blood cleansers. The Chinese use the greens and roots of dandelions to “cool the blood.” Drinking the tea on a daily basis in the springtime can help to detox the body, purify the blood and is helpful for allergy-prone people.

Vitamin D

Optimizing your vitamin D levels is absolutely crucial in dealing with allergies. In fact, research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a primary underlying cause of asthma. 1000-2000 iu of Vitamin D is recommended, however during high pollen counts season, it can go up to 5000 iu per day.

Eucalyptus oil

This pure essential oil can be healing to mucus membranes. You can apply a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times a day, add a few drops to water for a steam treatment, or use a few drops in your bath water.

Avoid pasteurized milk products, all forms of sugar, and wheat

Dairy products are notorious for increasing phlegm and making allergies and asthma worse.  Sugar and wheat products tend to cause inflammations within the body and to reduce body’s natural immune capabilities.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise regularly, especially out in fresh air, as it helps to boost your overall immune functions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a combination of symptoms that may include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches that can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants.

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IBS is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding overeating, exercise, identifying trigger foods and reducing stress.

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Inserting acupuncture needles on certain points on the liver and spleen meridians, along with some points on the stomach meridians often produce astounding results in handling IBS symptoms.

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Tips for Maximizing for Your Cardiovascular Health

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs. Adopt a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health—which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.

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  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Appropriate sun exposure is critical in maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Reduce grains and sugars in your diet.
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, turnips and cabbages.
  • Eat at least three cloves of garlic a day.
  • Consume a moderate amount of high-quality animal (organic grass-fed) fats.

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  • Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products, eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your stress level through yoga, Qi-kong, or Emotional Freedom Tapping(EFT). Daily meditation for only five minutes can dramatically reduce your stress level.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

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General Tips for Optimal Endocrine Health

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Eat Slowly – Don’t rush through your meals.

Exercise – Regular exercise boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health and muscle mass, and prevents bone loss.

Manage Your Stress – An important part of maintaining a healthy endocrine system is stress management.

Rest – Take a day out of the week for rest and rejuvenation, allowing your mind and body to recover.

Sleep – Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night in order to reduce stress and keep hormones balanced. Stress and a lack of sleep may cause some of the glands to malfunction.

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