Arthritis From the Chinese Medical Point of View

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. According to Chinese medical theory, arthritis is caused by the blockage of Qi along the meridians of the body. This type of blockage is called “bi” syndrome, and has been widely studied and treated with acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs.

The Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture points to treat Arthritis are located all over the body, not just directly over the affected area. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles could be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your little toe!

There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. A brief moment of discomfort is typically followed by deep relaxation throughout the body. The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Acupuncture is a clinically safe, effective, and well-proven therapy for both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Many people can avoid unnecessary and painful surgeries with acupuncture, while enjoying added benefits such as improved digestive functions and/or better sleep patterns.

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).

Tips to Avoid Carpal Tunnel

There are some holistic tips you can try to decrease your pain and increase your ease of movement. If you haven’t felt any symptoms yet, but want to prevent carpal tunnel from developing, try these pointers:

  • Move as much as you can at work. Avoid maintaining the exact same position for more than 45 minutes at a time.
  • Keep warm. Often, people who frequently have cold hands are more prone to developing carpal tunnel. Keep your circulation strong.
  • Try to use each hand evenly. Don’t let one overcompensate for the other.
  • Maintain correct posture at your desk. The longer you sit on one position in front of a computer, the more you’re likely to slouch. Slouching puts strain on the neck and shoulders, which in turn affect your wrists and hands.
  • If you’re working on a keyboard, try to keep your forearms level with the keyboard. Avoid bending your wrists for long periods of time.

Qigong Breathing for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

Qigong breathing means breathing fully from your abdomen or from the bottom of your lungs. It is exactly the reverse of the way you breathe when you’re anxious or tense, which is typically shallow and high in your chest. This is the way we breathe when we were a baby. All mammals breathe this way whenever they are in a state of relaxation, i.e., when there’s no clear and present danger in their environment.

quigong breathing

Qigong breathing helps center your awareness in your body, rather than in your head, so that you feel more physically and energetically grounded. It helps you to relax your neck, shoulders and arms. It improves the circulation of blood and the flow of Qi in your internal organs.

Belly breathing provides a wonderful massage for your internal organs and increases the blood circulation throughout your internal organs. It expands our oxygen intake to a maximum, and releases accumulated toxins rapidly.

quigong breathing 2

Steps of Qigoing Breathing

Qigong breathing can be done sitting down, laying on a floor, or walking. To practice abdominal breathing, follow these steps:

  1. Take several slow and deep breaths through your nose, focusing your mind only on your breaths.
  2. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose from your abdomen in a circular motion, as if you’re drawing a circle with your breath. You will see your stomach rises (inhale for 5 counts, and gradually increase to 10 to 20 counts).
  4. When you inhale fully, pause for a moment and squeeze your sphincter muscle (around your anus) slightly.
  5. Exhale slowly through your nose for 5 counts which can increase at a later point. (Some prefer to exhale through the mouth and/or a longer exhalation, but they are not critical). Imagine your belly flattens all the way back to your spine, when you exhale.
  6. Repeat the above process as long as your feel comfortable, up to 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Resume your Qigong breathing when you are about to sleep.

quigong breathing3

This will induce a peaceful and restful sleep.

Alleviate Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture

Arthritis isn’t just one disease, but a complex disorder comprised of more than 100 distinct conditions that can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two types of arthritis have very different causes,  they often share a common symptom: persistent joint pain.

For many 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 as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can frequently be managed with acupuncture and nutrition programs.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. Beginning with the breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis usually affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips and spine. The wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles are less frequently affected and when osteoarthritis is found in these joints, there is typically a history of injury or unusual stress to the joints. This may include and be attributed to work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma. For example, if you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting, you may be at high risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.

arthritis 3

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood vessels, lungs and heart. With this kind of arthritis, inflammation of the joint lining (called the synovium) can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness. The impacted joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can last a long time and is a disease characterized by flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

arthritis 2

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called “bi syndrome” and is widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi(arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs/supplements, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.