Treating Arthritis Pain With Acupuncture and Healthy Lifestyle Changes
As we age, people show signs of arthritis with degeneration of joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control, arthritis is the most common cause of disability. There is good news though. Millions of people through the years have found relief and improved conditions when treated with Acupuncture, in conjunction with healthier lifestyle choices.
The two most common forms of arthritis are osteo and rheumatoid. They have different causes but share the same result, persistent joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is more commonly found in America. Joint cartilage breaks down which results in stiffness and pain. All joints in the body can be affected especially if a history of stress has taken place.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the joints and other areas of the body including the heart, blood and lungs. The affected joint can lose its shape, which can result in loss of normal movement.
Acupuncturist practitioners see arthritis as a blockage of Qi (pronounced chee) which is the body’s energy. During treatment, the acupuncturist will evaluate their patient and determine where the blockage is. It is at those points where the acupuncturist will place the needles for treatment. This treatment will enable the Qi to start moving again.
Patients may be surprised to see that acupuncture needles placed in arms and legs where they have no arthritic pain. This is because of the theory of meridians; that is where the body’s energy travels in pathways much like rivers and streams. Such flows meander all over the body. If there is a rockslide, or trees and branches clog up a part of a river, much of the river is affected. There can be flooding upstream and reduced flow and water reaching downstream.
When the rocks, trees and branches are removed from the river, it resumes its natural course. It is the same for us and our energy system, when we remove the blockage that is causing our symptoms the body is able to resume its natural course, and symptoms are diminished.
I tell my patients is that once we remove the blockage, the body can work to heal itself faster. This is much like a river flowing back where it belongs after a blockage is removed. The body is always trying to bring itself back to where it should be (homeostasis).
An acupuncturist will also often talk about lifestyle and dietary changes. A healthy diet can play a crucial role in controlling arthritis. If someone is overweight, losing extra pounds can reduce stress to the joints. Acupuncture can also help with weight loss and improving your overall health.
It is well learned in Oriental medicine that avoidance of certain foods that are considered “damp” can also have a positive effect. Damp foods are dairy, citrus, and greasy or fried. Foods that can have a beneficial effect include Ginger, which has a natural anti-inflammatory action, fresh Pineapple, which contains Bromelain, which is an enzyme that reduces inflammation. Cherries also reduce joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis. Cold water fish that contains omega 3 fatty acids. Finally, Turmeric is another great anti-inflammatory.
We have only touched on a three ways to reduce the pain of arthritis. Bringing your body back in balance with a holistic combination of Acupuncture, better foods and exercise may help you maintain or regain flexibility and reduce your overall pain.
Paul M Murphy has been practicing acupuncture for 15 years and is also certified in Oriental medicine. He has helped thousands of people over the years, and relocated his practice to Atlanta Georgia from New York City in 2007.
Service Area and Scheduling
My Atlanta Acupuncture provides acupuncture and laser therapy services in the Greater Atlanta area. Please call 770.905.5560 to schedule a free telephone consultation or to schedule an appointment.