Tag Archives: Arthritis

Tai Chi Can Help Reduce Arthritis Pain

The inflammation of the joints is what causes arthritis pain, and in certain instances, by the drying of synovial fluids that cause the joint to literally rub bone against bone with not enough fluid to lubricate it. In more advanced cases, the pain experienced can be many times greater, which usually is experienced in the initial stages of arthritis. In addition, arthritis causes substantial reduction of range of motion and causes the joints to significantly stiffen. People assume that arthritis is a disease of the elderly but now it appears that a lot of very young people suffer from this condition as well. According to the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation, it estimated that, in the United States, almost 300, 000 children suffer from arthritis.

China is the place where Tai Chi originated. In parks across this country, groups of people practice this form of martial art every morning. Practicing Tai Chi requires internal strength and power. Its actual name is “tai chi chuan,” which, in English, translates to “ultimate supreme boxing.” Tai chi was developed as a component of Neijia which is a type of traditional Chinese defense art. Its movements and techniques have been described comprehensively in the Tai Chi Classics masters, which is a set of writings. Chinese tradition states that if a person becomes conscious of the ways in which Tai Chi can be utilized as self-defense, it indicates that the person understands fully well this martial art.

Dr Lam, a Tai Chi master and a family practitioner in the late 1990s used a team of Tai Chi specialists and health care practitioners to establish a program of modified Tai Chi to help manage arthritis stiffness and pain and to help treat arthritis itself.

A study shows that tai chi helps lessen pain and improves various health factors of people who were in the test group.

In the American Medical community, some doctors denied the benefits of the routine and declined to consider its techniques. However, a report from CNN stated that, based on a study, Tai Chi did have benefits but they were still too early to concretely establish the practice as a healing technique. The uncertainty of the results was due to a claim by a certain doctor that the design of the study was flawed.

A few years ago, health researchers from Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia performed additional tests on tai chi. They concluded that both hydrotherapy and Tai Chi can actually help eliminate or at least reduce arthritis pain and occasionally, the related stiffness. Tai chi also helps increase the range of movement of the patient subjects. The tests examined 150 woman and men over 60 years of age who all had chronic arthritis. The research was headed by Marlene Fransen and was published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism in 2007. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, a waiting group and a hydrotherapy or Tai Chi class. The hydrotherapy and Tai Chi class attended classes for an hour twice a week. Significant improvement was seen 12 weeks later, when measurements of joint function and pain were conducted. The progressive pain alleviation and joint function continued another 12 weeks later, with no subject showing aggravation of their symptoms.

For many centuries in China, Tai Chi has been practiced in one form or another. It has a variety of styles or techniques and each of them have been found appropriate for use on people suffering from arthritis. The five essential forms of tai chi are:

  • Sun style             
  • Yang Style
  • Chen Style
  • Wu style of Wu Chien-chuan and Wu Chuan-yü
  • Hao style of Wu Yu-hsiang or Wu

Tai chi’s benefits and why it’s very helpful in treating arthritis may be due to its use of gentle circular motions, instead of movements that are jerky in nature. There are 12 primary movements in Tai Chi and these movements are repeated many times and can be performed in a span of three minutes. Tai chi websites, video, books and other sources are available to explain the techniques used in this defense art.

Tai Chi offers light to moderate exercises that are very beneficial to people with arthritis, in addition to the circular movement that help promote enhanced range of motion. Although it may not work for everyone, tai chi is actually a strenuous type of workout. It seems to work in about 78 percent of cases in which it was utilized for reducing arthritis pain. Weight reduction and cardio-vascular health are its other benefits, which can be very important for the management of pain in people with arthritis. Management of stress using this exercise technique can help control the pain. In fact, the health benefits derived from Tai Chi go far beyond simple pain relief to various other factors related to general well being and health. Tai Chi boosts the quality of life of arthritis sufferers, is a totally holistic mind and body integration technique, helps to promote good posture, and is quite easy to learn.

It has a variety of styles and forms many of which are appropriate in the reduction of arthritis pain; however, it is important to look for an instructor who has experience working with people with arthritis and other special needs. As with all forms of exercise regimen, prior to beginning the regimen, you need to confer with your health care provider or doctor about the exercise classes you plan to attend. Your doctor or health care provider should make sure that the exercises are suitable for total body condition. They will also decide whether Tai Chi is a suitable and effective form of therapy for your arthritis.

Acupuncture Works Extremely Against Arthritis Conditions

Acupuncture treatment provides pain sufferers an alternative or added form of relief of their condition. Several studies have backed this treatment’s ability to provide great relief to those who need it.

Whenever your joints feel inflamed and start to become tender and sore, you can go to an acupuncture clinic and have yourself treated by a licensed and qualified practitioner to rid you of your ailment. Patients who both use acupuncture medication to treat arthritis say they get quick relief from the discomfort compared to sufferers who only use drugs. For this reason, both arthritis drugs and acupuncture treatment should be considered by arthritis sufferers.

An ailment oftentimes seen in aging adults, arthritis is one of the conditions acupuncture is known to work extremely well. Acupuncture involves the piercing of specific areas of the body known as acupuncture point with needles in order to relieve ailments and restore balance to the body. Acupuncture osteoporosis, acupuncture osteoarthritis and, and acupuncture knee arthritis treatments are three of the most sought after treatments by the aging adult group.

Acupuncture treatment for osteoarthritis is done not to cure the disease but to help manage its symptoms since there is no known cure for this disease. If multiple acupuncture osteoarthritis treatments are performed, the patient would have a much better chance of pain relief. Sporadic treatments would likely result in failure.

A lot of people fail to distinguish the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect more the younger population and its main cause is a problem with the small joints of the body. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, usually affects the older age group and the hips. Even though both are problems of the bone, they are considered different from the viewpoint of acupuncture. The points where the needles are to be inserted depend on the symptoms shown and the constitution of the patient. The frequency of the sessions is based on the availability of the practitioner and the gravity of the disease. The chances that your painful arthritis symptoms will be treated are high if the treatment it is done at regular sessions.

In a lot if instances, acupuncture’s effectiveness lies on how much you want to get cured. If you have the determination to persevere in completing the course of arthritis and acupuncture treatment, then the symptoms and the underlying cause of your arthritis would be resolved.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Resolve the Symptoms and Underlying Causes of Arthritis and Bursitis

The pain generated by arthritis and bursitis often feels the same. In arthritis, the joints all over the body are affected resulting in stiffness, swelling, and pain. With bursitis, the bursa or fluid-filled sac inside the joint is inflamed. The sac is meant to help cushion the joint, but when the area is inflamed, movement becomes painful. Bursitis often arises in the areas of the elbow, knee, hip or shoulder. Both arthritis and bursitis sufferers have experienced pain alleviation through acupuncture. This treatment may also reduce the associated inflammation and swelling of both conditions.

Reliever of Pain

Needles are the main tools of an acupuncturist. They are applied to the injured part of the body to stimulate the healing mechanisms of energy. They can be stuck in other parts of the body as well to activate the flow of energy. According to acupuncturists, this method leads to a significant reduction of the pain due to the needles’ ability to deactivate the area of the brain that governs pain. Certain pressure points are needled to amplify the flow of vital energy along the energy channels , known as meridians.


Acupuncturists and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine often combine the use of herbal preparations with acupuncture for the treatment of bursitis and arthritis. According to the Medical Center of the University of Maryland, evening primrose oil, white willow, and turmeric are some of the more important herbs, used along with acupuncture that can really help reduce swelling and inflammation.

A Very Safe Procedure

According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), acupuncture treatment or even a placebo effect can pain brought about by osteoarthritis of the knee, be relieved. Early clinical trials revealed that patients felt a reduction in pain with acupuncture than those who were treated with conventional remedies. It has also been shown, however, that when the wrong points are inserted with needles or if no needles have been inserted, the patients still experienced pain relief. The ACR notes that this medical phenomenon is known as the placebo effect. Acupuncture is widely known as a very safe treatment for arthritis. According to the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), in certain reviews, acupuncture has been proven to enhance function; some studies however, are not yet definite about this conclusion.

Acupuncture Helps Restore Function

With the appropriate treatment, bursitis may go away within a few weeks, although possible flare ups can still recur. Instead of being treated with anti-inflammatory injections or medications, patients can opt for safer and more effective acupuncture treatments. Treating bursitis by means of acupuncture leads to a reduction in pain and in the restoration of function to the joint. As with any acupuncture treatment, the objective of acupuncture arthritis or bursitis treatment is to address the underlying energy imbalance in the body that have caused the condition as well as the treatment of their symptoms.

Joint Pain

The NCCAM states that joint pain is the second most popular reason for using acupuncture; the first reason is back pain. Before anyone undergoes treatment, they should discuss their problem with the acupuncturist. After that, patients may need to go through several sessions of acupuncture treatment. They may also need to follow herbal and dietary advice along with the acupuncture treatment.

Arthritis Treatment Using Massage Therapy and Acupuncture as Adjunct Forms of Treatment

Arthritis affects about 70 million individuals in the United States each year and is the number one cause of disability in that country. Manifesting in more than a hundred forms, arthritis is a complicated disease that can strike at basically any age. Among its hundred of manifestations, arthritis usually appears in the form of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Because of this, massage therapies and acupuncture are seen as sensible forms of treatment for this debilitating disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects joints although several patients tend to feel the condition affecting other parts of the body, including the heart, lung, blood, and even the tissue of the skin. This type of arthritis can be chronic (long lasting) and is marked by an inflammation of the synovium, which is the smooth lining of the joint. When the synovium is inflamed, it causes redness, warmth, stiffness, and joint swelling. The joints that are affected may lose their shape making it hard for the person to move normally.


Affecting more than twenty two million Americans each year, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the United States. In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is a systematic breaking down of the joint cartilage leading to stiffness and extreme pain. The hips, spine, fingers, and knees are the body parts most commonly affected by this disease although it can also strike the shoulders, elbows, and ankles in some people. But from time to time, due to a certain injury, it may also affect an uncommon area of affliction. Injuries sustained from work are typical causes of osteoarthritis development. If your job entails, for example, frequent squatting, bending, or kneeling it may heighten your risk of developing this condition, particularly in the knee.

Massage Therapies and Acupuncture for Arthritis Treatment

Recently, the use of massage therapies and acupuncture for arthritis treatment has indicated that these two therapies are very effective alternatives modes of treatment to conventional medicine. Moreover, the use of massage therapies and acupuncture for treating arthritis both have deep roots in the mystical world of ancient medicine. We can surely see this with acupuncture.

Acupuncture Arthritis Therapy

As with other types of alternative treatment, acupuncture has been incredibly effective in treating inflammation and pain related to many forms of arthritis. Ancient Chinese medicine customizes acupuncture therapy based on the own symptoms manifested by the patient which then requires a unique plan of treatment that includes acupuncture therapy, lifestyle changes, energetic exercises, Chinese diet therapy, body works, and Chinese herbs.

Needles used in acupuncture are not necessarily placed on the areas directly affected by the condition, but rather in certain other locations throughout the body. Some patients may just see those tiny acupuncture needles inserted in every area of their body from their arms to their legs and maybe even all the way down to their smallest toe. These needles stimulate the body in a way that you’ll feel so relaxed that you might end up falling asleep during the treatment. The treatment may last for five to thirty minutes depending on the severity of the condition.

Massage Therapy for Arthritis

Both massage therapies and acupuncture are used to combat arthritis. Like acupuncture, massage therapy is thousands of years old and known to be widely used in ancient Greece. Some of the benefits this therapy can give a person suffering from arthritis include:

-Improving circulation to the skin
-Soothing tense muscles
-Enhancing joint movement

There are different forms of massage therapy that can be used in treating arthritis. Some of the more popular ones include:

-Swedish massage
-Deep Tissue Massage
-Trigger Point Therapy

Very Effective Alternative and Natural Therapies For the Treatment of Arthritis

About 45 million Americans are diagnosed with arthritis each year. A lot of them are using Western pharmaceuticals such as anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids while some do not get treatment at all for fear of the side effects of these anti-arthritic medications.

As a licensed acupuncturist, I have encountered patients with all forms of arthritis and a majority of them have eventually been able to wean themselves off their steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. Although acupuncture is an integral part of their treatment, I usually combine this with relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, nutritional supplements, and Chinese herbal medicine. It is always comforting (for both me and my patients) to know that my patients get safer and natural treatments for the alleviation of their pain that do not have any of the side effects that Western pharmaceuticals have which often leads to equally serious complications. Their use over a long period of time can lead to a general weakening of the body and premature aging.

Listed below are a number of nutritional and herbal supplements that have been proven effective for the treatment of inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. For arthritis sufferers, you should always avail of the services of a healthcare professional if you plan to use these products.

Herbal Supplements

Evening Primrose Oil – This powerful essential oil is widely used to relieve several of the symptoms of mild to moderate arthritis.

Du Huo Ji Xeng Tang – This herbal concoction is effective in addressing Bi syndromes that strike the knees, legs, and lower back. Bi is a Chinese medicine term that refers to a set of symptoms that is marked by cold, damp or wind accumulating in the body that results in pain. Du Huo Ji Xeng Tang is specifically used to alleviate muscle tension and ache.

Wan Bi Tang – This is a very old herbal remedy for arthritis. It is also used to address Bi syndromes. Wan Bi Tang is very useful in resolving the stiffness and achiness caused by arthritis usually felt in the upper body.

Zhen Tong Shu Yu Tang – This formula is a remedy for systemic blood stagnation marked by severe and sharp pain felt all over the body. Zhen Tong Shu Yu Tang can be used to relieve pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm that is fixed in nature.

Nutritional Supplements

Cetyl myristoleate – This is a fatty acid that can serve as an emollient to the joints. For arthritis sufferers, around 500 mg to 1 gram of Cetyl myristoleate needs to be taken every day. It is very effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Mineral and Vitamins – Vital nutrients that produce synovial fluid include magnesium, selenium, calcium and vitamins A, B complex, C, D, and E. For the nourishment of connective tissue and bones, Vitamins C and D are extremely vital.

Fish Oil – Intake of complex and high quality essential fatty acid is very important for the relief of arthritic inflammation and pain and for the increased output of synovial fluid in the joints. For chronic arthritis, fish oil can help ward off depression that usually accompanies this chronic disease. Recommended initial dose for fish oil is 3 grams a day.

Yoga and Meditation

Both yoga and meditation have been practiced for thousands of years in several cultures in Asia. These are proven helpful techniques that provide quite a number of health benefits to the body and mind. Yoga and meditation that is correctly practiced can help improve flexibility, overcome fatigue and better manage chronic pain associated with arthritis.


Some rudimentary helpful dietary recommendations can be extremely helpful for the proper management of arthritis symptoms:

Stay away from alcohol and coffee – These two substances irritate the abdomen, colon, and liver. They can also amplify the emotional issues and pain that come with arthritis.

Avoid genetically modified foods as well as synthetic sweeteners and additives.

Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars – They both can aggravate the pain and inflammation and weaken vitality and digestion.

Consume more organic whole foods including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, chicken and fish, chicken. A diet consisting of these foods can provide you with the fiber, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids you need to properly manage arthritis.


Last but not least, consult with a licensed acupuncturist that has extensive experience in treating arthritis. Your practitioner should know how to improve blood flow in your body, alleviate inflammation and pain, and help improve the function of your nervous system. I usually recommend for my chronic arthritis patients a weekly treatment lasting 6 to 8 weeks.