Rhuematoid Arthritis and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where chronic inflammation affects the lining of the joints, causing bone erosion and joint deformity. RA tends to affect the smaller joints first and progress to the larger joints. It can affect the whole body with fever, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and loss of movement. The cause of RA remains unknown, however it is suspected that it may have a genetic factor that is triggered by bacterial or viral infection.
Traditional Chinese medicine categorizes RA as a ‘Bi syndrome’ ( “Bi” means obstruction or blockage). Bi syndromes that lead to rheumatoid arthritis typically arise from an imbalance in the Kidneys, Liver and Spleen; the flow of energy known as Qi (pronounced “chee”) becomes blocked which invites invasion of factors outside the organism (wind, cold and dampness). This invasion obstructs the Qi, and hinders blood circulation, which leads to pain and causes disease.
Symptoms of RA include aches, pain, numbness, stiffness, redness and swelling. The pain will vary in intensity and tends to come and go; flare-ups will alternate with periods where symptoms lesson or disappear.
There is no known cure for RA, however, acupuncture offers a safe and drug-free means to manage the symptoms and prevent progression of this debilitating disease. By targeting the body’s immune system with an emphasis on tonifying the Kidneys, Liver and Spleen, acupuncture can prevent flare-ups from re-occurring, reduce pain and swelling, and improve one’s over-all sense of wellness.
If your lifestyle is impaired by Rhumatoid Arthritis, and you have not tried acupuncture for pain relief, you should make an appointment to discuss treatment options. Schedule your appointment today!
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