Natural Healing
Signs & Syndromes

Arthritis refers to the more than 100 distinct diseases that cause pain and swelling, and limit movement in joints and connective tissue. Arthritis is the number one cause of severe pain and disability which limits physical activity.

Over 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. The usual age of onset for arthritis is between 30 and 40, but the disease may start at any age and may even strike children.

Women are affected by rheumatoid arthritis three times as often as men, and about 16 percent of the females population over 65 have the disease. True Arthritis comes in two forms, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. The main symptoms of arthritis are:

    Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Joint immobility
  • About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
  • Inflammation or enlargement of the joints
  • Stiffness         
  • Swelling     
  • Deformity
Common Causes

Osteoarthritis Arthritis:

  • Anorexia
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Long term use of corticosteroids, anticoagulant or anti-seizure medications
  • Lack of exercise
  • Kidney, liver, thyroid and endocrine disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The synovial membrane becomes thickened and inflamed. The inflammation causes cartilage to break down at the pivot point of the joint, while excess synovial fluid cause the cavity to swell.

Arthritis in the Knee

From Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, "Qi," (pronounced "chee") travels between the Exterior and Interior (internal organs) through the joints. Joint impairment is the result of blockage of Qi, and blood. Since the body's priority is to protect the Interior, defensive energy (Wei Qi) ideally dispels invading pathogenic factors at the Exterior, between the muscles and the skin. When the impaired circulation cannot provide nourishment or carry away wastes for the joint structures in the area, the first result is pain. In acupuncture theory, this condition is called blockage syndrome.


Western Medicine

The most common Western treatment for arthritis is non­steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Although these drugs can relieve pain and decrease inflammation, they do nothing to cure the disease. And their common side effect, gastric irritation, can lead to ulcers. In fact, a patient often bounces back and forth between a rheumatologist and gastroenterologist, first receiving treatment for the arthritis and then receiving treatment for the ulcer caused by the medication.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese treatments also reduce pain and inflammation, but they focus on eliminating the cause of the arthritis and, thus, the disease itself.

Acupuncture for Arthritis

Arthritis responds very well to acupuncture. When combined with moxa, it can relieve pain and reduce inflammation immediately. Some acute cases require only a few treatments. Needles are typically placed into points surrounding the painful area, bringing circulation to the area and helping relieve the stagnation that causes pain and swelling. A more chronic, long-term arthritic condition can take months or even years to resolve. For this reason, it is essential to begin treating this disorder at the earliest stage possible.