Arthritis is a complex condition that can virtually strike any person at any age. It can actually manifest in more than a hundred various conditions. Arthritis affects about 70 million Americans each year and is the number one cause of disability in the United States. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It has been demonstrated that both massage therapy and acupuncture are two of the best natural and alternative forms of treatment for those two types of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of disease that can affect a number of your joints; some patients even think that it can affect the other parts of the body, including the heart, skin tissue, lungs and even the blood. This condition can become chronic or long-term, and is marked by joint inflammation especially affecting a part of the joint known as the synovium. Rheumatoid arthritis generates symptoms such as redness, warmth, stiffness of the joint. The joints that are affected can misshape and this can lose their ability to move in a normal fashion.
In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is what tens of millions of Americans suffer from. It is the most common type of arthritis in the United States victimizing around 21 million Americans each year. Osteoarthritis is basically a systematic dysfunction of the joint cartilage that causes stiffness and excruciating pain. The spine, fingers, knees and hips are usually the parts of the body affected by pain while the ankles, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists are not as affected. When the condition affects areas other than the aforementioned ones, the reason may be due to a patient’s pre-existing injury. Injuries from work are usual causes of the rise of osteoarthritis. Work that entails frequent squatting, kneeling and bending, for example, can make one at high risk for developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
Because of their proven effectiveness in treating arthritis, massage therapies and acupuncture have served as great and oftentimes superior alternative options to mainstream medical treatments. Besides this advantage, both massage therapies and acupuncture for arthritis treatments have origins that are deeply entrenched in the mystical world of ancient medicine.
Acupuncture for Arthritis Treatment
Acupuncture as well other Eastern medical procedures have been incredibly successful in treating the inflammation and pain associated different kinds of arthritis. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) customizes acupuncture treatment based on the symptoms that may manifest uniquely per patient. Acupuncture is often combined with lifestyle changes, body work and Chinese herbs to help make the treatment more powerful and effective. Even energetic exercises and dietary changes are included in the treatment process of arthritis.
The acupuncturist uses certain acupuncture points to treat arthritis which more often than not are not located on the affected sites itself but in different parts scattered over the body. A patient should not be surprised then that an acupuncture needle may be placed in every area from your arms to your legs and even right down to toe. The needles used should not be objects that make you scared. They actually, are there to help you remove your pain and stress and oftentimes enable you to fall into a really very good quality sleep. A session may be around a mere five minutes to around 30 minutes; arthritis patients however, may need a number of sessions based on the seriousness of their condition.
Your acupuncturist may prescribe Chinese herbal remedies meant to relieve the arthritis symptoms. Some of these Chinese herbs integrated into your acupuncture therapy may include:
Juan Bi Tang
A study done in Sweden involving 32 arthritis /hip replacement patients demonstrated that 25% of the subjects who were given acupuncture therapy manifested improvements in their functionality making them decide that hip replacement is not needed anymore
Massage Therapy for Arthritis
Both massage therapies and acupuncture for arthritis treatment are utilized as excellent alternatives to western medicine, but a few are aware that both these modalities got their start in the ancient world. The Greek physician Hippocrates two thousand years ago, first believed that “rubbing” can be a way to help loosen/relax a “hard joint”
Some of the benefits massage therapy can give in fighting arthritis:
It helps improve blood flow to the skin
Relaxes taut and tense muscles
Improves the movement of the joint
If one type of massage therapy fails you, don’t worry since there are several different types of massage therapy you can try out. They include among others:
Trigger Point Therapy
Deep Tissue Massage