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May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to explore how acupuncture can benefit those experiencing joint pain and inflammation.

As the leading cause of disability in the United States, arthritis affects more than 54 million adults each year in this country who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritic condition such as osteoarthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis. While most people over age 50 show some signs of one form or another as joints naturally degenerate over time, arthritis can be managed with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), triggers the body to heal itself by producing hormones that reduce pain and inflammation. Rather than view arthritis as one particular syndrome, TCM addresses the specific symptoms of each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, herbs, bodywork, lifestyle and dietary recommendations and energy exercises that are customized to restore balance within the body.

According to TCM, arthritis occurs when the flow of qi (pronounced chee), which is the vital life force flowing along energy pathways throughout the body, becomes blocked. This blockage is called "bi" (pronounced bee) type pain and has been widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of acupuncture and selected herbs.

In TCM, bi syndrome is manifested as pain and soreness, or numbness, in muscles, tendons and joints, which result from such factors as wind, cold or heat, and dampness. These pathogenic elements can lodge in the body’s energy pathways, or meridians, and block the free flow of qi and blood along those pathways. This can lead them to stagnate, causing the symptoms of arthritis such as pain and heat.

Acupuncture and herbal therapy helps open those blockages, restoring balance and harmony to the qi and blood, and eliminating pain and inflammation.

If you’ve tried other treatments for arthritis and have found little to no relief, or if you’re looking for alternative treatment options, consider acupuncture and TCM as an option to explore.   For more information or to schedule an appointment, give our office a call!