Why Acupuncture and Massage Therapy Are Very Popular Treatments for Arthritis

Arthritis is a huge health issue in America affecting around 71 million Americans each year. In fact, it is the most common cause of disability in this country. A complex disease, arthritis can occur at any age and has over a hundred different forms. Among these forms, none is more frequently occurring than rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. People who have arthritis have found out that massage therapy and acupuncture can be quite effective in neutralizing the symptoms of this condition.

Osteoarthritis – This is a type of arthritis that affects the most people in the United States. It strikes a record 23 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a systemic breakdown of the cartilage in the joints resulting in the typical arthritic symptoms of stiffness and severe pain. These symptoms usually hit the ankles, wrists, shoulders, knees, fingers, spine and shoulders. A past injury can cause this disease to travel to a part of the body that normally isn’t affected by this condition. Osteoarthritis usually comes about as a result of work-related injuries which may include occupations or activities that require frequent and repetitive kneeling, squatting or bending. These repetitive movements are common causes of knee osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can cause damage to various joints in the body; worse, it can even affect body parts such as the blood, heart, and skin tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis can become chronic. It is characterized by the inflammation of the synovium joints causing redness, swelling of the joints, warmth, and stiffness. This condition can disfigure the joints making it difficult for the sufferer to move properly.

Arthritis Treatment using Acupuncture and Massage Therapies

During these past few years, the use of massage therapy and acupuncture has risen significantly. This is because they have proven effective and are very safe to use compared to the arthritis drugs offered by conventional medicine.

It is no secret that acupuncture has been endorsed by both the World Health Organization and the National institutes of Health to be a valid treatment for a wide range of health conditions including arthritis. And acupuncture has validated these seals of approval by successfully treating the inflammation and pain caused by different kinds of arthritis in countless of arthritis patients throughout the years. A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will customize a unique treatment plan based on the patient’s symptoms and constitution. This means that lifestyle modifications, massage, Chinese herbs and acupuncture therapy in New York may be integrated into the plan. Also may be included are energetic exercises and dietary therapy to help maximize results.

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Arthritis

The acupoints to be needled for arthritis treatment may not only be located on or near the site of the pain and stiffness. Points known as distal points which are situated remotely from the affected body areas may also be included in the treatment. Those points may be situated around your arms or legs. If you have an issue with needles, then it might help to know that the needles used in acupuncture treatments are very thin, approximately as thin as the hair in your head. You need to find a licensed and qualified acupuncturist to prevent any accidents and injuries that might occur if an unqualified practitioner does the treatment. Acupuncture can be such a relaxing experience for many individuals that some of them go for treatment in order to sleep well at night. The treatment may last for about 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Usually multiple sessions may be needed depending on the gravity of your condition.

During follow-up appointments, you may be given Chinese herbs to help relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis. Some herbs that may that may be given to you for the treatment of arthritis include:

Wan Bi Tang
Angelica Pubescens
Peony root
Cinnamon Twig

A study performed in Sweden involved 33 arthritis patients who are about to undergo hip replacement surgery. After receiving acupuncture treatment about a quarter of the patients showed so much improved functionality that they decided not to go on with their surgery.

Massage Therapy for Arthritis

These days, medical doctors use massage and acupuncture therapies as adjunct therapies to conventional treatments in treating patients with arthritis. Massage therapy has a history that goes as far back as ancient Greece. It was Hippocrates who first understood that rubbing the body in a certain way can produce therapeutic benefits. Rubbing can help loosen a stiff joint. He was obviously right. In fighting arthritis, massage therapy can help:

Boost blood circulation to the skin
Relax tense muscles
Improve the movement of the joints

Since there are several types of massage therapies to choose from, you can opt for one that your body can positively respond to. Some of these therapies include:

Reflexology
Swedish massage
Acupressure
Trigger Point Therapy
Deep Tissue Massage

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