Acupuncture for Arthritis – What You Need to Know
Arthritis is a painful condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Acupuncture has been used for centuries as an alternative form of medicine, and, at Sixth Sense Acupuncture, we see many cases of arthritis and other autoimmune conditions in our clients. As an acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic we have a passionate interest in supporting you through these issues. Here, we explore acupuncture for arthritis so you can decide if acupuncture treatment for your arthritis is right for you.
What is Acupuncture for Arthritis?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has used acupuncture for thousands of years. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice in which thin needles are inserted into specific parts of the body to stimulate healing.
How does that healing work you ask?
The midbrain, which is part of our brain, takes in all of our sensory information, more importantly our pain sensory information. The midbrain is getting a pain signal from our joints (where the arthritis is) but it doesn’t know why. Along with a long duration of pain called chronic pain, the midbrain thinks the worst – that the joint is poisonous or infectious. The midbrain is then willing to sacrifice that joint to save the rest of the body, by how? Cutting blood flow off.
This explains why those with arthritis may find their knees, for example, become weak and stiff either at rest or after certain activities – a result of decreased oxygen and nutrients due to restricted circulation. Acupuncture invigorates neurons to stimulate the midbrain to send morphine produced by the body to the painful areas, once the pain is gone then the midbrain sends blood to the painful area as well. Blood transports nutrients and oxygen into the affected parts – this is the most important function of acupuncture.
This gentle treatment offers pain relief for up to 12-24 hours. However, in order to maintain its effectiveness over time it is recommended as a regular practice with treatments everyday or every other day. By establishing a regular acupuncture routine, individuals can retrain their midbrain to function optimally and restore physical wellbeing.
What happens during acupuncture treatment for arthritis?
We see many patients suffering from joint pain due to arthritis and, since each person’s experience with arthritis varies greatly depending on their age, lifestyle habits and condition severity it is important to have an individualised treatment plan tailored specifically for your needs. This can make a huge difference in terms of symptom management and overall wellbeing.
When you first come to the clinic, our experienced Acupuncturist will spend time discussing your health history and health goals. Following this in-depth discussion, an introductory plan will be offered to you. This is part of the initial assessment we will make about how your body responds to acupuncture. In our experience, some symptoms can respond to a very simple approach. However, others can require a lengthier plan.
Every client is different and your symptoms are likely to be very specific to you. This is why we tailor our approach to your specific needs.
We also make sure you understand what will happen next by playing a video which explains how traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture works.
Your first acupuncture treatment for arthritis will involve the insertion of fine, sterile needles into acupuncture points along the body’s meridian lines. Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing and, once the needles are inserted, you will have the opportunity to relax. While you are resting, the acupuncture needles are working to balance your body.
As a professional Chinese medicine practice, we can also advise you about Chinese Herbal Medicines that may be useful in boosting your general health maintenance and disease prevention. Chinese herbs can strengthen and enhance body functions, boost the immune system and assist with your general sense of wellbeing.
Does acupuncture for arthritis hurt? Although acupuncture has long been used as a form of alternative medicine, some are still suspicious of the process. One common misconception is that needles used in acupuncture must be painful or uncomfortable. In fact, the sensation someone feels when experiencing acupuncture can often be described as a light tingling or mild pressure. During the insertion of the needles any discomfort should only last for a fraction of a second and gradually diminish. Properly prepared acupuncture needles are very thin and sharp resulting in minimal irritation to nerve endings when properly inserted. Though individual sensitivity levels need to be taken into account, the feeling experienced during acupuncture is generally no more painful than a light pinch.
For those suffering from arthritis who are looking for a non-invasive way to manage their pain, acupuncture could be worth considering. With proper care and maintenance through acupuncture therapy, you will likely experience improved overall health and well-being. Contact us to discuss acupuncture for your arthritis and take a step towards improved health.
This blog features the views of the writer and is for educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health practitioners before acting on information on this article, particularly if you have a medical condition, taking medication or if you are pregnant.