Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your immune system attacks your own body’s tissues. Normally, the condition affects the joints, but it also has the potential to damage other body systems, such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
While there is no real cure, RA in Western medicine is commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS); however common side effects include heartburn, stomach ulcers, headaches and dizziness, high blood pressure, and can also lead to liver or kidney problems.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Arthritis
Natural approaches to treatment using traditional Chinese medicine, specifically acupuncture and herbal therapy have proved to have much less risk and can improve the condition considerably.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture not only relieves pain, but reduces the inflammation almost immediately. Needles are used around the painful areas, where they restore circulation and relieve swelling. Treatment can take from just a few sessions to several months or years, depending on the severity if the condition. It is therefore strongly recommended that action to treat rheumatoid arthritis begin as soon as it is diagnosed.
Herbal Therapy: In chronic cases like RA, herbal therapy is particularly beneficial. Formulas will vary depending on the cause of the condition; for example, if the arthritis developed due to dampness, it will require herbs that eliminate the excess cold. In general, the traditional Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) can be used for joint pain, fever, chills, oedema, and local inflammation. Nicknamed the “Thunder God Vine”, it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to strengthen the immune system.
Together, treatment using acupuncture and Chinese medicine can drastically improve rheumatoid arthritis. If you begin to experience extreme fatigue and joint pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to book an appointment at the Mantra Wellness Centre.