Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that functions on the principle of inserting very fine needles into specific points on the surface of the body. When these points are stimulated, the patient finds relief from pain. This is because after the needles are inserted into a pain center, the body releases pain-killing endorphins which help to relax the whole body. They also help us feel better, due to the release of serotonin.
Acupuncture functions on the principle that the body comprises a fine balance between two opposing forces: yin and yang. While yin represents the cold, slow and passive principle, yang stands for the hot, excited or active principle. For us to be healthy, the yin and yang must be in a balanced state. Therefore, any imbalance between these two forces leads to the blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways or meridians. Our bodies have 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and we have over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that connect with them.
Usually, an acupuncturist stimulates the acupuncture points in the following ways:
By applying pressure:
Pressure is applied with the finger, fruit seeds, stones, or other methods
The acupuncturist taps the acupuncture points gently.
By inserting needles:
The acupuncturist inserts very fine needles and twirls them around with his fingers, applying electricity, light bloodletting; or heating with burning herbs attached to the stem of the needle (or moxibustion), lamps, or lasers.
The acupuncturist places small, heated glass jars that form a vacuum over the acupuncture points to bring energy to the surface .
Recent research points to the fact that arthritis can, in fact, be cured in combination with conventional treatments. Patients who undergo acupuncture actually find significant pain relief.
Acupuncture can help control acute inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, acupuncture can help relieve pain in three distinct ways: first, it causes the body to release chemicals called endorphins, which stop us from feeling any pain. Second, acupuncture blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain by working through the nervous system. Third, it disables the trigger points from emitting any pain sensations. In addition, acupuncture can relax the mind and body and encourages the healing process.
Acupuncture isn’t just used in bringing pain relief to patients of arthritis-it also helps bring about a positive effect on all other arthritis-related symptoms that appear in the three basic forms of this disease. They are:
Acupuncture for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Here, you will find your joints swollen and hot with soreness and pain at the joints. Depending on the changes in the body’s stress levels, the degree of inflammation fluctuates. Acupuncture stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroids, which also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and bring down the pain.
Osteoarthritis & Acupuncture
The erosion of the cartilage in the joints that contain calcium deposits marks this stage. These deposits reduce the mobility of the joint. For acupuncture to work effectively at this stage, the joint should not have reached a high level of deterioration, although it will help to reduce and control the pain.
Acupuncture & Gouty Arthritis:
Here, deposits of oxalic acid make joint movement very difficult and extremely painful. So, acupuncture plays a significant role in bringing about pain relief.
Acupuncture has proved to be very effective in controlling arthritic pain symptoms. It can be relied upon when the pain is unbearable, and should be used in conjunction with other therapies.