Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Benefit Those with Arthritis and Pain

Arthritis is a condition characterized by chronic pain in the joints, along with swelling, numbness and stiffness, loss of movement and range of motion. It is often accompanied by emotional issues such as depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia, which can exacerbate the pain and frustration of the condition. Along with these symptoms, a patient may also experience fatigue and an inclination to catch colds. Some patients lose their jobs, and see their quality of life substantially undermined due to arthritis. While arthritis is defined by the experience of pain in the joints, patients often undergo diminished functional conditions throughout the body. This causes a lowered quality of life, and affects not just the patient, but entire families.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can treat this debilitating disease effectively without using drugs, pain killers and Cortisone shots. Even though TCM is new to most Americans, it has been treating arthritis for over two thousand years – it is often quite effective for patients, and does not have the side effects that many drug treatments can have. Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, food therapy, Tuina (Chinese Massage) and Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi, one of Chinese style exercises) can substantially reduce most patients’ pain, while greatly improving their range of motion and stability.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine have a history spanning more than two thousand five hundred years in China. These modalities are used to treat a variety of diseases including pain, osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Acupuncture is the first and immediate choice for patients with chronic pain in China. According to Chinese medicine, arthritis is due to either an imbalance of the body, or a deficiency of body. Unregulated intake of food, improper lifestyle, occupational causes, weather changes, environmental conditions, and emotional changes can all cause what is described as “qi stagnation,” or a low flow of energy, which leads to pain, numbness, swelling and stiffness. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can relieve joint pain, and the combination of strengthening the body, proper diet choices, developing skills for psychological and emotional self regulation, and preparing for weather changes with the seasons will also provide significant benefit to all patients. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can relieve pain that may be more localized to one part of the body, or that extends to the entire body, treating pain from the inside to the outside of the body. Notably, these forms of treatment can offer help to some patients who may have marked difficulty with other therapeutic modalities.

Subsequent to initial research done in China in 1958 on the effects of acupuncture for analgesia during surgical procedures, many research projects investigating acupuncture and electro-acpuncture as treatments for pain have been undertaken. The results have consistently shown that acupuncture and electro-acupuncture have the ability to improve many painful conditions. They have been determined to be safe, with no adverse side effects, and can even increase the adaptive and regulatory ability of circulatory and immune function. Long-term monitoring of patients who have undergone these treatments show that they do not undergo side effects such as addiction, fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns, poor memory, or emotional changes. Even aspirin, a very common medication for pain, can cause stomach ulcers or generalized bleeding, side effects that acupuncture and electro-acupuncture do not have. Acupuncture has been recognized as a treatment for chronic pain in the United States since the 1980’s, and significant research has been conducted in medical colleges across the country focusing on acupuncture for pain and arthritis since 1995. Other common uses for acupuncture and electro-acupuncture are stress, anxiety, depression, obsessive /over-thinking, and insomnia. Patients with arthritis tend to find their conditions much improved, and their accompanying symptoms – such as fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, addiction, immune system weakness, etc. – were all notably lessened.

Dr. Yang has protocols with acupuncture/electro-acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, food therapy, herbs, Tuina and Tai chi for arthritis, pain and mental disorders. Using his more than twenty four years of clinical experience and research, he has helped hundreds of patients with various health problems. The education that Dr. Yang can provide to patients for their own self-care is regularly of great benefit to those with arthritis, and can vastly improve the patients’ quality of life.