May 20th is World Autoimmune Arthritis Awareness– autoimmune arthritis diseases are systemic illnesses that affect the entire body. Examples include Lupus, Juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and the focus of this blog:Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
RA is a system inflammation that causes chronic inflammation around joints, tissues and organs. It is a progressive disease and may cause permanent joint deformity.
What are the symptoms of RA?
Joint swelling, joint pain and tenderness, morning stiffness, fatigue, red swollen hands. RA symptoms are often not static and can go into remission as well as relapse.
How to approach treatment holistically?
- Nutrition: good nutrition is essential for autoimmune disease including limiting processed foods, cutting simple carbohydrates, limiting red meat, and cooking with anti-inflammatory herbs such as paprika, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and curry.
- Drink green tea which also helps reduce inflammation
- Chinese herbal medicine also helps. We recommend Arthro-Aid. Read about Arthro-Aid here.
- Acupuncture is an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases which provides symptomatic treatment for pain and discomfort while also providing system care for the autoimmune component.
- Call to find out how Wildwood Acupuncture can help.
Latest Research on RA & Acupuncture (from HealthCMI webpage)
Acupuncture and electro-acupuncture were tested for their efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers measured key blood factors responsible for rheumatoid arthritis. The study measured that both acupuncture and electro-acupuncture significantly reduced both blood and synovial joint levels of tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Electro-acupuncture was shown to have a greater effect in lowering VEGF than non-electrical acupuncture.
In this randomized controlled study, 63 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were split into two groups. One group received electro-acupuncture and the other received non-electrical acupuncture. Acupuncture points were selected on pain related points (Ashi points) and related Yang acupuncture channels. The patients were treated every other day for a total of ten treatments per course. Each patient received three courses of treatment. The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture “could effectively lower the contents of TNF-α and VEGF in peripheral blood and joint synovia to improve the internal environment for genesis and development of RA, so as to enhance the clinical therapeutic effectiveness.”
Ouyang, Ba-si; Gao, Jie; Che, Jian-li; Zhang, Yin; Li, Jun; Yang, Hai-zhou; Hu, Tian-yan; Yang, Man; Wu, Yuan-jian; Ji, Ling-ling. Effect of electro-acupuncture on tumor necrosis factor-α and vascular endothelial growth factor in peripheral blood and joint synovia of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2011-07-01. Chinese Association of Traditional and Western Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. 672-0415, 505- 509 v17 issue 7.