Chinese Medicine may not be the first option that people may consider to treat arthritis. Along with limited promotion from western doctors as an effective form of medicine, it has taken a long time for Chinese Medicine to gain momentum and trust from arthritis sufferers. However studies are increasingly showing the successful results achieved from herbal remedies, acupuncture and acupressure therapies when applied to arthritis.
The success of Chinese medicine to effectively treat arthritis can be attributed to its simple holistic approach to the individual and the illness. Rather than treating the symptoms, Chinese medicine looks at the individual’s lifestyle, habits, diet and external factors to determine the kind of treatment suitable for that person. In fact, in Chinese medicine, arthritis conditions are classified as ‘bi’ which present themselves in various forms of ‘bi’. So your practitioner will spend a lot of time trying to find which Bi you have first before administering any remedy. These are:
- Wind Bi or Xing Bi – This form of arthritis pain moves around the body and is caused or worsened by wind, damp and cold coming into the body and disturbing the Chi and blood circulation.
- Cold Bi or Tong Bi – In this type of arthritis the pain is located in particular joints. It is caused or worsened by too much cold; in turn slowing down the flow of Chi. Movement is highly recommended as this heats up the system.
- Damp Bi or Zuo Bi – The body suffers from internal stagnation and numbness. The pain gets worse on rainy days or cloudy days.
- Heat Bi or Re Bi – This is caused when the body’s internal system presents any problems within the body by converting them into heat inside the joints. Usually characterized by lots of swelling and tenderness.
Osteoarthritis is classified as Wind Damp Cold Bi because it presents itself on cold and damp days. Rheumatoid arthritis is known as heat Bi because of the hot swollen joints usually associated with it. This means that for Cold Bi, an herbal remedy is given to warm up and dry the person from within. And for the Heat Bi, a neutral remedy would be given.
Much of the focus with Chinese medicine with regards to arthritis is on the internal blood circulation and phlegm build-up which often results in pain and imbalance of the ‘Chi’ Chinese medicine seeks to balance this. Therefore remedies will focus on revitalising the blood and releasing phlegm accumulation in the system. A diet full of the essential nutrients to aid in this process will be suggested along with taking specific herbal formulas. More importantly is that each prescription is tailored to your specific needs and ailment and is designed to strengthen your body from within. Depending on your particular situation, acupuncture or acupressure would also be part of your treatment.
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