Acupuncture is a Chinese method of treatment which aims at maintaining the energy balance in the body. The procedure involves stimulating the energy channels of the body by using fine steel needles. It enhances the production of endorphins (pain controlling hormones) in the body, therefore less pain.
Signs you are suffering from arthritis
Arthritis is a disorder that is characterized by inflammation and swelling in the joints. The symptoms of arthritis are tenderness in the joints, fatigue, fever and stiffness in the joints that worsen in the morning. Initially, the smaller joints in the body are affected; it then progresses to joints in the elbows, wrists and the knees.
Causes behind it
Arthritis is caused when the immune system starts attacking the membrane surrounding the joints. Inflammation occurs, resulting in destruction of the bone and cartilage. It causes the ligaments and the tendons holding the joint to weaken. The joints then starts to lose their original alignment and shape.
Dietary guidelines you must follow
You need to follow dietary guidelines such as avoiding refined and processed foods as they can contribute to the inflammation of the joints. You also need to steer clear of foods which may trigger a reaction from your immune system. Mild exercises to strengthen the joints may be performed to improve mobility.
Acupuncture and arthritis
The procedure begins with the practitioner applying alcohol to the affected spot and tapping the area with a needle. The disorder determines the number of needles required, the spots of insertion and the depth to which they have to be inserted. The duration for which the needles are kept in the body ranges from a few minutes to an hour. In order to enhance the effect of the needles, they may be heated or energized electrically. You may experience a tingling sensation in case electricity is used.
Acupuncture is a holistic method of treatment that has no side effects. It does not involve chemicals; so it is safe to use. It will not cure the disorder, but can reduce the pain to a large extent. One of the added benefits of this procedure is that no matter, which part of the body is subjected to this process, it does help calm your mind down.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, destroying the synovial tissue of small joints like hand, wrist, elbow, feet etc.
Symptoms may include pain, weakness, morning stiffness and pain, stiffness and pain after a period of inactivity, joint swelling, restricted joint mobility leading to reduced function.
Certain people are with increasing risk of suffering from arthritis, they are:
Exposure to tobacco smoke
Occupational dust (silica)
High sodium, red meat, and iron consumption
Low vitamin d intake and levels
[ note that arthritis can't be cured but it's symptoms can be managed very effectively with proper medications, lifestyle and diet. ]
Remedies to manage arthritis and it's symptoms:
1). Exercise - exercise increases joint function by reducing pain & stiffness.
Exercises like aerobic, hydrotherapy works excellent.
2). Massage - massage soothes the pain and reduces swelling.
3). Diet - foods that aggravate arthritis should be avoided, they are:
. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
. Processed and junk foods.
. Excessive salt, oil, meat and alcohol.
. Refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils like canola oil, safflower oil, soyabean oil, rapeseed oil etc.
. Nightshade category foods like: potatoes, pepper, tomato, chili powder, capsicums, cherries, goji berries.
. Smoking cigarettes contain polycyclic hydrocarbon which are highly inflammatory.
Foods to have:
Their are various foods that help to fight arthritis symptoms and inflammation.
They are as follows:
. Omega 3 fatty acids: from seacod oil, fish oil, flax seeds and chia seeds, olive oil etc.
. Magnesium taken from pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, almonds, nuts, dark chocolate, etc.
. Vit d3 (uvb) from sun exposure minimum of 30 mins for asian people who usually have brown to wheatish colour, for fair people 20 mins is sufficient, given the time of exposure is anywhere between 10am - 2pm during winters and 10am - 12pm in summers.
. Capsaicin - when used in the form of topical application locally, gives promising results.
. Probiotics (good friendly bacteria found in our gut) like lactobacillus, l. Rhamnosus, bifidibacterium, saccharomyces etc helps alot, food sources are: yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir etc. (fermented foods or vegetables).
. Foods high in antioxidants and vit c helps to lower inflammation, foods like apple, guava, papaya, avocado, carrot, sweet potatoes, pineapple (bromelain) are rich in antioxidants like bioflavonoids which helps to fight ros (reactive oxidation species) of free radicals, thus helping to lower inflammation and pain.
. Proteolytic enzymes when taken two hours before meal or four hours after meal gives excellent anti-inflammatory properties, they are found in: pineapple, papaya (unripe), ginger, kiwi etc.
Serrapeptase is also a nutraceuticals enzyme found in natural plant enzyme in europe gives excellent pain relief.
. Curcumin with more than 85% pure organic biocurcuminoids gives phenomenal pain relief and stiffness in arthritis.
. Boswellia serrata also knows as indian frankincense, shallaki in sanskrit gives good pain relief when taken in more than 75% boswellic acid.
. Foods high in methylsulfonyl methane (msm) gives pain relief, foods like garlic, onion, cabbage, asparagus are high in msm.
. Bone broth - it has amino acids like proline and glycine which rebuilds connective tissue.
These natural remedies can be tried as complementary medicine along with conventional medical treatment, but make sure you seek advice with your nutritionally informed doctor and a nutritionist before taking any food supplements or nutraceuticals.
Conquer arthritis with" food is medicine" on world arthritis day - 12th october.