Acupuncture for diagnosis and treatment of arthritis is now becoming more prevalent but having your skin savagely poked with a series of long needles doesn't exactly sound like ideal comfort, especially when you are already living with arthritis, a rheumatoid disease characterized by it's trademark stiffness and pain. The ancient Chinese would beg to differ, along with the estimated fifteen million Americans who have tried the ancient Chinese needle therapy known as acupuncture. Around the Asian continent, acupuncture has been used for generations to alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain sufferers, like arthritis patients, for instance. Prospective "acupokees" should be aware that acupuncture therapy is used for treating arthritis, not diagnosing it. Although patients should garner a arthritis diagnosis before signing up for acupuncture therapy.
Studies in Arthritis and Acupuncture
More than twenty million Americans live with osteoarthritis (there are various forms of the condition, however). In fact, osteoarthritis is amongst the most frequent causes for physical disability in adults. Despite a history spanning more than two thousand years, it was 2001 before acupuncture was found to aid arthritis in the knee via a study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The study included 570 osteoarthritis patients over the age of fifty who had never before received acupuncture, surgery, or steroid injections. A control group was selected and these individuals received regular sessions of acupuncture. By the end of the first week, the acupuncture group experienced a surge in mobility and by the end of the study the group reported a forty percent decrease in pain and a forty percent increase in knee function.
Using Acupuncture For Treating Arthritis
Bigwigs of Western medicine aren't exactly sure just how acupuncture works to fight arthritis and similar diseases, but the skilled acupuncture who administer the therapy have an idea or two. According to therapeutic philosophy, pain is the result of a blockage of one of life's essential energies, qui. Stimulating certain points will put the flow of qui back in balance again, thus alleviating chronic pain in the process - Volia! A 1999 study even found evidence that acupuncture improves sleep.
During acupuncture therapy, very thin needles are inserted into precise point in the skin, these points are known as acupoints. It is these acupoints that may have the biggest influence on the connection between treating arthritis with the use of the acupuncture therapy. In addition to being poked and prodded, acupoints also react to magnets, currents of electricity, acupressure (hand pressure), lasers and even bee stings. Acupuncture practitioners have also been known to administer herbs along with wielding out some advice on making lifestyle changes at the conclusion of a session.
Studies demonstrate that some of designated acupoints are actually connected to sensitive bio-trigger points rich in nerve endings. And further studies show that tinkering around with those triggers can cause a mirage of biological responses, one of the many responses being the chemical release of endorphins. The release of endorphins is pivotal to acupuncture's influence on arthritis because the chemical serves as the body's own answer to Advil, Tylenol and Motrin, as a natural painkiller.
Acupuncture Checks and Balances
Acupuncture costs vary across the United States. But as a rule of thumb, first visits usually fall between $75 and $150, with cheaper follow-up treatments costing between $35 and $75. Health insurance accommodations of acupuncture vary, but advocates of using the therapy for the treatment of diagnosed arthritis cite the long-term benefits of it's hefty price tag, which include fewer doctor visits over time and saving a few bucks on prescriptions.