In an online magazine from the Arthritis Foundation, there is an article about how Acupuncture eases arthritis. “It’s been about 2,000 years in the making, but acupuncture may now be propelled into the mainstream. New research shows that the two must common forms of arthritis—rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis—are among the conditions treated with acupuncture.”
The unnamed author gets into the why-it-works of it before presenting several interesting studies. RA=rheumatoid arthritis and OA is Osteoarthritis.
RA. A recent study from China shows that both traditional acupuncture and electroacupuncture – a type in which pulsating electrical currents are sent through the needles to stimulate target areas – may reduce tenderness. All 36 participants had a standardized treatment, whether they received traditional acupuncture or electroacupuncture. During a total of 20 sessions throughout a 10-week period, needles were placed at a depth of about 10 to 20 millimeters and left in place for 30 minutes.
OA. In a German study, 304,674 people with knee OA who received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care had less pain and stiffness, improved function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating OA is among conditions treated with acupuncture.
After treating both conditions for 23 years in my New York clinic, I’ll simply nod my head and say, “Sometimes truth is almost stranger than fiction.” In fact, acupuncture works surprisingly well to relieve almost any arthritic condition. The thing that acupuncture does better than anything is reduce all kinds of inflammation. And since inflammation is at the root of most pain and dysfunction, I’d say that’s a major accomplishment.