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Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder and one of the most common immune conditions we have success with managing. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes pain and inflammation of the joints causing them to become painful, hot and swollen and movement to be restricted. Stiffness in the joints is common, especially in the morning. Rheumatoid arthritis is a case of the immune system being too active, and so attempts to treat it aim to reduce inflammation and to regulate the actions of the immune system, in particularly to calm it down.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally
Acupuncture is very effective in treating pain conditions – there are numerous studies indicating its effectiveness in arthritic conditions – and is always a recommended therapy when managing arthritis. Acupuncture relieves pain in three ways. First, it causes the body to produce chemicals called endorphins, which inhibit the perception of pain. Endorphins are similar to morphine, which is given in Western medicine. The big difference is that endorphins are produced naturally by the patient’s own body. Hence, there are no side effects. Second, acupuncture works through the nervous system by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Third, it deactivates trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactive areas that develop in the muscles and fascial sheaths of the body. They are often responsible for chronic pain and are frequently found around arthritic joints. Acupuncture also has a very relaxing effect on the mind and body which further helps to promote the healing process.
Sorting Out The Gut
At least 70% of immunity is based in the gut. If the gut is not happy, inflammation occurs and this has a run-on effect over the entire immune system. For any inflammatory disorders, we always sort out gut health and inflammation, and this can include detecting any food intolerances which might be present. For more information about our food intolerance testing, click here.
Herbs and Supplements
There are numerous herbs and supplements which are effective in managing arthritic conditions. Fish oils and omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been shown to be beneficial in many studies of rheumatoid arthritis. Tumeric is also a huge benefit to arthritis sufferers – its active ingredient a potent anti-inflammatory. There are many other anti-inflammatory and immune moderating herbs we prescribe, for example echinacea is a wonderful herb to regulate the immune system, either by calming it in the case of it being overactive, or boosting it if it’s weak.
This is important in all immune conditions – when we are stressed, our adrenals use up high amounts of zinc and vitamin C stores, meaning that our immune system then becomes starved of them for its purposes. More stress will always equal an impaired immune system, something nobody wants, far less somehow already suffering an immune condition. Check out our 10 tips to reduce stress here.