Arthritis: which means “joint inflammation” is a general term for over 100 different joint disorders with symptoms ranging from mild aches and pains to severe swelling and crippling pain. Your joints, remarkable and elaborate hinges, are cushioned by cartilage. They’re held together with various other tissues, including muscles and tendons. Lubrication is in the form of called synovial fluid, which is released by the synovial lining of the joints. Thinning cartilage between the bone results in the bones rubbing together and becoming inflamed. This, in turn, inflames the surrounding tissues, tendons and muscles.
Osteoarthritis, the kind that most frequently coincides with aging, occurs when the cartilage around the joints starts to thin down or disappear. Overuse may be the root of the problem. Obesity may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints. The body attempts to repair the damage by producing bony outgrowths along the peripherals of the affected joint. It is often these bony outgrowth that contribute to the pain. For osteoarthritis, there are many tactics that can help decrease pain and maintain mobility.
Symptoms that seem to be associated with osteoarthritis include: joint pain, joint swelling, reduced ability to move the joint, redness of the skin around a joint, stiffness, especially in the morning and warmth around a joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, is far less common, and equally pain producing. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. The cause of RA is unknown. It is considered an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system normally fights off foreign substances, like viruses. But in an autoimmune disease, the immune system confuses healthy tissue for foreign substances. As a result, the body attacks itself. RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected. The course and the severity of the illness can vary considerably. Infection, genes, and hormones may contribute to the disease. With some people, the onset begins between the ages of 30 and 40, but more often it starts when people are between the ages of 40 and 60, but RA can occur at any age. Women are affected more often than men. Some of these strategies might help people with rheumatoid arthritis as well. It all hinges on staying active.
Symptoms that seem to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis begins gradually with fatigue, loss of appetite, morning stiffness (lasting more than 1 hour), widespread muscle aches and weakness. As the disorder progresses joint pain appears. When the joint is not used for a while, it can become warm, tender, and stiff. When the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, it gives off more fluid and the joint becomes swollen. Associated symptoms can also occur including anemia due to failure of the bone marrow to produce enough new red blood cells, eye burning, itching and discharge, hand and feet deformities, limited range of motion, low-grade fever, lung inflammation (pleurisy), nodules under the skin (usually a sign of more severe disease), numbness or tingling, paleness, pericarditits, skin redness or inflammation and/or swollen glands.
Psoriatic Arthritis is an arthritis that is often associated with psoriasis of the skin. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. In the case of this disorder, T cells are stimulated by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to the rapid turnover of skin cells. In about one-third of the cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Exacerbations and/or remissions of the joint and skin symptoms often occur simultaniously. The etiology of psoriasis is unknown in Western medicine, although it is known that emotional stress, skin trauma, cold weather, infections, and certain drugs may trigger attacks in susceptible individuals.
Symptoms that seem to be associated with psoriatic arthritis may be wide and varied or may only involve a few joints and be mild. In some people the disease may be severe and affect many joints, particularly those at the end of the fingers or toes, including the spine. When the spine is affected, the symptoms are stiffness, burning, and pain, most often in the lower spine and sacrum. People who also have arthritis usually have the skin and nail changes of psoriasis. Often, the skin gets worse at the same time as the arthritis.
Gout is a disease that results from an overload of uric acid in the body. This overload of uric acid leads to the formation of tiny crystals of urate that deposit in tissues of the body, especially the joints. When crystals form in the joints it causes recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis). Chronic gout can also lead to deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in and around the joints and may cause joint destruction, decreased kidney function including kidney stones.
Symptoms occur in the big toe in many people as the first attack of gout . Often, the attack wakes a person from sleep. The toe is very sore, red, warm, and swollen In addition to the big toe, gout can affect the insteps, ankles, heels, knees. wrists, fingers or elbows. A gout attack can be brought on by stressful events, alcohol or drugs, or another illness. Early attacks usually get better within three to 10 days, even without treatment. The next attack may not occur for months or even years.
Osteoporosis is commonly seen in people over age 50 (or those with immune compromised disorders) that have lower than average bone density but do not have osteoporosis. The diagnostic difference between osteopenia and osteoporosis is the measure of bone mineral density.
Managing Your Arthritis
1. Lose weight: just 7-10 lbs can relieve pressure on your joints
2. Try acupuncture: regularly helps circulation, pain and swelling
3. Get more exercise: increased blood circulation, helps detox
4. Use hot and cold therapy: such as heating pad, hot creams, ice or cold gel packs
5. Add fatty acids to your diet: including omega 3’s, borage oil, flaxseed oil
6. Get a massage: moves blood, reduces pain and decreases swelling
7. Do meditation: to cope with pain, relieve stress, calm the mind
8. Add supplements: such as turmeric, devil’s claw, bromelian, boswellia
9. Do guided imagery: to help with pain, emotional blocks, stress
10. Hydrotherapy: water therapy such as swimming, baths, showers
The goal in treating arthritis is to focus on eliminating the underlying (root) cause of the arthritis. However, the cause is NOT necessarily curable, as this is often a degenerative disease often associated with aging.
The treatment goal, should address the reducing of pain and discomfort and preventing further disability. It is possible to greatly improve symptoms and other long-term types of arthritis without medications.
Tips For Managing Arthritis
Treatment of arthritis depends on the particular cause, a persons individual needs, which joints are affected, the severity of the arthritis and how the condition affects your daily lifestyle. Your age and occupation will also be taken into consideration when your practitioner works with you to create a treatment plan.
The goal in treating arthritis is to focus on eliminating the underlying (root) cause of the arthritis. However, the cause is NOT necessarily curable, as this is often a degenerative disease often associated with aging. The treatment goal, should address the reducing of pain and discomfort and preventing further disability. It is possible to greatly improve symptoms and other long-term types of arthritis without medications. In fact, making lifestyle changes without medications is preferable for osteoarthritis and other forms of joint inflammation. If needed, medications should be used in addition to lifestyle changes.
1. Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to be extremely affective for long term problems with arthritis. Acupuncture is a therapeutic modality that has shown good benefits in the outcome measurements of pain relief for arthritis. Electroacupuncture had shown even greater results with pain threshold, regional pain scoring and sleep quality. A combination of both high frequencies, associated with serotonin release – short-term effects and low frequencies, associated with endorphin release – cumulative effects are optimal for pain relief.
2. Exercise: Exercise conditioning and stretching can improve certain pains with stretching such as painful, stiff muscles and joints by increasing blood flow to these areas. Walking and weight baring exercises are beneficial for improving strength , bone density and circulation. Restoring movement and normal function to an injured area is critical. Learn to stretch to improve your flexibility.
3. Proper Diet: A poor diet can be a nutrition zapper that robs the body of proper vitamins, mineral and sufficient amino acids that are important for energy product. A balance of fresh vegetables, complexed carbs, whole grain, as well as, fruits, nuts, seeds and protein are very important for maintaining proper energy levels. A diet consisting mainly of plant based foods like fruits and NON-night shade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes…) have shown great results with those suffering from arthritis. Avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates are a must. Difficulties with the digestive tract such as thirst, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux are symptoms of poor assimilation of food. The delicate balance of our digestive system can affect our whole system in so many ways. Decrease your intake of excess protein, carbonated drinks and coffee.
4. Reducing Stress: People who have things in their lives under control will be better pain managers than people who don’t. Recent research confirms the importance of psychological attitude on arthritis pain relief. It is no secret, if you are hurting and you are tense, you hurt more. Look at your attitudes and emotions. The mental and emotional aspects of healing have a direct connection between you and what you are experiencing. A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained by focusing on your purpose for being healed. Idle joints can become painful joints. If you focus on pain, it hurts more, but if you are doing things that are important to you, or focused on you, then you are less likely to feel it.
5. Supplementing: Take additional vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements can help to supplement major deficiencies. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in our diet have proven to be the culprit of much pain and suffering. We often do not get enough of the required amounts of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc and essential fatty acids. Asian herbal formulas have also been an extremely important key to restoring balance in the body.
6. Work with herbal remedies: There are great herbal solutions to relieving pain naturally, improving circulation, elimination and assimilation. There are great herbs to help you sleep and regulate your entire body system. The herbal remedies are even more helpful when the arthritis is further divided into location of pain, worse with cold/damp or damp heat or if it is more affected by wind. (see Chinese medicine).
7. Topcial Care: 89% of patients suffer from some type of morning stiffness. Apply a muscle ointment at night before going to bed will relax the musculature around the joiuts, decrease inflammation as it gives you a psychological boost as well. This boost tends to help people with arthritis to feel much better all day if they aren’t stiff when they wake up in the morning. Consider such topicals as Zeel, Chinese massage oil, UI Oil, White Flower Oil, Taoist Oil or Wind Cream.
8. Touch Therapies: have shown helpful in studies on arthritis. Massage therapy improves circulation and joint mobility. Massage strengthens the immune system, treats musculoskeletal problems, reduces blood pressure, helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain. Massage therapy promotes deeper and easier breathing, improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids. Osteopathic or chiropractic treatments are recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering circulation and decreasing eliminations. This is vital , your spine and its nerve pathways can have an enormous influence on how you feel and the functioning of your body.
9. Hydrotherapy: has a number of uses. Warm water will relax spasm, while cool can decrease inflammation. Studies have shown that floating in specially designed floatation tanks, also known as isolation tanks, can relieve arthritic pain. Moist heat can be helpful when feeling stiff or having pain. Hydrotherapy has been useful in treating such conditions as muscular strains and sprains, muscular fatigue, joint swelling and arthritis.
10. Improving Elimination results when food moves too slowly through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Poor elimination is usually diagnosed when bowel movements occur fewer than three times per week on an ongoing basis. Other signs occur when the stool is hard, dry or there is excessive straining. Many people don’t realize that the gastrointestinal tract contains the largest immune system in the body. The immune system is the body’s natural defense against foreign invaders, and it is somehow altered in people who have these conditions. Some researchers believe that the long-lasting inflammation found in the intestines of people with IBD damages the bowel, which in turn may allow bacteria to enter the damaged bowel wall and circulate through the blood stream. The body’s reaction to these bacteria may cause other problems including inflammation in the joints and/or spine, skin sores and inflammation of the eyes. Start with a heathy detox. Detoxifying is the process of releasing accumulated toxins and waste products that build up throughout our system. Our body does much of the detoxification process through urination, defecation and perspiration. As our bodies age and our immune systems weaken from illness, poor diet and/or addictive substances, we sometimes need to give our system an extra helping hand. That is why conscious detoxing is a great way back to optimum health.
Diagnosing Types of Arthritis
Your doctor will inspect the affected joint(s), checking for swelling, redness, heat, tender points, skin rashes, and other signs. Determining which joints are affected and how function is impaired helps determine a differential diagnosis of osteoarthritis from other forms of arthritis. The pattern of arthritis in the hands may be especially helpful in the diagnosis. OA tends to involve the base of the thumb and the middle and end joints of the fingers.
1. X-rays will confirm the diagnosis of arthritis but will not necessarily indicate the type of arthritis. (NOTE: not all arthritis will show up on Xrays and not all painful arthritis means that there is significant joint damage). Your doctor will look for specific structural signs in the joint(s) that suggest OA. These signs can include:
* A narrowing of the joint space.
* Bone spurs. Bone spurs are associated with chronic inflammation, which can cause calcium to accumulate near joints and tendons as seen in arthritis, tendonitis and spurs. Although, it is nature’s way of protecting the joint, these bony protrusions can be painful.
* One-sided distribution (for example, one knee, one hip) of joint irregularities.
* Cysts. Sometimes seen in the bone just beneath the joint surfaces.
2. By contrast, imaging studies in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) more often shows:
* Loss of calcium from the bone (localized bony decalcification)
* Erosion-producing defects or holes in the bones in a joint (Osteopenia or Osteoperosis)
* Changes in many joints on both sides of the body, particularly the hands and wrists
3. Laboratory tests: can be ordered if there is a question about the nature of joint swelling. The doctor may perform a joint aspiration. During this procedure a needle is inserted into the joint to withdraw a small amount of synovial fluid from the joint. The fluid is then tested for make-up, viscosity), blood cell counts, overall appearance, and microorganisms (if an infection is suspected):
* The fluid from an OA joint is usually clear, whereas in RA, it is cloudy due to the presence of many white blood cells. The fluid then is tested for crystals to exclude such diagnoses as gout. Blood and urine tests may be ordered to rule out conditions such as gout. The blood from people with gout contains a high level of uric acid, which is associated with the buildup of arthritis-causing crystals in the joint fluid.
* Sometimes the fluid from an OA joint contains calcium pyrophosphate crystals, which may cause mild irritation and increase swelling.
* Blood tests may be ordered in certain cases to identify infection, measure blood cell counts, and pinpoint diagnostic findings such as rheumatoid factor (RF) and human leukocyte antigen (HLA-DR4 and HLA-DR1), which are more common in people with inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
“Andrew’s Best Remedies”
701 Plaster$ 19.95
Acupressure Facial Course$ 99.00
Acupuncture Facial Course$ 299.00
Angel’s Mist Clary Sage Essential Oil$ 23.00
Angel’s Mist Fennel Essential Oil$ 10.00
Angel’s Mist Peppermint Essential Oil$ 7.00
Angel’s Mist Pine Essential Oil$ 10.00
Angel’s Mist Thyme Essential Oil$ 12.00
Angel’s Mist Aroma Remedy Blends$ 19.95
AromaThera-Teas by the Pound$ 29.95
Arthritis Pain Cream$ 14.95
Arthritis Tea$ 8.95
Atacama Sea Salt 16 oz$ 12.95
Atacama Sea Salt 8 oz$ 7.95
Black Ghost Oil$ 14.95
Bone Spur Trio
Book of Stones Course$ 195.00
Book of Stones Course PLUS$ 299.00
Chinese Massage Oil$ 16.95
Cinnamon Powder$ 14.95
Circulatory Health$ 21.95
Cleansing Smoothie with Green Powder$ 29.95
Cold Calm Homeopathic Remedy$ 14.95
Dandelion Tincture$ 19.00
Detox Complete System$ 49.95
DopaPlus Mood Support$ 44.95
Flaxseed Oil Gel Caps$ 19.95
Full Spectrum Diet$ 39.95
Garlic Allicillin™ 60 gels$ 29.95
Ginger Tea Granules$ 8.95
Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM
Guided Imagery Course$ 195.95
Happiness Supplement Pack for SAD
Hematite Pair$ 8.95
Herbal Ice$ 21.95
Himalayan Salt Raw$ 1.95
Hua Tuo Plaster$ 7.95
Joint Support Formula$ 38.00
Pain Recovery Pack
Pro-Omega-3 120 Lemon$ 49.95
Pro-Omega-3 60 Lemon$ 28.00
Siberian Ginseng Tincture$ 19.00
Stop Smoking Kit
T-Relief Pain Ointment$ 24.95
T-Relief Pain Tablets
Taoist Oil$ 19.95
Tendon Lotion$ 19.95
Trauma Remedy$ 19.95
Trauma Remedy Pills$ 21.95
Trigger Point Therapy Kit$ 34.95
UI Oil$ 16.95
White Flower Oil$ 14.95
Wu Yang Pain Relieving Plaster$ 21.95
Balancing pH Levels
When the body is too acidic resulting from an intake of acid forming foods, mucus forming, high fat foods, and toxic food residues, disease and infections are encouraged. This is especially true in cases of arthritis and rheumatic situations. Most foods are alkaline by nature, but often the more processed the foods are the more acidic they become. It is important to balance each meal with a ratio of 75% alkaline to 25% acidity in order to maintain better health. Perfect body pH is 6.4, above is alkaline and below is acidic. It is important that your daily dietary intake of food naturally balances your body pH. Balancing the body’s pH is achieved by avoiding foods that create acidic conditions in the body, which can help lessen pain and inflammation.
Foods that create acidity in the body include, meat, dairy, hydrogenated fats, wheat and sugar.
Foods that help restore balance include fruits (when eaten on an empty stomach), vegetables and legumes.
Eliminate: butter, all fried foods, margarine, red meat, shellfish, shortenings or tropical oils (such as coconut and palm oils).
Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar.
Decrease phosphorus foods such as soft drinks, which are high in phosphoric acid, organ meat (liver, kidney), processed meat, which are especially high in phosphorus, fried foods and vegetable oil, which have a high level of omega 6 and can make inflammation worse. Sugar results in poor absorption of nutrients as does antacids, which neutralize stomach acid and result in poor absorption of calcium (heartburn and indigestion are caused by poor eating habits and NOT ENOUGH stomach acid!)
The medicinal benefits of herbs have been recorded for centuries. Herbs were extensively used to cure practically every known illness and has been documented by Egyptian, Roman, Native American, Persians and Hebrews alike. Many herbs contain powerful ingredients that, if used correctly, can help heal the body. By using herbs in their complete form, the body’s healing process utilizes a balance of the ingredients provided by nature.
Herbs and herbal formulas can be taken in a variety of ways.
*You may steep herbs as teas in order to release their healing properties.
* Herbal supplements in pills and capsules are another form. These are herbs ground into powder. Herbal formulas tend to be created for a single problem or nest of related problems and their specific pattern of disharmony.
* Tinctures. Herbal remedies are also prescribed in tincture form and are the previously fresh herb in well preserved, highly concentrated form. This liquid, as well as, concentrated forms of extracted herbs are preserved in their freshest form.
* Steam distillation or cold pressing results in herbs as essential oils.
* Plasters are ingredients such as oils, herbs and other pain relieving herbs combined into an easy to use stick on strip or patch.
* Poultice are macerated or chopped herbs that are placed directly on the skin and a hot, moist bandage is applied.
* Infusions are used when you are working with the most delicate part of the herb-the leaves flowers, fruits and seeds.
* Decoction is used to extract the tougher part of the herb-bark, berries and roots.
It is also important to note that since herbs contain active ingredients, be aware that some elements may interact negatively with prescribed medications! Therefore, your healthcare professional must be notified if you have any questions about safety. As a general rule: most of the bitter tasting herbs are medicinal herbs and the pleasant tasting herbs are less toxic and can be used more often. Also, some herbs in any form, should not be taken for more than seven days at a time. Others herbs are more beneficial with time. The fresh leaves, bark, and roots of herbs can be used in their natural form or can be found in dried form and used in capsules, tablets, tinctures, essential oils, powders, creams, lotions, and salves.
Herbal medicine is a wonderful solution for pain and pain management. Complications can arise when taking herbal medicine and allopathic drugs internally, which your doctor has prescribed. Great caution should be used especially if you are on blood thinners, diuretics or heart related medication. Consult your doctor with any questions you may have, before taking additional herbs or supplements, internally.
Arnica Suave is a rich blend of quartz silica, amber resin and the pain-relieving power of arnica in a special massage-in suave designed by Andrew for his practice and is a part of his new “Crystal Inspirations” product line.
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) may decrease the progression of arthritis. This dark brown seaweed is a soothing and nourishing tonic. Caution: avoid in overactive (hyper) thyroid conditions.
Bromelain is a plant-enzyme. Bromelain is not actually a single substance, but a group of protein-digesting enzymes found in pineapple juice and in the stem of pineapple plants. Local swelling is the releasing of histamines in a localized area causes the vasodilation and increased permeability of blood vessels. Bromelain has an anti-inflammatory effect and is a very effective treatment for fibromyalgia. It is recommend taking 200 to 400 milligrams three times a day on an empty stomach at least ninety minutes before or three hours after eating. Discontinue use if you develop any itching or rash.
Cats Claw Bark (Uncaria tomentosa): A great anti-inflammatory herb. Also called Una de Gato, the root and bark of this herb, which has cat-like horns or claws, has been used by since the Inca civilization to treat a variety of health problems, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers, many inflammatory disorders, dysentery, and fevers.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin): In liquid tincture form is used internally as an ayurvedic remedy for joint pain, especially when affected by cold and dampness. Consider our topical Arthritis Remedy Blend for decreasing pain and inflammation.
Dandelion Root (Taraxacum Officinale): is recommended for degenerative arthritis. This infamous liver tonic is a safe diuretic herb used for all types of liver problems, promotes good digestion and plays a crucial role in detoxification. This is helpful for chronic and wasting diseases.
Devils Claw: An analgesic and anti-inflammatory. This tuber is used to treat all kinds of arthritis. Dosage: one to two grams, three times daily.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium): is very helpful as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and emmenagogue reknowned for the treatment of both migraines and arthritis. The dosage is 1 teaspoon of tincture, 20-30 drops at the onset of a migraine. Repeat after 2 hours as needed. For repeated attacks and as a treatment for arhtritis, take one teaspoon every morning.
Ginger: An anti-inflammatory. Ginger has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Taking 6–50 grams of fresh, liquid tincture or powdered ginger per day indicated that ginger might be helpful. Suggested Dosage: 0.5 to 1 mg of powdered ginger daily
Ginseng, Siberian: (Eleuthero senticosus) is beneficial especially for rheumatoid arthritis. This famous wonder of the world root is widely used and increase vital energy, works as an adaptogen herb, strengthens the immune system, helps the body cope with side effects from chemotherapy and is a great jet lag tonic. Caution: use for short durations only. May aggravate anxiety, irritability and high blood pressure.
Glucosamine sulfate (GS), a nutrient derived from sea shells, contains a building block needed for the repair of joint cartilage. GS has significantly reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis. All published clinical investigations on the effects of GS in people with osteoarthritis report statistically significant improvement. Most research trials use 500 mg GS taken three times per day. Benefits from GS generally become evident after three to eight weeks of treatment. Avoid if you have any allergic reactions to shell fish. Glucosamine stimulates the production of the specific elements of cartilage and protects them. It helps your body repair worn cartilage, reduce pain and improve function. Chondroitin attracts fluids into proteoglycans, the molecules dispersed through out the cartilage that give the tissue its shock-absorber quality, and protects the cartilage against breakdown. These are substances the body already produces for itself in small amounts. Glucosamine is found in almost all tissue; it has a role in the repair and maintenance of joint cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of cartilage and is thought to inhibit the enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of cartilage.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense): attributes its healing power to its high content of silica and zinc. This common weed works well for arthritis, particularly in synergy with dandelion root.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) possesses anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and tissue-healing properties that may help protect the health of joints.SAM-e is derived from methionine, an essential amino acid; it may promote cartilage formation and repair. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are usually sold together. In clinical studies, the supplements had to be taken for several weeks before providing any pain relief. Don’t forget the truly natural and proven methods for battling osteoarthritis, lose excess weight and exercise.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a traditional ayurvedic remedy and medicine that has been researched for its ability to promote a healthy inflammation response, support cardiovascular health, and support normal cell growth. An effective anti-inflammatory. Dosage: 400 mg three times daily; take on an empty stomach and combine with 1,000 mg of bromelain
Wild Yam Root (Dioscorea villosa): is very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. This dried root is known for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. This root works in wonderful synergy with White Willow Bark.
White Willow Bark: Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. White Willow bark has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Extracts providing 60–120 mg salicin per day are approved for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Although the analgesic actions of willow are typically slow-acting, they last longer than aspirin.
Herbal tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of the medicinal properties of herbs. Shake the tincture bottle well. As a dietary supplement, place 1 to 3 droppers full ~ approximately 1 tablespoon or 40 drops, under the tongue, or in juice or water as needed, 2-3 times a day.
Chill Out: Valerian, St. Johns Wort, Passion Flower, Scullcap, Blue Vervain.
Circulation Support: Hawthorn berries, Ginger, Angelica, Bayberry Bark, Hyssop, Prickley Ash bark, Cloves, Cayenne.
Essiac: Burdock, Sheep Sorrel, Turkey Rhubarb & Slippery Elm.
Headache Support: White Willow Bark, Feverfew, Chamomille, Pepermint, Scullcap, Catnip, Fenugreek.
Nerve Strength: Oatstraw, Black Cohosh, Scullcap, Avena Sativa, Pleurisy root, Catnip, Lobelia.
Night Cap: Valerian, Hops, Scullcap, Passion Flower.
Muscle Calm: Wild Yam, Black Cohosh, Crampbark, Scullcap, Angelica, Peppermint, Turmeric.
In a stainless steel pot, boil desired amount of water. The moment it boils turn the heat off. Add the following herbs in an infuser, muslin bag or tea ball for a single cup or add one-three teaspoons of herbs per cup for larger amounts.
Allow the herbs to infuse for up to 5 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups a day. For flavor-add lemon and sweeten with Stevia or organic honey. These herbs are helpful for gently cleanses, purifying, detoxing, anti-inflammatory. This powerful formula will help remove accumulated toxins in the body. Strong antioxidant, cleanses the colon and stimulates circulation.
Arthritis Tea – Helpful for sore joints as it gently cleanses. Purifying, detoxing, anti-inflammatory properties. Devil’s Claw Root, Olive Leaf.
Calm Tea – Relaxing blend of herbs to help reduce stress and helps you to unwind. Improves circulation and acts as a sedative. Reduces mucous from colds, muscle and menstrual cramps and helps with anxiety and stress. Chamomile Flower, Peppermint Leaf, Catnip Leaf, Strawberry Leaf, Linden Leaf and Flowers, Passion Flower Herb, Scullcap, Licorice Root, Valerian Root.
Acidophilus: The normal, healthy colon contains “friendly” bacteria (85% lactobacillus and 15% coliform bacteria). It is the friendly bacterial flora found in yogurt and is essential to the digestive system. When these bacteria are not in balance, then the person may experience bloating, flatulence, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients. Acidophilus taken as a dietary supplement may help to detoxify and to rebuild a balanced intestinal flora. It is used for the prevention of Candida as well as for treatment. Acidophilus aids the digestion and helps to replace the “friendly” intestinal flora.
Calcium and Magnesium can be effective for pain associated with muscle spasms. Take 500 mgs of each, two-three times per day.
A diet that includes Flaxseed, flaxseed oil and fish oils contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and decrease pain. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of irregular heart rhythms and may also improve certain factors, like high blood pressure.
Probiotic A probiotic will fortify your intestinal flora, which are essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. This is key to good health and a strong immune system. Studies have shown that patients who begin a course of probiotics with fiber a few days prior to surgery are less likely to pick up a post-operative infection during their hospital stays. This demonstrates a strong connection between intestinal flora and immune function. The fiber, which provides the friendly bacteria both food and sanctuary, can be as simple as an apple or banana.
Magnesium is essential for forming synovial fluid which is the joint cushion. Magnesium is important for cell replication, energy production, the transmission of nerve impulses and hormonal activity. Magnesium can be found in brown rice, soy beans, nuts, brewer’s yeast, whole wheat flour and legumes. Consider supplementing magnesium with a recommended daily dose of 200 – 400 mg daily. Caution: Magnesium is toxic to people with renal (kidney) problems or AV (atrioventricular) blocks.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue. In one trial, 2,500 -5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 given by injection every two to three days, led to improvement in 50-80% of a group of people with arthritis; most improvement appeared after several weeks of B12 shots. While the research in this area remains preliminary, people with arthritis considering a trial of vitamin B12 injections should consult a nutritional doctor. Oral or sublingual B12 supplements are unlikely to obtain the same results as injectable B12 because the body’s ability to absorb large amounts is relatively poor.
Vitamins B6,: Foods rich in the B vitamins, which help regulate metabolism, are also beneficial, as diets high in sugar tend to burn these vitamins at a faster rate. These foods include wheat germ, yogurt, and liver.
Vitamin C acts primarily in cellular fluid. Vitamin C scavenges free radicals and cleans up waste products. In addition to its anti-oxidative activities, vitamin C benefits many other body functions. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, which is an important component in the structural make up of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are critical to brain function and are known to affect mood. Vitamin C, even in small amounts, can protect molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from damage by free radicals. Vitamin C helps in the fight against free-radical formation caused by pollution and cigarette smoke and also helps return vitamin E to its active form. Take 2,000 – 8,000 mg in divided dosage per day, depending on bowel tolerance.
Aromatherapy Some of the best remedies for pain are in the form of essential oils! Helpful, are essential oils of basil, clove, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, ginger, black pepper, wintergreen and peppermint, rosemary oils and are all beneficial for pain management.
Basil: contains several antioxidants in its volatile oils that act just like some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Celebrex. When isolated at high enough concentrations these oils worked as well as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin in research trials.
Camphor is a white transparent waxy crystalline solid with a strong penetrating pungent aromatic odor. As an antimicrobial substance, camphor is readily absorbed through the skin and produces a feeling of cooling similar to that of menthol and acts as slight local anesthetic. In larger quantities, it is poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion, irritability, and neuromuscular hyperactivity. Found in our Muscular/Pain Remedy Blend.
Clove: this intense oil, most commonly used to relieve dental pain and infection, is also used to dissolve the eggs deposited by intestinal worms. It is delicious but overwhelming in both smell and taste. It is an antiseptic, carminative, warming, and very aromatic oil.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin) found in our Arthritis Remedy Blend, is a rub containing small amounts of Capsaicin, which can help relieve pain when massaged into muscle pain and arthritic joints, according to the results of a double blind study. It does this by depleting the nerves of a pain-mediating neurotransmitter known as substance P. Although application of capsaicin cream may initially cause a burning feeling, the burning will lessen with each application and soon disappear for most people. A cream containing 0.025 – 0.075% of capsaicin can be applied to the affected joints three to five times a day.
Eucalyptus: reduces pain, spasms and inflammation, and stimulates local blood circulation and the removal of waste products and toxins from the tissues. It is used to treat muscular aches and pains, strains, sprains, and other traumatic injuries of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It also helps to reduce nerve inflammation and pain and is useful for the treatment of the various kinds of neuralgia such as sciatica. Eucalyptus reduces pain and inflammation due to chronic arthritic conditions. It also has a mild clearing and stimulating effect on the mind which helps to reduce fatigue.
Frankincense and its extract Boswellic acids are widely available in herbal remedies. The medical uses in this application dates back thousands of years. Frankincense is a part of the Ancient Gold of trade that extended from Africa to the Far East. The external use of this essential oil is prized for its cellular repair of skin and its anti-aging properties. It is one of the better remedies for psoriasis (and psoriatic arthritis). Dilute this essential oil in a carrier oil rich in vitamins and fatty acids so the skin can receive its best chance to recover. A great remedy for sun damaged and aging skin.
Ginger: This rich, spicy oil so often used for nausea also helps normalize blood pressure either by raises blood pressure by restricting external blood flow, or lowers it by dilating surface blood vessels. This oil is warming and an antiseptic.
Juniper: has the subtle distinction of working well on rheumatoid arthritis. Massage this oil in a blend with a carrier oil or pour it into a hot bath.
Lavender: is probably the most helpful and Universal oils on the planet. This anti-inflammatory oil blends well with other oils such as soothing Chamomile, pain relieving Rosemary essential oil.
Menthol is actually a compound obtained from peppermint oil or other mint oils or made synthetically. Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities. It is contained in nonprescription products for short-term relief of minor sore throat and minor mouth or throat irritation. Menthol is also contained in combination products used for relief of muscle aches, sprains, and similar conditions. Menthol is often used with other ingredients such as camphor and eucalyptus for pain relief. Menthol is considered an antidote for many homeopathic remedies and should be avoided by people taking them. Found in our Muscular/Pain Remedy Blend.
Peppermint: acts as a muscle relaxant, particularly in the digestive tract, and it can also reduce the inflammation of nasal passages and relieve muscle pains. When massaged into the skin, peppermint oil plays an innocuous trick on the nerves: It stimulates those that produce a cool, soothing sensation and desensitizes those that pick up pain messages.
Rosemary: Studies show that this oil improves general circulation. Rosemary oil reminds many people of the kitchen or a summer garden. This warm, pungent, yet sweet oil is great for arthritis that is aggravated by cold and damp.
DIY Hand Cream
This fantastic cream can be made with pure essential oils and solid coconut oil. Prepare it in 4 ounce batches to retain freshness.
Mix all ingredients into a bowl until well blended.
Place into a glass jar with a lid for continued use.
Massage the ointment in the areas where you feel pain. Use twice daily.
“Pain Spot” Roll On Treatment
Sometimes, there is one certain spot… that second knuckle, the right knee or the back of your neck, that just aches or burns with pain and needs quick relief! This DIY spot treatment recipe is great!
In a roll on bottle, add base oil, then each essential oil. Close the bottle with the roll on and then the cap. Turn the bottle over several times to blend the oil. Apply as needed.
Not a DIY? Utilize these blends of essential oils 3 times a day, morning, afternoon and night:
The mysterious and amazing healing power of water has been utilized for centuries. Water cleanses, refreshes and restores all life. We are always drawn to water. Be it a soothing fountain or majestic waterfall. Water is a carrier. It flows. It moves along the line of least resistance to find its way to the ocean where comes and goes in the ebb and flow of tides and waves. The appeal is inexplicable! We crave water, maybe because our bodies are made up of a large percent of it. Maybe because we instinctively know how it can heal us.
Hydrotherapy is the use of water in any form, in the treatment of dis-ease.
Water is also useful in physical therapy because patients who exercise in a buoyant medium can move weak parts of their bodies without contending with the strong force of gravity.
Soaking in Dead Sea Salt is a well known remedy for psoriasis with dramatic results though its maintenance. The same is used in joint inflammation and assisting in detoxification, restoring minerals and increasing circulation.
Take a warm bath. Fill the bath tub with warm water. As the tub fills with water add 2 spoons of Angel’s Mist Deep Soak Sea Salts to the bath water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
Consider a relaxing bath with the calming, anti-spasmodic effects of Angel’s Mist Lavender Fields Soap, a calming blend of Lavender, Geranium and Clary Sage essential oil makes this soap wonderful for creating a soothing, calm, relaxed feel. Helps with anxiety, stress, resentment and fear. (Safe for all skin types).
As the tub fills with water add 2 spoons of Angel’s Mist Deep Soak Sea Salts to the bath water for a soothing, skin cleansing soak.
“Pain Relief” Baths
Apple Cider Vinegar Baths or ginger root baths can reduce symptoms and encourage the healing mechanism. Apple cider vinegar helps the body to make more effective use of calcium in the body, encouraging stronger bones, hair and nails. It is a great tonic to help the body improve metabolism, is antispasmodic, anti-fungal and antibacterial.
Epsom Salts are a rich source of magnesium. Soak in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Epsom Salts. This is good for relaxing muscles and drawing toxins from the body. When magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, such as in a bath, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
In many cases good nutrition can play a big part in controlling arthritis. Some arthritis suffers might find relief from their symptoms by keeping a food diary. The onset of painful symptoms can be the result of food allergies. While most food allergies can cause the sniffles and a runny nose, it can also cause inflamed joints. It can be two to three days after eating a particular food to aggravate arthritis.
Water should be a very important part of any nutritional program. Distilled water is best. 6-8 8 ounces per day. Water allows for the cleansing and free flow in the system. Water helps cushion and lubricate your joints; it also helps flush uric acid out of your body before it can set off painful inflammation in your joints. Remedy: Juice of a ripe lime with water, (and, if desired, stevia to taste,) with a pinch of freshly powdered pepper added, taken every morning.
Have dietary control over high fat, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and high saturated fat intake. These fats convert into a compound called prostaglandin, which promotes inflammation and pain.
Limiting the amount of fat to no more than 25 to 35% of daily calories is recommended to promote good health.
A low-fat diet also helps lower high total and LDL (the bad) cholesterol levels, a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
The type of fat consumed is important. There are three types: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.
Saturated fats are found in meats, non-skim dairy products, and artificially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The more solid the product, the higher the proportion of saturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil and canola oil.
Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 fats, contained in deep-sea fatty fish (such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna), and omega-6 fats, contained in vegetable oils. The ideal combination of types of fats is unknown. However, a diet high in saturated fats is known to promote coronary artery disease, and a diet high in monounsaturated or omega-3 fats is less likely to do so. Therefore, eating fish regularly is recommended. Dark greens like spinach and kale, along with flaxseed and cold-pressed flax oil, raw walnuts and walnut oil, all contain plentiful amounts of the fatty acids known as omega-3s. Many fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring also contain these valuable oils. Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that decreases inflammation and pain.
Evening primrose, grapeseed and borage seed oils contain a fatty acid similar to omega-3 called gammalinolenic acid (GLA). Because these oils are not found in foods you normally eat, you have to get them from supplements. The effective dose is 1 to 2 grams daily.
Consider alternative, natural sweeteners such as stevia or agave.
Consider the Full Spectrum Diet, which includes: phytochemicals (5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily), 30 grams of fiber, flavinoids (found in red and purple grapes, red wine and black tea).
Make soups using plenty of onions, garlic, green leafy vegetables, ginger, burdock root and tumeric root.
Consider juice therapy. Blend these fruits and vegetables for amazing juice combinations. Treat acidity with: grapes, orange, mosambi, carrot and spinach. Treat arthritis by blending together : Sour cherry, pineapple, sour apple, lemon, grapefruit, cucumber, beet, carrot, lettuce and spinach. Make these delicious remedy juices twice a day for 30 days. A vegetable-juice fast significantly reduces pain for many patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Consider this juice fast. Carrot juice, celery juice, cabbage juice, or tomato juice can be used. Fast on nothing but the vegetable juice for one day during the first week to get started. Follow that by alternate fasting for two days during the next week (i.e., Monday and Wednesday) and three days during the third week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).
While many opt for aspirin as their first course of action when they feel pain, Murleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is 10 times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation and pain. Only two tablespoons of the concentrated juice is needed daily for effective results. Later she found also that sweet cherries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries have similar effects. Blueberries are also excellent pain relievers. They increase the levels of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age, thereby causing inflammation, pain and tissue damage.
The power of green whole foods is essential for all day energy, greater focus under stress, sense of well-being, strengthened immune system, fewer food cravings and optimum synergistic balance of essential nutrients for total health. Green whole foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, active enzymes, bioflavinoids, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients necessary for optimial cellular metabolism, repair and protection! These ingredients contain the most powerful combination of nutrients ever known in any grain, herb or food. They contain almost all of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll.
Spirulina Blue Green Algae: Spirulina possesses a complete protein richer than steak, abundant organically complex minerals, a wide variety of essential vitamins, and many beneficial enzymes. Spirulina is more than just a food. As with Chlorella it has been shown to be valuable with almost every aspect of health. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients.Because of algae’s high chlorophyll and high nutritional content it is an excellent part of a cleansing program.
Chlorella Green Algae: Chlorella’s tough cell wall protects the valuable nucleus inside. When it is harvested it is instantly dried and the cell walls are gently cracked open. The nutrients inside retain full potency. Once in your body, the cracked open cells release their valuable nutrients. Because it is so easy to digest, your cells get the full benefit of this nutritional powerhouse. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients. The algae provides intestinal nourishment and has a soothing and healing effect on the mucous lining. It works to detoxify and purify our system.
Barley Grass and Wheat Grass: Eating barley and wheat grass is like eating a plate of green vegetables. These cereal grasses, are harvested young and are ecologically grown in nutrient rich soil. They are approximately 25% protein and contains all the essential amino acids, concentrated vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have been shown to increase our overall health by reducing intestinal putrefaction and maintaining healthy blood another important component of cleansing.
Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae: This remarkable plant grows 100% organically in the Upper Klamath Lake of Oregon. Blue Green Algae has more protein and chlorophyll by weight than any other plant or animal on earth. Klamath Lake algae is considered to be the most nutrient rich of the algaes.
As a Nationally Certified Herbalist and Licensed practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. has spent years developing a natural healthcare plan, which incorporates the benefits of fresh, full spectrum foods based on their color and their properties. A balance of attractive colors in the foods you eat, play an instinctual part as to what the body needs in the moment. The color energy of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals all come into play when furnishing your body with the proper nourishment.
This easy to use system monitors healthy weight by the colors of food on your plate!
The Full Spectrum Diet is based on the proponents of color therapy and the holistic principles of eating mindfully, eating to nourish the body and seeing food in a more natural and spiritual way. Meals rich with different colored fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and whole grains means you are getting a healthy variety of nutrients that your body needs.
It is a simple way to eat healthy in order to achieve healthy results! Want to know more?
What You Should Avoid:
Research has shown the foods most often thought to aggravate arthritis include:
*corn, wheat, pork, oranges, milk, oats, rye, eggs, beef, tomatoes, eggplant and coffee.
*processed, packed and fast foods. Hydrogenated fats, margarine, shortening, lard, or products made with them such as cookies, pies, and packaged food.
*dairy products, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, butter and cheeses
Eliminate: butter, all fried foods, margerine, red meat, shellfish, shortnings or tropical oils (such as coconut and palm oils).
Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar.
What you don’t eat may be even more important than what you do eat. Avoid alcohol and sugar, because they tend to worsen the situation.
Curb your caffeine. One or two cups of coffee can work to kick you into gear in the morning, but its benefits usually end there. Too much caffeine (more than 24 oz a day) is just as bad as too much of anything. Drinking it throughout the day for an energy boost can actually backfire. Caffeine makes you feel like you have more energy, but you really don’t. Cut back on caffeine to reduce the high and low effect. Excess coffee robs the bones of precious minerals.
Curb your excess protein intake as this can accelerate bone loss. Excess amounts include more than 140 grams of protein per day. 140 grams is equivalent to approximately a pound of chicken beef, pork, fish. This excess causes the body to excrete calcium and increases the rate of loss of minerals and nutrients.
Decrease phosphorus foods such as soft drinks, which are high in phosphoric acid, organ meat (liver, kidney), processed meat, which are especially high in phosphorus, fried foods and vegetable oil, which have a high level of omega 6 and can make inflammation worse. Sugar results in poor absorption of nutrients as does antacids, which neutralize stomach acid and result in poor absorption of calcium (heartburn and indigestion are caused by poor eating habits and NOT ENOUGH stomach acid!)
Reduce Processed and Refined Foods:
Avoid fried foods, white pasta, white rice, full fat dairy, white potatoes, white bread (baguettes, bagels, pita).
Processed food can rob your food of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to fight off stress and promote good health. Try to buy whole foods, unprocessed foods and try and stay away from “instant” foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fats, refined foods, hydrogenated food and MSG.
Reduce Sugar Intake:
Too much sugar can rob our body of essential nutrients. Simple carbohydrates from baked goods, pastries, most crackers and cookies, white sugar and sweets, soda and sweeten juices must be limited to a very small portion or completely removed from the diet. Synthetic sweeteners (Saccharin, aspartame, NutraSweet) can also be a culprit.
Food additives, such as colors, flavor enhancers, stabilizers, and preservatives. Some of the main additives include sulphites, benzoates, and colors prefixed with FD &;C.
If you think certain foods may be making your arthritis worse, try to eliminate them from your diet, one at a time until you feel improvement. Just remember that arthritis symptoms tend to come and go, and relief could be coincident, try eating the trouble food again to if it causes symptoms.
This medical system uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances to stimulate a person’s immune system and body’s natural defenses. Homeopathic remedies are named for the plant or animal ingredients they are made from. Homeopathy not only offers relief from temporary disorders but, can provide long term healing of a person due to its individual and “holistic” approach. This type of healing makes it easier and possible to avoid recurrence or relapses in the future and homeopathy stimulates the body’s natural defense system by reestablishing normal immune system and cell functioning.
Arthritis Homeopathic Ointment is effective in relieving symptoms associated with degenerative arthritis such as osteoarthritis and
spondylarthritis. For the temporarily relief of joint pain, improving joint function and stimulating normal cartilage performance.
Arnica: for overall pain and pain management, Arnica is the #1 homeopathic pain reliever.
Rododendron if symptoms are worse in stormy weather.
Bellis Perennis for symptoms of acute and chronic back pain Bellis is thought of as “Arnica for the lower back” and can bring relief.
Rhus Toxicodendron if symptoms occur at first movement but improves after gently, continuous motion. Aching may be brought on by cold,damp weather and relieved with warm showers/baths.
Actaea Racacemosa if symptoms occur such as severe aching during menstruation and extends down through the hips, buttocks and thighs .
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the oldest, continually practiced, and professionally administered health care system in the world. It is a documented medical system spanning over 2,500 years based on comprehensive philosophies, rational theories, clinically tested and empirically verified by over 100 generations of highly educated practitioners.
Chinese Medicine is a total system of internal medicine, which is comprised of a diagnostic procedure based on signs, symptoms and treatment styles including acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, diet and meditation. It’s foundation is based on the principles of balance; the interdependent relationship of Yin and Yang. Through this balance, health is achieved and maintained.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be an effective complement to your treatment. Acupuncture should be used as ongoing treatment to treat this disorder at the root of the problem and to prevent reoccurring symptoms of arthritis.
Traditional Chinese medicine, considers arthritis as “Bi syndrome.” Bi syndrome manifests as pain, soreness, or numbness of muscles, tendons and joints, and is the result of the body being “invaded” by the external climatological factors of Wind, Cold, Heat, and/or Dampness. The symptoms manifested by the individual depend on which external pathogenic factor is strongest. The four main patterns of Bi syndrome are differentiated below:
Wind Pattern: Exposure to wind, especially when unprotected and exposed to the wind for a long periods of time can aggravate/cause a pattern of arthritis. Any Wind pattern is characterized by symptoms which move around in the body. With Wind Bi, there is joint soreness and pain which moves from joint to joint. Movement of joints are limited in range of motion, and there is sometimes sensations of heat or fever, as well as an aversion to wind, or windy weather. Chinese medicine practitioners differentiate by additional tongue and pulse signs. Wind Bi often has a thin white tongue coat and a floating pulse.
Cold Pattern: A Cold pattern of arthritis (Cold Bi) is differentiated by severe pain in a joint or muscle. This pain is often in a fixed location, instead of moving around. The pain is relieved by warmth or heat to the affected area, but increases with exposure to cold. Range of joint movement is limited. This tongue picture is a thin white coating, combined with a pulse that feels wiry and tight.
Damp Pattern: A Damp pattern of arthritis (Damp Bi) is differentiated by pain, soreness and swelling in muscles and joints, often with a feeling of heaviness and numbness in the limbs. The pain can be in a fixed location and is aggravated by damp weather. The tongue picture is a white, sticky tongue coating and a soggy, slow pulse.
Heat Pattern: A Heat pattern of arthritis (Hot Bi) may develop from any of the above patterns. It is characterized by severe pain and hot-red-swollen joints. The pain is generally relieved by applying cold to the joints. Other symptoms include fever, thirst, anxiety, and an aversion to wind. This tongue picture shows a yellow, dry tongue coat and a pulse that feels slippery and rapid.
Acupuncture and Arthritis
Acupuncture has been study in many cases involving arthritis. This particular study was done for Osteoarthritis of the knee. It is a major cause of disability among adults. Treatment is focused on symptom management, with non-pharmacologic therapies being the preferred first line of treatment. Acupuncture is considered a potentially useful treatment for osteoarthritis. This is a review of randomized, controlled trial by Terry Kit Selfe, DC, PhD and Ann Gill Taylor, EdD, RN, FAAN
On the basis of the findings of the 10 randomized, controlled trials identified by this review, there is evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment of pain and physical dysfunction associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Learn more here.
Acupressure is a great way to relieve pain, improve blood circulation, relax the muscles and increase metabolism. Use your index finger or thumb. Apply pressure slowly, gradually increasing, before you release. 1 or 2 minutes for each point.
Try these three points on the arm and neck:
Large Intestine 11 (Crooked Pond)
Located on the outside of the elbow crease. Benefits: Relieves arthritic pain, especially in the elbow and shoulder.
San Jiao 5 or Triple Burner 5 (Outer Gate)
Located two and one-half finger widths above the wrist crease on the outer forearm midway between the two bones of the arm. Benefits: Relieves rheumatism, tendonitis, wrist pain, and shoulder pain.
Gallbladder 20 (Gates of Consciousness)
Located below the base of the skull, in the hollow between the two large, vertical neck muscles, two to three inches apart depending on the size of the head. Benefits: Relieves arthritis, as well as the following common complaints that often accompany arthritic pain: headaches, insomnia, stiff neck, neck pain, fatigue, and general irritability.
The principle medical system of India is known as Ayurveda and is over 5,000 years old. This “Science of Life” is considered the art of living in harmony with nature. Developed from the ancient text of The Vedas, Ayurveda views the human body as a “homunculus” of our cosmic Universe, regulated by the balance between three primordial humours, call Dosha.
Your dosha are your Ayurveda mind and body type. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We each have all three of the doshas in our physiology, just in different proportions, so your dosha is unique and personal; it is like your fingerprint.
Since arthritis is caused due to Vata aggravation, the main aim of Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis is to balance and stabilize Vata in the body. Of course, the other dosha, Pitta and Kapha are affected by this arthritis, but by strengthening the alimentary canal and the metabolic pathway, this can ensure that the circulatory channels are not blocked by impurities, are open and performing well. This way, the nourishment is delivered to joints. To achieve this, you may have to drink lots of water and detoxify your body periodically. You may also try a diet used to regulate Vata dosha.
An Ayurvedic diet can help strengthen the digestive system, preventing the formulation of ama. The nutritional plasma that is thus created, is pure and can be assimilated into the body completely and easily. A healthy, balanced diet can also improve lubrication of joints, effectively preventing arthritis or degeneration of the joints. These Ayurvedic remedies promote natural healing for arthritis, decreasing the rate of progression of degeneration of your joints and promoting their health.
A recent study done at the “American College of Rheumatology”, was presented that showed an herbal Ayurvedic therapy to be as effective in treating knee osteoarthritis as a commonly prescribed medication (Celebrex) and glucosamine – and with fewer side effects. The ACR stated that Ayurveda offers “safe and effective treatment alternatives” for Osteoarthritis.
The herbs boswellia, turmeric, ashwagandha, ginger, triphala, guggulu, and shatavari have all been shown to decrease inflammation by interfering with the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
The Ayurvedic formula, Triphala has been used in India for thousands of years for treatment of osteoarthritis. Triphala is a formulary that consists of three herbs (amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki). Preliminary studies show that the herbs in triphala have anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric (Curcuma) is a plant and a staple in Indian cuisine and medicine. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare) is a sweet, anise flavored digestive herb. Boil 5 cups of water in a covered saucepan and add 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric and fennel seeds. Let this mixture steep for at least 10 minutes with the lid on. Strain out the seeds and pour liquid into teapot. Sip small amounts throughout the day and watch your skin begin to glow.
There is an emotional aspect to every illness. Often times, it is the emotional thoughts or “excess emotions” that will lead to illness. The following therapies are utilized for calming the mind, help with stress relief and focuses on our mental powers over any situation. The ability to balance your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self are exceptional tools on your healing journey. Here are some suggestions:
Discover your threshold. Patients most likely to successfully manage their pain … become active participants in their treatment, not passive recipients.
- Emotional stress and negative thinking can… actually increase the intensity of the pain.
- To experience effective pain management patients… need to learn as much as possible about their pain.
Stress and Arthritis
Have you noticed that the more stressed you are, the more intense your pain becomes! Clenching teeth, holding muscles, throbbing pain are all a result of stagnation! Blood not flowing freely. Stress relieving techniques are essential to help ease pain. Whether it is a peaceful meditation, psycho-therapy or counseling, physical exercise or massage, the relief of stress = the release of pain!
The goals of psychological treatment are created to assist patients in learning how to understand, predict, and manage their pain cycles, using coping skills to minimize pain, and to maximize active involvement in positive life experiences despite the presence of chronic pain. Psychological treatment for chronic painfocuses on the emotional problems people experience living with pain on a daily basis. Important factors such as disability, financial stress, poor quality of life, or loss of work are also a part of the pain picture, and require psychological treatment to address all relevant issues. This combination of proven psychological treatment approaches in addition to medication management and other non-pharmacological interventions that address all the problems people in chronic pain experience.
The management of pain, whether acute or chronic, is never an easy path or has cut and dried solutions. By changing the way your mind deals with pain can be the key to unlocking (or unblocking) certain energies or a mind-set that holds us back from healing.
The power of your mind and your belief system has everything to do with the condition, the speed and the way that you heal.
* Our Belief System is one of the major factors that can get us through situations or can cause our life to crumble around us! I do believe that there is a lot of innate goodness and balancing our minds do subconsciously to get us through hard times. The other portion of this is how we “program” ourselves to deal with any given situation.
* Our self-confidence and self-love are often the key to opening and strengthening this portion of our thoughts which in turn emanates from ourselves!
* Energy follows thought. Program thought to be positive and your energy will reflect it!
* Really appreciating what we DO have as opposed to what we would like to have, sometimes makes a significant difference. This is always an important element in healing that is often neglected.
Crystal Tools for Pain
Crystals have both piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. This means that the polarities of the crystal will change when subjected to pressure or heat (even body heat from the hands). This will radiate energy from the crystal due to this reversal of polarities. It provides the transfer, storage and transformation of energy.
Used for centuries in folk remedies and field medicine, crystals have been crushed into poultices, used in tonic waters and elixir oils and placed on the body in a ritual called, “laying of the stones”. Crystals have been used to create a circle or “aura net” to help the body relax, become more aware of the issues creating dis-ease in the body (or mind) and applied as hot stones or cold stones for relieving pain and tension.
Crystals can be used as tools for massage. Like an extension of your hand, crystals, stones (including hot stones, cold stones, trigger point stones). Crystal spheres (or balls) are tumbled smooth and work great for massaging into trigger point areas of pain, anywhere on the body.
The Crystal Medicine Course is the follow up to our Crystal Light Course. This continuation course uses actual crystals for all types of health related and emotional issues. From anxiety to pain syndromes, massage to acupressure, this in depth course not only teaches you these amazing techniques, but certifies you in crystal medicine, as well.
Crystal Remedy Rescue: This is a unique homeopathic combination of six crystal essence vibrationally compatible for emotional imbalance. This formula is taken internally under the tongue and is an amazing remedy for stress, fatigue, confusion, anxiety, impatience, feeling wired, but tired, adrenal fatigue or feeling over stimulated.
Hematite, especially magnetic hematite, is an incredible stone for relieving pain. Hematite is made of iron. These stones can be used on trigger points for pain. Take magnetic hematite to an area of pain (such as your lower back, neck, legs, arms) and watch how this stones’s magnetic polarization pulls pain away!
Jade is found in different colors, but green Jade has the ability to mellow one’s existence. Helps one rid themselves of negative thoughts and energy. Very beneficial to the heart in both physical and spiritual senses. It is a very protective stone and will keep its wearer out of harm’s way. Jade is a humbling stone.
Kunzite helps those who suffer from inner turmoil and helps to find the balance between reason and feeling. This heart soothing stone increases tolerance and the ability to deal with anxiety associated with criticism from others. This stone clears emotional debris and is exceptional for panic attacks.
Rose Quartz represents love, beauty, peacefulness, forgiving, loving, self-love and emotional balance! Rose Quartz works with the Heart Chakra. It is a soft, gentle, soothing stone that warms the heart center. Helps diffuse negative stimuli and uncomfortable memories. Helps us discover the ability to love ourselves and makes us more open to other people.
The Heart Chakra, 4th chakra, is a vast network of energy centered in the chest.The Complete Chakra Kit stimulates the seven main energy sources which govern all the major organs and psychologically alters and clears the body’s energy in order to allow healing to take place. A great stress relieving meditation tool!
Peacefulmind Remedy Bags are our fantastic prescription remedies for a multi-layered approach to treating specific disorders. These very special bags are a plan of care for treating problems such as arthritis, anxiety, stress or pain – just to name a few. These bags features 3 of the crystals for treating a disorder, a sample herbal remedy, a meditation, an essential oil blend and acu-point self-massage techniques. Also with great tips and remedies for recovery. Choose from over 80 disorders.
Crystal Associations to Arthritis
These gems are a wonderful adjunct therapy to any other additional treatments you may be doing. Arthritis, which means “joint inflammation” is a general term for over 100 different joint disorders with symptoms ranging from mild aches and pains to severe swelling and crippling pain. Here are helpful crystals for soothing arthritis:
Blue Lace Agate is known for treating removing blockages of the nervous system and treats arthritic bone deformities. Take a bath for 15-20 minutes with this stone in the bath water.
Apatite heals bones and encourages formation of new cells. It assists in the absorption of calcium and helps bone, cartilage, motor skills, teeth, joints and rickets.
Azurite is known for treating arthritis and bone degeneration. Helpful with joint pain, alignment of the spine and works on a cellular level to restore circulation.
Green Calcite helps those who suffer from arthritic pain and poor body alignment. It helps with constriction of ligaments and muscles and is helpful with bone adjustment.
Carnelian this blood mover promotes movement of life force and vital energy. It is useful for treating fertility, rigidity, impotence, low back pain, rheumatism, arthritis, neuraliga and depression.
Chrysocolla relieves arthritis, bone disorders and muscle spasms. It reoxygenates blood on a cellular level. This cooling stone strengthens muscles and alleviates muscle cramps.
Copper is one of the most famous remedies for arthritis, joint and bone pain. It is often worn on the body in a necklace or as a bracelet.
Eilat Stone benefits sinuses, mouth, bone and tissue regeneration. Draws out pain, inflammation and cools fever due to its amazing mix of minerals.
Fluorite benefits the teeth and bones. People with arthritis, rheumatism, or spinal injuries have reported relief from their conditions when they employ fluorite in their healing regimen.
Hematite, Magnetic Magnet Therapy can increase blood flow and circulation and this is how it can help speed up the healing process and alleviate pain. The human body contain a magnetic charge that is essential for it to function. Magnetic hematite is very good for arthritis and joint pain. Try a neck massage with a pair and feel what magnets can do for you. They can also be directly bandaged onto an affected area or onto acupressure points.
Malachite promotes growth and builds strength, both emotionally and physically. It draws out pain associated with arthritis and joint pain. It aligns DNA and cellular structure, enhancing the immune system.
Black Tourmaline, is a remedy for debilitating diseases. It strengthens the immune system, treats dyslexia, joint pain and arthritis, provides pain relief and helps align the spinal column.
Turquoise is a stone that purifies the spirit. It truly helps us see our anxieties as simply thoughts that pass us going downstream, giving them no more value than that. This stone helps us alleviate anxiety by showing us the bigger spiritual picture and dissolving negative energy.
Meditation & Crystals
Meditation won’t get rid of your arthritis, BUT, it will alleviate much of the angst and anxiety associated with it! Calming the mind and central nervous system have a direct affect on how our body “vibrates” and how we choose to handle stress as it comes at us. The more you meditate, the more able you become in handling difficult situations!
~ Use a crystal of your choice or one mentioned. Sit comfortable on the floor and hold your stone or lie down and place the crystal on your Third Eye Chakra or Solar Plexus Chakra.
~ Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths. Feel the crystal rise and fall as you slowly inhale/exhale. Allow your body to melt into the floor at each breath. Take this time to find your center. Let go of those things which hold you back. With each inhale, take in that which you deserve. With each exhale, release all that tension.
~ When you feel more calm and connected, slowly open your eyes. Give yourself some time to recover. You may even want to journal about your experience.
Yoga Therapy is can be effective for arthritis due to the fact that it brings energy and blood circulation to the affected joints of the hands, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, feet, toes and neck.
Consider these asana movements to help increase the circulation in the joints and limbs. Various asanas like Sitting pose (Sukhasana), single leg raises, neck stretch, hand/finger stretch, hand clench, side bends, wrist bend, ankle rotations, toe/arch stretch, toe clenching and corpse pose are helpful. Slow, steady and controlled movements are especially recommended. It is not advisable to maintain the asanas for long.
Mudras are a wonderful way to increase blood circulation to the hands. Try these mudras.
Prithvi mudra is one of the important mudras in healing mudras. The practice of this mudra is useful to increase earth element and decrease fire element within the body. The practice of this mudra increases strength and endurance of your body. It is very easy to do, just joining the tips of ring finger with the tip of thumb finger and applying gentle pressure is enough to form Prithvi-vardhak mudra. You may practice Prithvi mudra while traveling, watching T.V, anywhere and anytime.
The word “Pran” means life. The practice of Pran Mudra strengthens all the five pranas in our body.
It is useful to increase the pranic energy (vital force) and also enhance immunity and vitality. The practice of Pran mudra increases Earth element, Water element, Kapha humor and also reduce fire element and Pitta humor.
Join the tips your little finger, ring finger and thumb finger to form pran mudra. You have to do mudras with both the hands. The practice of Pran mudra increases Prithvi element and Jal element. Both these element is the major part of Kapha humor. Kapha Plays a vital role in vitality, strength, and immunity.Prana mudra decreases Pitta humor. Pitta humor has a direct impact on bodily temperature.
Sun salutation is a series of poses or asanas done to not only wake up the body but to encourage the soul!
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