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How Acupuncture can ease the pain of arthritis

Who would have thought that acupuncture could decrease the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis?

A recent federal study has shown that acupuncture can provide substantial relief for some arthritis sufferers. As part of a whole treatment approach, acupuncture has been proven to help elderly patients lead fuller and healthier lives, despite the debilitating effects of arthritis.

The study was directed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

According to the federal study, 570 elderly arthritis patients were studied to note the effects of arthritis on elderly patients. Those that were treated with acupuncture for six months reported experiencing less pain and reported greater flexibility and mobility in the affected joints. Acupuncture is now being touted as a safe and effective treatment for arthritis.

The federal study marks the first time that conclusive results have been reached on behalf of medical researchers. Before this study was completed and released, there were mixed results and opinions about the efficacy of acupuncture on helping treat the symptoms of arthritis.

This study is one of the largest to be completed, as well as one of the longest. Some critics, however, have criticized the study, arguing that the results do not demonstrate that acupuncture can make a marked improvement in the lives of most osteoarthritis patients.

On the whole, most health professionals agree that the study does represent an important step forward in moving acupuncture to the mainstream. Since arthritis is a major public health problem in the United States, any therapy that offers hope for improvement in the symptoms of arthritis is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

Specifically, this latest piece of research has demonstrated that acupuncture can help treat pain in the knees that is often associated with osteoarthritis.

Many arthritis experts and researchers agree that the study indicates that acupuncture treatment can be valuable addition to standard arthritis treatment and care.

Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine in which very thin metal needles are inserted into specific areas of the body. After insertion, the needles are moved and manipulated by the therapist's hand, and sometimes they are stimulated using electricity.

Acupuncture has steadily become integrated into mainstream America, with a now two million estimated American patients who receive some form of regular acupuncture treatment. Although some health professionals still dispute the efficacy of acupuncture, it looks like this ancient Chinese treatment is here to stay.

Acupuncture is based on a traditional and ancient healing philosophy that says that the face is the body's center of meridians. There are 14 meridians centered on the face that operate as energy channels through which ying and yang energy travels. The goal of acupuncture is to merge and balance the ying and yang organs via the body's 14 meridians to achieve health and balance.

So how does all this help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis? It is unclear exactly how acupuncture works. Some scientists and researchers believe that acupuncture helps the body release the chemicals that cause pain and discomfort.

This article is contributed by Leong Y.H., M.D. Dr Leong is a western trained medical doctor with a keen interest in Oriental medical methods. You may republish this article provided you give credit to the author and provide a web link back to http://www.quick-pain-relief.com.