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Painful joints? What about Acupuncture?

Published: June 16, 2021

Just under 4 million Australians have arthritis. That’s 1 in 6 people. The 2nd most common cause of early retirement in Australia is Arthritis


Do you suffer from pain and stiffness in your joints? Have You been diagnosed with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis? Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been found as an effective treatment for all forms of arthritis and because these conditions are a type of chronic pain, one effective way of managing this, is to stay on top of it. Some people have had lasting relief from their arthritis with regular acupuncture treatments. 


While there is no cure for arthritis, numerous treatments are available to help manage it and improve symptoms.  These include medication, exercise, physical therapy, assistive devices, and surgery. A more recent addition to this arsenal is acupuncture. This ancient practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses fine needles to stimulate acupoints on the body. These points represent the vital energy or ‘qi’ that flows through the body. Sustaining the flow of ‘qi’ is believed to play an important role in improving and maintaining health.


Research shows that a well-placed needle can set off cascading effects, producing a signal that travels to the brain via the spinal cord. This triggers a release of neurotransmitters called endorphins and enkephalins, which scientists believe decrease the perception of pain. Research also shows that inserting an acupuncture needle can induce the creation of cortisol in the body, a hormone that helps control inflammation. 

Arthritis is one of the most common sources of joint pain, almost half of people over the age of 65 have some form arthritis. It often rears its ugly head at or after the age of 50 as the cartilage that usually protects the joints begins to wear down. Women are more at risk than men, and certain jobs, sports, and lifestyle factors (e.g. obesity or lack of exercise) may heighten the risk. Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine may 


Unfortunately, arthritis can impact a person’s quality of life. You may notice a decrease in joint mobility, weakening of muscles, and difficulty in carrying out daily activities. Acupuncture can also assist with these symptoms and increase one’s mood while improving the quality of life through the production of endorphins. These “feel good” chemicals upregulate our ability to respond appropriately to physical and emotional stimuli such as blood pressure, digestive function and regulation of heart rate. This has a domino effect on achieving better sleep and aids stress relief. 


Written By Mya Balogh, Traditional Chinese Acupuncturist