Healing Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly.”

“If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage, the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves. Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and the joint spacing between bones can become smaller. Joints can become loose, unstable, painful and lose their mobility. Joint deformity also can occur. Joint damage cannot be reversed, and because it can occur early, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control RA.” [1]

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Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis yoga, Rheumatoid Arthritis ayurvedic, Rheumatoid Arthritis Natural Healing, Rheumatoid Arthritis Acupuncture

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“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in thejoints. In some people, it can also cause the joints to become damaged and deformed.” [ncbi]

Ayurveda

Snehana

“Generally snehana or oleation is done with medicated ghee processed with milk and bitter medicines.”

Vamana-Medicated vomiting

“In conditions with Kapha predominant symptoms such as itching etc.”

Virechana-Medicated purgation

“Purgatives with drying nature for patients will snigdha or oily body.

Purgatives with oily nature indicated for patients with dryness.”

Vasthi

“Medicated enema with medicated oils/ghee and Ksheeravasthi(containing medicated milk) are useful.”

Lepa

“Paste made of suitable medicines are applied over areas where pain, discoloration, edema or burning is felt. When paste gets dried itself, it will be removed.”

 

Abhyanga

“Mild massage with suitable oils may be done in appropriate conditions.”

Pariseka

“Pouring of herbal decoctions, medicated milk is very useful especially when patient is suffering from burning sensation or throbbing pain.”

Avagaha

“Sitting in a vessel filled with suitable herbal decoction for stipulated period.”

Blood letting

“Since Vatha Raktha is primarily caused by vitiated Raktha or blood tissue, bloodletting in a controlled manner is very useful to reduce pain. Bloodletting is done only after proper oleation with suitable medicated ghee otherwise it may result in Vatha aggravation.

In the Uthaana Vatha , Raktha Lepa, Pariseka, Abhyanga and Avagaha are the procedures required.

In Gambheera Vatha Raktha, in addition to procedures mentioned above, Panchakarma procedures are necessary.”

Yoga and meditation

“Yoga, Pranaayama and meditation are very useful in patients with RA. In patients who suffer from generalized fatigue and depression with chronic pain pranaayama and meditation are useful. When stiffness, pain and wasting of muscles manifest, suitable yogasanas under strict supervision of a qualified medical practitioner is useful to improve mobility.”

Padhya or Desirable foods

“Wheat, Pulses like green gram, bitter guard, grapes and snake guard are useful.

Apadhya or undesirable foods/things

Day sleep,

Regular exposure to heat

Excess use of pungent, hot and heavy to digest food is contra indicated.”

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Abhyanga Massage

“Daily Abhyanga (oil Massage) is one of the best preventions for degenerative Arthritis. You can receive an Abhyanga massage from a trained Ayurvedic therapist or at home with a self-massage.

Try this:

Self-Abhyanga:

  1. Heat approximately 1 cup of oil (preferably organic sesame oil) and cover the entire body from scalp to toes.
  2. Using vigorous long strokes on the larger areas of the body like the thighs and forearms, and circular movements on the joints, rub the oil into the tissues with the intention of dislodging Ama.
  3. With self-Abhy the strokes should feel firm, yet pleasant—never painful.
  4. Massage for at least 10 minutes per day.
  5. Take a hot bath with Epsom salt to draw out impurities from the body afterward.”

Castor Oil

“Castor oil is commonly used in Ayurveda as a go-to treatment for countless conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. The compounds in castor oil have a similar effect as steroids, preventing inflammation. Used to treat swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints, this oil can be used externally and internally in small amounts (due to its laxative effect).

Try this:

  1. Rub castor oil mixed with turmeric on the affected joint.
  2. Wrap the area with a dishtowel or plastic wrap.
  3. Place a hot water bottle over the joint.
  4. Keep in place for about 10 min (depending on comfort level).

Tip: Always listen to your body. You should feel relief from this, not pain. If the pain increases with heat (it might be due to a pitta inflammation), try an ice pack.”

Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)

“Yogis have used the ancient practice of Pranayama for millennia as a treatment for healing a myriad of illnesses, including arthritis.

Try this: Sheetali Pranayama

  1. Make a tube with your tongue.
  2. Breathe deeply through your mouth and draw the air into your belly.
  3. Hold the breath for 7 seconds; then exhale through your nose.
  4. Do about 15 repetitions.”

Meditation

“Arthritis is exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Meditation is an important technique for stress management, heightened mental function, and emotional stability.

Try this:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Connect with your breath, following your inhalation and exhalation without forcing or straining.
  3. If your mind begins to wander, simply come back to the breath.
  4. That’s it – you’re meditating! Easy isn’t it?”

Detox Diet

“There are various detox cleanses used for different types of arthritis. Water fasting is sometimes prescribed as a way to eliminate Ama. The length of the fast depends on your strength, health, and the season and location. There are also detoxification diets using mainly vegetables, juices, spices, and herbs. These cleanses typically last until the body shows certain signs that the Agni is burning strong again. For example, return of appetite, loss of fuzzy white coating on the tongue, and a feeling of lightness all indicate that the cleanse is complete.

Try this:

  1. In 12 ounces of warm or hot water, add 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey and stir.
  3. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (optional, but highly recommended).
  4. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional).
  5. Drink in the morning before meals and in the evening before bed.”

Heat Therapy

“Using a steam room or sauna can help to expel impurities from the body. Heat can also be applied directly to the afflicted areas for relief.

Try this:

Swedna is an ayurvedic treatment that uses a steam tent placed over the massage table after a full body oil massage. The Ama binds with the oil and is sweat out through the pores. You can also simply sweat it out in a bath, sauna or steam room.”

Boswellia Serrata

“This herb is used as a traditional treatment for many inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. One study done at the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Nagpur, India, reported that all patients receiving Boswellia Serrata had a decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexion, and increased walking distance. The frequency of swelling in the knee joint was also decreased.”

Guggul

“This sticky gum-like resin from the mukul tree is loaded with powerful antioxidants and is considered tri-doshic, meaning beneficial for all three doshas. Guggul has unique healing properties, which reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis as well as increased white blood cell count.”

Turmeric

“Providing the yumminess in curries is this herb’s claim to fame, yet its benefits are bountiful. Often referred to as the “Golden Goddess” of herbs and hailed for its efficacy in treating inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. According to a study by the Journal of the American College of Rheumatology, turmeric root prevents the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, curcumin also acts as protection against bone loss in the joints.”

Ashwagandha

“This member of the pepper family is frequently used in Ayurveda as a treatment for inflammatory conditions, to boost the immune system, and as a stress buster. Ashwagandha is one of the herbs in that incredible category of substances called adaptogens, which help the body cope better with stress and balance out the hormones—moving the body toward homeostasis and more vital energy.”

Ginger

“A study at the University of Miami concluded that ginger extract could one day replace non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The study compared the effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract to a placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee. Ginger reduced the pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo. The studies lead author, Roy Altman MD, stated that, “Research shows that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level.”

Triphala

“Typically used for improved digestion, this Ayurvedic herbal blend may also be a beneficial treatment for joint pain, arthritis, muscle aches, and rheumatism. The components of triphala are believed to bind to the toxins and then removed through the blood stream and digestive tract.”

Amalaki

“Also known as amla or “Indian gooseberry,” amalaki has been celebrated for its rejuvenating properties in Ayurveda for ages. Amalaki is another amazing adaptogen and is packed with powerful antioxidants. It is praised for its anti-aging capabilities, which help reverse the symptoms associated with arthritis.”

Sleep
“In Ayurveda, there is emphasis on creating a daily routine in conjunction with the cycles of the sun and moon. Each dosha has a specific time that is optimal for rising in the morning and sleeping at night. Sleep is  one if the key factors in healing arthritis, as proper sleep patterns maintain a healthy nervous system and help our bodies to heal naturally.” [2], [3]

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Yoga

“Asanas for Rheumatoid arthritis”

Single leg rises:

“In this exercise, one leg is lifted upward while the other one resides on the ground. This asana is executed in order to ready the body for other movements or exercises. It benefits the legs, lower back muscles, and abdominal area. “

Standing side stretch pose:

“The Standing Side Stretch is one more Yoga asana with two lines of energy glowing outside from your centre. This is a very easy yoga asana in which one line of energy arrived at upward from the belly and external from the arms, and other line travels down through the legs.”

Wrist bending:

“Rheumatoid Arthritis and OsteoArthritis can also affect wrist. So wrist stretching and bending exercise is beneficial. “

Ankle bending:

“Continuous strain or sprain in the ankles can show the occurrence of Ankle Arthritis. Manage stress and keep your ankles in good condition by doing the Ankle Bending Exercise.” [4]

Homeopathy

“The most commonly used homeopathic remedies for arthritis are”:

1. Hemp seed oil – “Hemp seed oil is known as the most balanced oil found in nature. It has been recognized as the world’s most nutritionally complete food source. It is not surprising, then, that  cannabis sativa is one of the essential crops found in nature. It provides us with edible seeds and oil. Beyond that, it can also be used for medical purposes: cannabidiol or CBD is one of the vivid examples of this. What is CBD? Explore this site for many interesting facts and information about CBD.

Hemp seed oil is medically known as an anti-inflammatory substance.Cannabidiol arthritis research suggests that hemp oil is a great preventative means for arthritis.

Studies show that hemp seed oil accelerates the healing process. This is thanks to its fats and 8 essential types of fatty acids. These essential fatty acids lower cholesterol in the blood and improve circulation. Moreover, they improve the overall functioning of the organs.”

2.  Rhus tox – “Rhus tox is the best option for patients who do not experience pain from movement. It is produced from the so-called poison ivy plant, which grows as a woody vine or shrub in Canada and the Eastern US.”

3.  Bryonia – “Bryonia is the best option for those whose pain gets worse when they move. This is a flowering plant, which is native to the Canary Islands, South Asia, North Africa, and western Eurasia.”

4.  Apis Mellifica, Apis Mel – “Apis Mellifica or Mel is fine for those patients who experience swelling, constant pain, burning, and heat. It is taken from honeybees.”

5. Belladonna – “Belladonna is another perfect option for those patients who suffer from  throbbing pain. It is produced from the plant called Deadly Nightshade. Belladonna can also be a great remedy for those who struggle with hot, red and swollen joints.” [5]

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Natural Traditional Remedies

1. Lose weight

“How much pain you suffer from due to your arthritis can be greatly impacted by your weight. Extra weight places additional pressure on your joints – particularly your feet, hips and knees.

Losing weight can help to reduce the amount of stress that is placed on your joints and help to prevent additional damage to your joints, decrease your pain and improve your mobility.”

2. Get More Exercise

“Weight loss isn’t the only benefit to be derived from exercise. Regular movement helps with maintaining flexibility within your joints. Performing weight-bearing exercises such as walking and running can cause damage. What you should do instead is to perform low-impact exercises such as swimming or water aerobics in order to keep your joints flexible without adding any more stress to them.”

3. Use Cold and Hot Therapy

“Basic cold and hot treatments can make a significant difference for arthritis pain. Warm and long baths or showers – particularly in the morning – can help to reduce the stiffness that is in your joints. At night, use a moist heating pad or electric blanket for keeping your joints loose.

To relieve joint pain, cold treatments work best. Wrap up a bag of frozen vegetables or gel ice pack inside of a towel and apply it to your joints for fast pain relief.”

4. Try Acupuncture

“Acupuncture is a kind of ancient Chinese medical treatment. It involves thin needles being insertd into certain points on the body. Supposedly this re-routes energy and restores balance within your body.

It is believed that acupuncture can reduce arthritic pain. Make sure you locate an experienced acupuncturist who has solid references if you are wanting to try out this treatment method.”

5. Try Meditation For Coping With Pain

“Relaxation techniques and meditation might be able to assist you with reducing the pain you are suffering from your arthritis through reducing stress and making it possible for you to better cope with it. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that studies have shown that practicing mindful meditation is useful for some individuals who have painful joints. It has also been found by researchers that those who have both arthritis and depression benefit most from practicing meditation.”

6. Incorporate Healthy Fatty Acids Into Your Diet

“For optimum health, everybody needs to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into their diets. The fats can help your arthritis as well. Fish oil supplements are very high in omega-3s and can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is another beneficial fatty acid. It is found within certain plant seeds like black currants, borage hemp and evening primrose. You can purchase supplements that contain boils from these seeds. However, before taking one, make sure to consult with your doctor first.”

7. Add Turmeric To Your Food

“Turmeric, which is the yellow spice commonly found in Indian food, has a chemical in it called curcumin that might help with reducing arthritis pain due to the anti-inflammatory properties that it possesses.

According to the NIH, when turmeric was provided to lab rats it reduced the inflammation in their joints. There has been little research on humans, however it definitely can’t harm anything to add some of this delicious spice to some of your meals.”

8. Get a Massage

“The Arthritis Foundation reports that massaging arthritic joints on a regular basis can help with improving range of motion and reducing stiffness and pain. Find a physical therapist to work with to learn how to give yourself massages, or schedule appointments to see a massage therapist on a regular basis.

Make sure that the massage therapist that you see has experience working with individual who have arthritis. Ask your doctor for a referral.”

9. Consider Taking An Herbal Supplement

“Many different types of herbal supplements are available in the marketplace claiming that they can help with reducing joint pain. A few of the herbs that claim to help with arthritis pain include thunder god vine, stinging nettle, ginkgo, devil’s claw, bromelain and boswellia.” [6]

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Acupuncture

“All patients received treatment by the registered acupuncturist (LZ) who has been practicing acupuncture for more than 10 years. All patients received two 40 minute – sessions weekly for a total of 20 sessions over a 10 week period. Sterile, (0.25 mm × 25 mm and 0.25 mm × 40 mm), disposable needles were used in all patients. A special device was used for 3 groups of subjects – the acupuncture needle was mounted through a standard 2 cm cube of foam material adherent to the skin around the  acupuncture point (Figure 1) [7] ,[8]. The needles were left in place for 30 minutes.

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Figure: 1

“All patients were randomized to one of the 3 treatment groups. Electroacupuncture (EA) Group: Electroacupuncture with needles stimulated by an electrical current (dense wave at 4 HZ and disperse wave at 20 HZ) generated by the generator (Model G6805-2) and intermittent non-specific manual twirling. The electrical stimulation of the acupuncture point were started 10 minutes after needle insertion and stopped just before needle withdrawal. Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) group: Acupuncture without any current passing through but receive intermittent specific manual twirling. Sham group: Sham acupuncture. The skin was punctured to a depth of 2 mm and then the needle was quickly withdrawn. The recipient could not see the level of entry since the cube of foam hid the tip of the needles. The needles were connected to the electrical current generator without any current passing through. Intermittent non-specific manual twirling was also applied.”

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Figure: 2

“Six acupuncture points including Quchi (LI11), Waiguan (TE5), Hegu (LI4), Zusanli (ST36), Yanglingquan (GB34), Xuanzhong (GB39) were used in all patients (Figure 2). Selection of acupuncture points were based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of ‘Bi’ syndrome, which uses local and distal points on channels that traverse the area of pain. Distal points are chosen for the treatment of the underlying causes of Bi syndrome and local acupuncture points were selected for the treatment of the nearby joints. All the 6 acupuncture points chosen can serve as both distal and local points since RA is a systemic disease affecting multiple joints [10]. The anatomical location of the acupuncture points was depicted in Figure 2”.

“The acupuncturist inserted the acupuncture needles (0.25 mm × 40 mm) for acupuncture points LI11, TE5, ST36, GB36, GB39 to a depth of 20 mm. For acupuncture point LI4, the acupuncturist inserted 0.25 mm × 25 mm acupuncture needles to a depth of 10 mm. Patients in both EA and TCA groups experienced a sense of heaviness, soreness, or numbness at the point of needling called “de Qi”. This sensation was said to be a sign that an acupuncture point has been correctly stimulated. The acupuncturist has the least possible communication with patients, and patients were discouraged to communicate with each other before and after the treatment sessions to minimize bias.” [11]

If you find these remedies helpful, we can personalize your healing process. For more information, visit  TeddyCanHeal.Com . We have also opened an anonymous Survey that will help us to improve our healing solutions, as well as help you more efficiently. We welcome you to participate if you would like a more specialized Path to Healing.

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