Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder often affecting the small joints of the hands and feet. Many other areas may be affected including the skin, eyes, vessels, and internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints and may lead to osseous erosion, severe pain and swelling, range of motion impairment, and joint deformities.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The latest Data also reveals that acupuncture plus herbs reduces inflammatory markers. In a randomized controlled study, researchers from Anhui University of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) compared the efficacy of acupuncture plus herbs in one study group with drugs in another study group. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine achieved an 85% total effective rate and drugs achieved a 70% total effective rate. The researchers conclude that acupuncture plus herbs for rheumatoid arthritis is effective, has negligible side effects, lowers inflammatory markers, and significantly relieves symptoms.

According to a research from Anhui University of TCM, Zhu et al., finding acupuncture plus external application herbs effective for the alleviation of rheumatoid arthritis. Those external application herbs are absorbed through the skin and can target specific areas affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Wang et al. also pointed that this enhances treatment efficacy by promoting blood circulation in areas most affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

Zhu, Y. (2014). Therapeutic Observation of Acupuncture plus Chinese Medicinal Application for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 33(11).

Wang, XJ. (2012). Treatment Efficacy of TCM External Application in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lishizhen Medicine and Materia Medica Research. 23(10): 2661-2662.

Wang, Zizhen. “Clinical observation on treating rheumatoid arthritis with the Guizhi Shaoyao Zhimu decoction plus acupuncture.” Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine 6.4 (2014): 89-90.

HealthCMi. 2015. Acupuncture Relieves Rheumatoid Arthritis. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1544-acupuncture-relieves-rheumatoid-arthritis. [Accessed 28 October 15].

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