Many people living with arthritis are prescribed high doses of painkillers including opioids such as Demerol and OxyContin or tranquilizers and sedatives such as Valium, Ativan or Xanax. These medications are habit forming and might lead to addiction and abuse and harm their health in the long run.
Massage Therapy and Acupuncture might be acceptable alternative or complements to conventional medical care for arthritis. They won’t cure arthritis; however these treatments can help with pain management, swelling and stiffness.
Medical acupuncture is a practice of inserting thin sterile needles into specific body points to improve health and well-being. According to recent studies, stimulation of acupuncture points produces a cascade of chemicals and leads to the release of endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture treatments work well for knee, wrist, hand, foot and ankle arthritis and pain associated with it.
During both massage therapy and acupuncture, the focus of the treatment is to relieve the compressive forces on the joint by using techniques within the client’s pain tolerance to reduce stiffness, pain, swelling, spasm and to increase the overall range of motion of the affected joints and the muscles surrounding it.
Joint play techniques can also be applied directly to the joint to increase lubrication which could, in turn, help to increase the nutrition of the cartilage. Any other areas of the body that are compensating for the pain can be addressed as well as any postural concerns or dysfunctions.
Your therapist can give you homecare advice such as diet and specific exercises, hydrotherapy or stretches to prolong the effects of your massage and acupuncture as well as to reduce your overall pain on a daily basis.
Jolanta is the founder and manager of Myoflex Massage & Rejuvenation Clinic in Fredericton, NB, a Complementary Health Clinic providing Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Aesthetics and Non-surgical Rejuvenation and Body Contouring. Myoflex's goal is to help restore and maintain optimal health for their clients.
Jolanta holds a doctoral degree in Biology. She is a Registered Massage Therapist and is a graduate of the Foundation of Acupuncture and Advanced Acupuncture Programs.
She is a member of Association of New Brunswick Massage Therapists and Maritime Association of Registered Acupuncturists. Jolanta has been volunteering for both Associations and is a past President of ANBMT.