ARTHRITIS in Traditional Chinese Medicine
From The Desk of: Dr. Sandra Testaguzza
- Part 1
Applying Eastern energetic to our understanding of Western
diseases can open up new avenues of prevention and treatment.
Asian herbal treatments avoid weakening side effects because
the body accepts herbs like food, so that dietary wastes
that aggravate pain can be eliminated.
Asian doctors describe the origin of arthritis in terms
of toxins, including infection as well as dietary wastes
and poor circulation. It is called “painful obstruction”
referring to stagnation of energy mainly in liver, gall
bladder & spleen meridians due to internal and external
factors in relation to internal organs and inclement weather
factors. What differentiates arthritic pain from other pain?
Arthritic pain is aggravated by cold weather and humidity
as well as ice-cold and warm weather as well as phlegm-producing
ORGAN RELATION IN CHINESE MEDICINE The spleen
is responsible for enzyme production and stabilizing humidity
in the body. The liver is responsible for bile secretion,necessary
for the digestion of foods and responsible for stagnation
of toxins. The liver rules the tendons and the muscles.
Anger and emotional frustration are related to it. The gall
bladder sends the bile downward where it pours into the
intestines and aids the digestive process. The Triple Warmer
involves all circulation of liquids. The kidneys are the
foundation and storage of the body’s energy. The Yin kidney
produces the fluids (all liquids); the Yang kidney has the
stamina to circulate the liquids and both kidneys maintain
proper balance of heat and cold symptoms in the body.
Rheumatic arthritis (internal cold & dampness)
Rheumatoid arthritis (chronic) Inflammatory
joint pain (internal heat) Osteoporosis (related to age
It is an allergic reaction passed through the blood to the
joints after a streptococcal infection, called numbness
disease in Chinese Medicine. It affects the large joints
at the knees, ankles, elbows, and waist. Aggravated by cold
weather. Application of heat feels better. Tongue: thin
white oily coating.
"Rheumatism in joints” chronic affecting small joints; fingers,
wrists, elbows or knees. Aggravated by cold weather and
dampness. Application of heat feels better. Tongue: pale;
white coating. Related to poor digestion.
Red, hot swollen joints extremely sensitive to touch. Related
to nervous, hot-tempered patients often suffering from insomnia.
Pain is more severe at night. Aggravated by heat and
movement Application of cold (ice) feels better. Tongue:
red, yellow coating. Associated to spicy foods, chronic
fever, thirst & skin rash.
ORIGIN: - WEATHER FACTORS:
Wind: causes nerve pain, soreness numbness, and
pain that moves. Hot: inflammatory pain, burning,
itching, cramps, worse at night. Cold: fixed &
stabbing pain, stiffness, worse in cold weather.
Dampness: dull pain, heavy ache, stiffness, immobility,
POOR EATING HABITS CAUSING:
Accumulation of dietary toxins, emotional habits. Poor digestion,
poor elimination of toxins due to weak digestive system.
Poor circulation. Eating wrong kinds of food. (Differentiate
between warming and cooling herbs and food.)
Emotional Stress: Anger, Depression, Worry.
LACK OF PROPER EXERCISE
Proper breathing exercises targeted to promote energy to
circulate; Yoga, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Qi Qong.
You will treat arthritic pain caused by “cold and dampness”
or “wind” differently from arthritic pain caused by “internal
heat”. WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE DO FOR YOU? JOINT PAIN IS
RELATED TO DIGESTION.
Help detoxify your toxins by strengthening the digestive
Strengthen liver and gall bladder function to rid dietary
Eliminate dampness and cold by activating heat through circulation
Eliminate pain caused by heat bringing circulation through
It is important to understand that acupuncture and release
of endorphins is scientifically proven to eliminate pain.
Alfalfa contains minerals essential to stabilize spleen
deficiency responsible for humidity-related problems.
Consume foods containing the amino acid histidine, including
rice, wheat and rye. Histidine is good for removing metals
from the body. Eat some form of fiber, such as ground flaxseeds,
oat bran, or rice bran, daily for better elimination. Remove
the amount of fat in your diet. Do not consume diary products,
red meat nor pastries. Also avoid caffeine, citrus fruits,
tobacco. If you are to use salt, use sea salt (very little). Avoid
vegetables such as peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and white
potatoes. These foods contain solanine which interferes
with enzymes in the muscles, and may cause pain. Consume
iron in foods such as blackstrap molasses, broccoli, fish,
lima beans, and peas. If you are overweight, try to lose
the excess pounds. Asian doctors explain arthritis by high
acidic content. If the blood is too acidic, this may cause
the cartilage in the joints to dissolve.
next page, part 2...
Testaguzza is the new Women's Health Consultant Wellness
Coordinator at York University's Wellness Center working
in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Levy Ph.D. Sandra is dedicated
to teaching health and wellness in a multi-faceted way integrating
both the conventional and traditional fields.
Sandra is a practitioner of Chinese Medicine for 17 years,
a published writer, teacher, herbalist and researcher and
above all a "fully licensed" acupuncturist who obtained
her private practice license from the Quebec Medical Association.
(Government recognition from L'Ordre Professionel des Acupuncteurs).
She is known for her hospital work in the area of childbirth
In Ontario, Sandra is a member of The Acupuncture Foundation
of Canada Institute. Featured in 1999 Edition of Chatelaine
Who's Who Publication, Sandra was recently honored &
awarded recognition for her notable work. Her articles have
been published in - Etobicoke Living Magazine - The Toronto
Star - Women's News Magazine - Confident - The Villager
- and Medical Journals.
For more information: (416) 236-3488, Etobicoke, Ontario