Man holding hand in pain due to rheumatoid arthritis

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you know all too well the misery of its flare-ups, when swollen joints cause severe pain and immobility. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our doctors have found that acupuncture — an ancient healing art and modern medical miracle all in one — can make a remarkable improvement in the lives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Our medical practice is a holistic one that focuses on relieving pain and restoring dysfunction by nonsurgical means, so acupuncture fits in perfectly with the other therapies we offer. Contact us to experience the benefits of its natural, calming approach to healing.

The History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, has been practiced for over 2,000 years. This ancient technique was developed to balance the body’s energy flow, or Qi (pronounced “chee”) believed to be crucial for health. Carefully trained practitioners of acupuncture stimulate specific points on the body along pathways, known as meridians, that have been carefully mapped over centuries. 

Acupuncture is now a well-respected form of treatment in Western medicine, recognized by national and international medical organizations, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

How Acupuncture Helps Restore Health

Acupuncture works according to the principle that health is maintained by keeping a harmonious balance of the body’s energy. The hairline needles inserted painlessly at well-charted points on the body are believed to improve energy flow, stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities by:

  • Enhancing blood flow
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Stimulates the central nervous system, triggering the release of endorphins
  • Speeds the relay of electromagnetic signals, releasing immune system cells
  • Triggers the release of natural opioids that act as analgesics

These factors not only help to reduce specific symptoms but also produce a sense of general well-being.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Unlike osteoarthritis which is usually caused by the wear and tear of aging, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation, primarily affecting joints. It results in painful swelling that, over time, can lead to joint deformity and erosion. Unlike osteoarthritis, RA attacks the synovial membrane that encases and protects the joints, rather than the joints themselves, often targeting several joints at one time. This debilitating condition can make daily activities difficult or even impossible which is why obtaining effective management of symptoms is crucial.

How Acupuncture Addresses the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acupuncture for RA focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. By targeting specific points, it aims to regulate the immune system and reduce the inflammatory response associated with RA. Our patients often report reduced joint pain and swelling, increased mobility, and an overall sense of being revitalized. Acupuncture is especially beneficial as it offers pain relief without the side effects associated with long-term use of conventional RA medications, though it can be used in combination with them without harm.

What an Acupuncture Treatment Involves

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, an acupuncture session begins with a comprehensive evaluation of your health history and symptoms. The treatment involves gently inserting hair-thin needles into specific points on the body, depending on your symptoms and overall health. These sessions are typically relaxing, with some patients experiencing immediate relief, while others notice improvements after several sessions. Our doctors customize treatments for each patient to ensure the best possible outcome.

The treatments are usually approximately 20 minutes long and administered in a series of about 12 sessions. Our patients generally find them relaxing and some doze off during treatment. All can resume ordinary activities immediately afterward.

Contact Our Skilled Acupuncture Specialists Today

We offer state-of-the-art acupuncture treatments for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, often in combination with other therapies. When you come to Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, you will be treated by physicians who have pursued advanced training in acupuncture and complementary medicine at Harvard Medical School. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, acupuncture can make a remarkable difference in your life. Contact our capable, compassionate doctors to find out how.