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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Traditional Oriental Medicine (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Oriental medicine uses a multidimensional approach in treating arthritis. The steps involve:

1. Determine the "type" of arthritis. Oriental doctors use terms such as Xing Bi and Tong Bi to classify different types of arthritis.

2. Treat with herbs and spices, diet, acupuncture, "ear acupuncture" and other therapies, as necessary depending on the type of arthritis and the symptoms.

Types of Arthritis from Oriental Medicine Perspective

Xing Bi. With this "migratory" arthritis, the pain moves around the body. It's caused by wind, dampness and cold invading and obstructing the chi (energy) and blood circulation. The patient is often thin, dislikes wind and has a white coating to the tongue.

Tong Bi. In this "painful" type of arthritis, severe pain stays in place at one or more joints. It's caused by excessive cold, which slows the circulation of chi and blood. It's made worse by cold and lack of movement, but feels better with heat. There is typically no inflammation or redness at the afflicted joint.

Zuo Bi. This is a "fixed" type of arthritis characterized by dampness and internal stagnation, in which the afflicted parts of the body become heavy and numb. The tongue typically has a greasy white coating, and the pain is worse on rainy and cloudy days.

Re Bi. Caused by the conversion of pre-existing problems into heat, this "hot" arthritis produces swelling, tenderness and sharp pain in one or more joints. The patient's tongue is typically covered with a dry yellow coating, and the pulse is "slippery" and fast.


After determining the "type" of arthritis, the Oriental medicine practitioner tries to relieve the symptoms and to strengthen the body. A combination of herbs and spices, diet, acupuncture, "ear acupuncture" and other therapies, are used, as necessary.

Herbs and Spices

A variety of herbs and spices are used. The actual herb used and the quantity and frequency will depend upon the condition of the person being treated. Dried ginger is a popular herb in oriental medicine. It is a hot substance that warms the intestines while toning the stomach, lungs and spleen.

Very often combinations of herbs are used. Some of the herbal formulas that are useful to treat arthritis include:

bulletChen Pu Hu Chien Wan
bulletFeng Shih Hsiao Tung Wan
bulletGuan Jie Yan Wan

Herbal Formula for those with a robust constitution (strong, loud voice, and thick tongue coating):

4 parts chaparral leaf 
2 parts devil's claw root 
2 parts sassafras root bark 
2 parts dried gingerroot 
1 part black cohosh root 
1 part burdock root 
1 part prickly ash bark

Herbal Formula For Individuals who are weaker and more deficient (frail, pale, little or no tongue coating, introverted personality):

4 parts suma root 
4 parts motherwort 
4 pans prickly ash bark 
4 parts oshaaigusticum root 
2 parts angelica root 
11/2 parts Siberian ginseng 
11/2 parts cinnamon bark 


The following foods are useful for arthritis:

bulletBlack soybean - increases blood circulation. Useful for rheumatoid arthritis.
bulletCherry - useful to treat rheumatism.
bulletGrape - Increases energy while strengthening the lungs, spleen and kidneys.
bulletPapaya - Useful for rheumatoid arthritis
bulletRoyal jelly - Useful for rheumatoid arthritis.

See Also: Acupuncture for Arthritis

Acupressure for osteoarthritis

Acupressure for rheumatoid arthritis

Acupuncture Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

Next Topic: Reflexology

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