Traditional Chinese Medicine to relieve arthritis

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April 8, 2023
Joy Hsueh

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine that has been used to treat arthritis for centuries. TCM practitioners in Sydney use a variety of techniques, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and massage, to relieve pain and improve function. There is growing evidence that TCM can be effective in treating arthritis. A recent study found that acupuncture was associated with significant improvements in pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture to reduce the severity of arthritis

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The procedure involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture is said to improve the flow of energy or qi within the body and can be used to treat conditions like pain, nausea, and arthritis.

Most acupuncture treatments last for 30-60 minutes, during which time the patient may feel a tingling or prickling sensation. There is typically no pain involved with acupuncture. Some people may experience minor side effects like bruising or soreness at the needle site, but these are usually temporary and go away quickly.

Herbal medicines to reduce the severity of arthritis

There are many different herbal medicines that have been traditionally used to reduce the severity of arthritis. Some of these include ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. These herbs all have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce pain and swelling in the joints. Additionally, they can also help to improve circulation and increase range of motion.

  • Ginger appears to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory compounds in the body. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to further reduce joint inflammation and pain. One study found that taking just one gram of ginger per day for 3 months reduced pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Another study showed that taking two grams of ginger per day for 4 weeks reduced pain and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that taking a turmeric supplement daily can help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Turmeric is generally considered safe when taken in small doses, but it can cause stomach upset or heartburn in some people.
  • Cayenne pepper is a traditional Chinese medicine used to relieve arthritis. It is a spice made from the dried and ground fruit of Capsicum annuum, a type of chili pepper. The capsaicin in cayenne peppers is thought to be responsible for their medicinal properties.

Risks of taking Chinese herbal medicines

There are a few risks to be aware of when taking Chinese herbal medicines. First, these herbs can interact with other medications you may be taking. Second, some of the herbs may not be safe for pregnant women or young children. Finally, these herbs can have side effects, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or dizziness. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any Chinese herbal medicines.


While Western medicine focuses on treating the symptoms of arthritis with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a holistic approach to relieving the condition. TCM practitioners believe that arthritis is caused by a build-up of toxins in the body, and so treatment focuses on cleansing the body and restoring balance.

One study found that three months of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine was more effective in treating arthritis than Western medication. The study participants who received acupuncture and Chinese herbs had less pain, improved grip strength, and were more likely to report an overall improvement in their condition.

If you are considering trying TCM for your arthritis, it is important to consult with a licensed TCM practitioner in Sydney. While there are many benefits to be gained from this approach, it is not without risks. Contact us at for more information.

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