Authentic Chinese Acupuncture

              English / 中文 

How do herbs treat OA?

Many clinical studies support acupuncture’s ability to relieve osteoarthritis pain, particularly in the knee. One study of 18,000 patients found acupuncture to be helpful for many pain conditions, including knee osteoarthritis. In addition to promoting an anti-inflammatory effect, studies show that acupuncture releases endogenous opioid endorphins (the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals).

 Another study found that acupuncture was more effective for immediate and sustained pain relief for low back pain compared to anesthetic injection. The difference in these two treatments' effects may be because they have different methods for suppressing pain. Acupuncture stimulates and decreases inhibition in the spinal cord and nervous system; correcting small things naturally so it benefits long term as well. Anesthesia however, blocks sensory nerve signals. The pain relief will wear off as soon as the drug does.

Eight weeks of both EA(electro-acupuncture) and MA (manual acupuncture) seem to provide improvement in pain relief and function among individuals with mild to moderate knee OA.

 Patients with knee arthritis respond particularly well to electro-acupuncture. When knee arthritis is mild or moderate, a limited number of sessions produce very good results. When arthritis is more advanced, or “bone-on-bone,” ongoing acupuncture is needed.

 Acupuncture can also be combined with conventional treatments, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and/or injections. In addition, acupuncture can provide short-term pain relief until knee replacement surgery is performed.

‌Liu, S.-C., Qiao, X.-F., Tang, Q.-X., Li, X.-G., Yang, J.-H., Wang, T.-Q., Xiao, Y.-J., & Qiao, J.-M. (2019). A retrospective study of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to topical ibuprofen for chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Medicine, 98(17), e15308. 

Liu, S.-C., Qiao, X.-F., Tang, Q.-X., Li, X.-G., Yang, J.-H., Wang, T.-Q., Xiao, Y.-J., & Qiao, J.-M. (2019). A retrospective study of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to topical ibuprofen for chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Medicine, 98(17), e15308. 

J, L., Yx, L., Lj, L., J, Y., Dl, Z., Qw, X., H, Z., Cm, G., Rj, J., & Fr, L. (2019, July 1). The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis: An overview of systematic reviews. Medicine. 

Lin, X., Huang, K., Zhu, G., Huang, Z., Qin, A., & Fan, S. (2016). The Effects of Acupuncture on Chronic Knee Pain Due to Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis. JBJS, 98(18), 1578–1585. 

Vickers, A. J., Cronin, A. M., Maschino, A. C., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., Sherman, K. J., Witt, C. M., Linde, K., & Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. (2012). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(19), 1444. 

Shi, G.-X., Tu, J.-F., Wang, T.-Q., Yang, J.-W., Wang, L.-Q., Lin, L.-L., Wang, Y., Li, Y.-T., & Liu, C.-Z. (2020). Effect of Electro-Acupuncture (EA) and Manual Acupuncture (MA) on Markers of Inflammation in Knee Osteoarthritis. Journal of Pain Research, Volume 13, 2171–2179. 

Hsiao, A.-F., Lien, Y.-C., Tzeng, I-Shiang., Liu, C.-T., Chou, S.-H., & Horng, Y.-S. (2021). The efficacy of high- and low-dose curcumin in knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 63, 102775. 

Liang, Y., Xu, Y., Zhu, Y., Ye, H., Wang, Q., & Xu, G. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Knee Osteoarthritis: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Phytomedicine, 154029. 

Zhang, W., Wang, S., Zhang, R., Zhang, Y., Li, X., Lin, Y., & Wei, X. (2016). Evidence of Chinese herbal medicine Duhuo Jisheng decoction for knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. BMJ Open, 6(1), e008973. 

Painful Arthritis in Your Knee? Acupuncture May Bring Relief. (2020, February 6). Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic.

Mayo Clinic. (2018). Acupuncture.

Osteoarthritis: 10 Tips for Self-Care at Home. (n.d.). WebMD.

What are Chinese Herbs? (n.d.). Chinese Herbs Direct.

Chinese herbs have been utilized in Asian cultures for over 5,000 years. The fundamental idea of living in harmony with nature and the environment forms the basis for the use of Chinese herbs as well as the traditional Chinese approach to health. Because of this “natural” aspect of Chinese herbs, there are rare known side effects to using them. A way to think of them is that they are food supplements. Knowledge of the healing power of Chinese herbs and herbal remedies has been passed down from generation to generation, and today represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind.

What is the goal of TCM treatment? 

There are several TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) methods of OA pain relief. The goals of treatment are to:

  •  Decrease joint pain and stiffness and delay further progression
  • Improve mobility and function
  • Increase patients' quality of life

What are traditional Chinese herbs?

The efficacy of CHM (Chinese Herbal Medicine) in the treatment of KOA is superior to those of placebo and Western medicine. At the same time, the combination of CHM + Western medicine is superior to Western medicine alone in the treatment of KOA.

 For example, the Chinese Duhuo Jisheng decoction (DJD) is considered beneficial for controlling knee osteoarthritis (KOA)-related symptoms. Also, the results of a meta-analysis suggest that low- and high-dose curcuminoids have similar pain relief effects and AEs (adverse effects) in knee OA. Curcuminoids are also associated with better pain relief than NSAIDs; therefore, using curcuminoids as an adjunctive treatment in knee OA is recommended.

What is osteoarthritis (OA)?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

How does acupuncture treat OA? 

Where do I find acupuncture and herbal treatments? 

Acupuncture and herbal treatments, like many alternative medicines, are often “practiced” by those who have not been thoroughly trained. For those with osteoarthritis, it's important to choose a practitioner who has experience in authentic eastern practices and who has received the proper training and education to effectively and safely administer this treatment. When considering a place to find treatment, we suggest you come to one of our clinics. Our practitioners all have studied and learnt TCM in Asia, the heart of TCM and where it originated from, so we can ensure the most authentic TCM treatment there is to offer.

Acupuncture and herbs have been used for centuries and to treat a host of medical conditions and can be a safe and effective alternative or complement to medication such as anesthetics and western treatments. Finding a compassionate, well-educated, and experienced practitioner is the best way to ensure that your TCM experience is a successful one. 

Do you have osteoarthritis and want to see if acupuncture and herbs are viable treatments? Contact us today. Our knowledgeable and trained staff would love to help!  

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in weight-bearing joints — the knees, hips, feet, and spine — and comes on gradually over months or years.

With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases it also causes reduced function and disability; some people are no longer able to do daily tasks or work.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbs Can Treat Osteoarthritis  

What is acupuncture?