Acupressure Self Help For Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Pain is undeniably one of the worst aspects of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It came to my knowledge from recent health articles on the great lengths people go to switch off pains that have been torturing them for many years. First, there was this story of a mother with back pain for 30 years, who could barely walk due to the agonizing pain which numerous treatments such as steroid injections and surgery had failed. Now with a remote control that controls pain-relieving electrodes implanted in her spine, she was relieved of her pain. The spinal cord stimulator acts to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain by interrupting them. Then, another similar story of how the life of a retired mechanical engineer was transformed after he was permanently fitted with a neurostimulator into his brain (which is a bit like a heart pacemaker) that generates small electrical signals that block off chronic pain. Would you opt for this option in managing your RA pain? Well, what are the risks? The risks of the procedure is the same as with any brain surgery – fatal bleed and risk of stroke. The other risk is of course, a 15% chance that it won’t work at all. But when it is successful, it changes lives for people who suffer horrendous widespread pain.

Would I take up this offer? I will nicely refuse with a ‘No thanks!’. Come to think seriously, have we really attempted and exhausted all possible means of relieving our RA pain? In one of my earlier posts, I’d talked about using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for relieving RA pain. Have you given the technique a try? If you still had not experienced much reliefs or improvements at all, then why not try out acupressure instead?

What is Acupressure?

AcupressureAcupressure is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM was believed to be a compilation of knowledge of simple folk medicines from all over the country by various Chinese medical practitioners. In those days, people of China consisted mainly of peasants who worked hard in fields. When they worked for long hours, they developed aches and pains. It was discovered through experiments that by massaging and pushing at certain painful points, daily pains and discomforts were alleviated.

The fundamental concept of TCM lies with ‘Qi’ or ‘Chi’. It is an invisible force that gives life to all living matter. If there is an obstruction to this energy flow, then the blocked area will suffer from illness. Acupressure is one of the common modalities used to achieve therapeutic effect in relieving energy blockages and restart the energy flow into the tissues and organs. When dealing with pain, it is essential that causes are understood. Acupressure can turn off pain and render great relief TEMPORARILY. The technique is very easy to applied and safe; very gentle massage or gentle taps with the tips of your fingers on the surface of the skin is all that is needed.

Acupressure Techniques

Acupressure points are located bilaterally i.e. on both sides of the body.

To get more energy – Gently tap using the tips of your fingers and massage on each point for 30 seconds clockwise once or twice a day. If you are using a point stimulator, apply 15 seconds on each point.

To deal with severe pain – Massage the appropriate points counter clockwise for 1 minute each point, left to right. Repeat the cycle every 5 to 10 minutes for 6-10 times as a general rule of thumb. For dull pain, massage clockwise for 1 minute per point; and repeat the cycle every 5 to 10 minutes for 6-10 times.

General Balancing Points

First, it is necessary to balance the body by massaging these points (in the following order: Rt – Right & Lt – Left) for 1 minute clockwise twice a day. Treating these points will greatly enhance the overall energy.

General Balancing Point
Rt 53 – Midway between the thumb and index finger approximately one body inch above the web.
Rt 44 – When the elbow is flexed, itis at the end of the elbow crease.
15 – Below the nose, a little above the midpoint of the philtrum.
Lt 44 – When the elbow is flexed, itis at the end of the elbow crease.
Lt 53 – Midway between the thumb and index finger approximately one body inch above the web.
Lt 102 – In the depression distal to the junction of the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.
Rt 102 – In the depression distal to the junction of the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.
Rt 53  – Midway between the thumb and index finger approximately one body inch above the web.

Acupressure Therapeutic Points for Rheumatoid Arthritis

After balancing the body, use acupressure on the specific acupressure points to get relief from RA. You may use one, two or all of the points. In some cases, people may just need one pressure point to get relief.

RA Acupressure Pts
15 – Below the nose, a little above the midpoint of the philtrum.
30 – On the mid-axillary line, 6 body inches below the axilla.
44 – When the elbow is flexed, itis at the end of the elbow crease.
53 – Midway between the thumb and index finger approximately one body inch above the web.
54 – When a loose fist is made, this point is close to the head of the 5th metacarpal bone on the ulnar side.
75 – When the knee is flexed, 3 finger breadths above the superior border of the patella, on the medial side of the thigh. Feel for pain or tenderness at the spot.
95 – 7 finger breadths above the tip of the medial malleolus on the medial border of tibia.
96 – 4 finger breadths directly above the tip of the medial malleolus.
101 – In the depression distal and inferior to the lower aspect of the 1st metatarsal bone.
107 – On the lateral side of the great toe, between the lateral corner of the nail and the interphalangeal joint.

Enjoy your acupressure session for a pain free day! After you have tried out the above-mentioned method, you are welcomed to share your insights and opinions on whether and to what extent has acupressure helped in relieving your RA pain.

Resources:
Living pain free with acupressure p87

 

 

 

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