Evergreen Acupuncture & Herbs

Health Education Articles

Arthritis and Chinese Medicine

By Kimberly Guorong Du

Arthritis is not a single disease, it is an umbrella term that covers a number of different diseases and conditions with similar symptoms and varied causes. What all of these conditions have in common is an inflammation of joints, resulting in limited movement and pain.

Conventional western medicine differentiates arthritis into three primary forms. The first, and most common, form is osteoarthritis. The second is rheumatoid arthritis and the third is gouty arthritis.

In traditional Chinese medicine, arthritis is called "Bi syndrome" with "bi" indicating blood and Chi stagnation. When the interstices of the flesh, channels and network vessels are invaded by external climatological factors such as wind, cold and dampness, the chi and blood will be blocked. As a result, a person may experience pain, soreness, heaviness, tingling, and numbness in sinews, bones, muscles, and joints. It may also manifest as joint swelling with limited movement while bending or stretching.

The four main types of "Bi syndrome" are described and differentiated below:

Chinese medical treatments: