Monday, 28 July 2014 00:00

Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that include painful, swollen and/or stiff joints as primary symptoms. There are more than one hundred classifications of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis due to infection or chemical agents, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout.

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is classified as a degenerative (aka wear and tear) joint disease characterized by the deterioration of cartilage within the joints. While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms include: pain, tenderness, stiffness, loss of flexibility or range of motion, grating or grinding sensation and bone spurs

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the joints in our hands and feet. Rheumatoid causes painful swelling in the lining of the joints that can eventually result in damage to the bone and joint deformity.

RA is considered an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks our own body tissues. In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis sometimes can also lead to inflammation in other organs of the body — such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.

At Everspring Health, we start by learning about you and your relationship with arthritis. What is your pain like – is it sharp, dull, achey, constant, short-lived? Do you experience stiffness or swelling? Is it different in heat versus cold weather, or does it change with different seasons? We gather as much information as we can, so that we can develop a strategy to treat your unique symptoms and ideally dissolve the underlying cause.

Based on whether you are experiencing inflammation or a lack of circulation, we can use acupuncture and massage to either calm inflamed areas or to increase circulation. We fully examine lifestyle habits (stress, diet, and sleep); changing a pro-inflammatory diet, or increasing nutrition components that repair arthritic tissue, can reduce pain. We educate you on how joints work, and how to maintain them over time, as well as incorporate herbal therapy, functional medicine (vitamins/minerals), and current primary care to give you the best relief possible, while boosting your overall health and wellbeing.

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Holistic Medicine Principles

Principles embraced by the Members of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine

 

  1. Optimal Health is the primary goal of holistic medical practice. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest level of functioning and balance of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of human experience, resulting in a dynamic state of being fully alive. This creates a condition of well-being regardless of the presence or absence of disease.
     
  2. The Healing Power of Love. Holistic health care practitioners strive to meet the patient with grace, kindness, acceptance, and spirit without condition, as love is life's most powerful healer.
     
  3. Whole Person. Holistic health care practitioners view people as the unity of body, mind, spirit and the systems in which they live.
     
  4. Prevention and Treatment. Holistic health care practitioners promote health, prevent illness and help raise awareness of dis-ease in our lives rather than merely managing symptoms. A holistic approach relieves symptoms, modifies contributing factors, and enhances the patient’s life system to optimize future well-being.
     
  5. Innate Healing Power. All people have innate powers of healing in their bodies, minds and spirits. Holistic health care practitioners evoke and help patients utilize these powers to affect the healing process.
     
  6. Integration of Healing Systems. Holistic health care practitioners embrace a lifetime of learning about all safe and effective options in diagnosis and treatment. These options come from a variety of traditions, and are selected in order to best meet the unique needs of the patient. The realm of choices may include lifestyle modification and complementary approaches as well as conventional drugs and surgery.
     
  7. Relationship-centered Care. The ideal practitioner-patient relationship is a partnership which encourages patient autonomy, and values the needs and insights of both parties. The quality of this relationship is an essential contributor to the healing process.
     
  8. Individuality. Holistic health care practitioners focus patient care on the unique needs and nature of the person who has an illness rather than the illness that has the person. 
     
  9. Teaching by Example. Holistic health care practitioners continually work toward the personal incorporation of the principles of holistic health, which then profoundly influence the quality of the healing relationship.
      
  10. Learning Opportunities. All life experiences including birth, joy, suffering and the dying process are profound learning opportunities for both patients and health care practitioners.