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Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Sufferer’s Story

Childhood arthritis is the number one cause of acquired disability in children, and the sixth most common childhood disease rheumatoid arthritisfollowing asthma, congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy, diabetes, and epilepsy. It is estimated that 300,000 children in the U.S. suffer from some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is also called juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA).  JRA is a form of arthritis that affects children 16 years old or younger and is the most prevalent type of arthritis affecting children today. The most common features of JRA are: joint inflammation, joint contracture (stiff, bent joint), joint damage and/or alteration or change in growth. Other symptoms include joint stiffness following rest or decreased activity level, which is also referred to as morning stiffness or gelling, and weakness in muscles and other soft tissues around the involved joints. JRA can affect internal organs as well.

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Getting The Point: The Benefits Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world, dating back at least 3,000 years as one of the central modalities of acupuncturetraditional Chinese medicine.  In comparison, modern or Western medicine has been practiced for only about 200 years.

Acupuncture was first recorded in the  Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), considered to be the oldest Chinese medical textbook, which most scholars believe was compiled between the third and first centuries BCE.  Traditional Chinese medicine, which encompasses many different practices, is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism whose origins may be traced more than 5,000 years in the past. As part of traditional Chinese medicine, the main goal of acupuncture is to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body. Simply put, acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles on the body’s surface in order to influence physiological functioning of the body.  The most common practice of acupuncture is for the relief or treatment of moderate to severe pain, which can originate from various points in the body.

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