In Traditional Chinese Medicine, conditions like arthritis are called Bi Syndromes or painful obstruction syndromes. As the name implies, the flow of Qi becomes obstructed, and when it persists for long enough, pain and other symptoms appear.

Traditional Chinese Medicine theory suggests that climatic factors give rise to Bi Syndromes. Wind, heat, cold and dampness are considered pathogenic. Excessive exposure to any of these factors allows them to invade the body and create imbalance. When not promptly addressed, these pathogens can become chronic and lead to an obstruction in the flow of Qi.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

When treating a patient with Bi Syndrome, an Acupuncturist will treat the “obstruction”. The treatment will include any underlying imbalance that made the person more susceptible to invasion in the first place.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis, which manifests as warm, swollen, and painful joints is considered a chronic pathogen (most likely dampness) that persists and turns to heat inside the body. Treatment would involve using acupuncture and/or herbs to help clear heat from the body to address the imbalance caused by the obstruction. It would also include ways to resolve the dampness that caused the obstruction in the first place. Contributed by Dr. Boonsita Tangsopon