Pain sucks. Immobility sucks. But, having a disease that no one authoritatively knows how it starts, and hence, how to cure it? That really sucks. This is what people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis deal with every day. This article shares natural ways to cope with the pain, reduce the stress, and trigger the body’s self-healing mechanisms — using Qigong.
Learning to manage this condition is an individual journey. It takes a lot of courage, optimism, and personal research to experiment with what may work for you. Qigong (pronounced, “Chee Gung”) is an easy to learn exercise to add to your natural treatment toolbox. If you struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Qigong can be a great addition to utilize for effective pain management.
Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease. For some unknown reason, the immune system begins to attack itself. Our own body becomes “the enemy.” Specifically, the condition mistakenly sends antibodies to attack the tissue lining of the joints, called “sinovium.” Sinovium creates the fluid that keeps our joints lubricated. The effect is that Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers experience painful inflammation in the joints, often first appearing in the hands.
If inflammation continues, it can damage cartilage and even the bones themselves. With the loss of cartilage, the joint spacing between bones reduces. They can become loose, not as stable, increasingly immobile, and of course, chronically painful. If the Rheumatoid Arthritis persists, it may even cause joint deformity over time.
One of the key factors in preventing inflammation is exercise. But, here is the inevitable “Catch 22”: Too much of the wrong kind of exercise can aggravate the pain. Too little of exercise, the condition and its devastating effects continue unmitigated. So how do we achieve that tricky balance? This is where “downloading Qi,” or doing Qigong movements, can help.
Rheumatoid Arthritis & Depression
Besides the joint pain, immobility, fatigue, and other common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, depression is very common. This web of conditions can be overwhelming for sufferers. They cannot do too much exercise, so any movements they can do need to be as condensed and full of benefits as possible. They need to be mild, AND deliver multi-benefits.
Qigong is a mild exercise, which can be adjusted to each individual’s mobility, stamina, and range of motion. It is literally a “moving meditation.” Meditation has been shown to be helpful for not only reducing stress, but also can be beneficial for the alleviation of mild forms of depression. You can check out a whole set of my “Mood Enhancement Set” in Chapter 7 of the book, “Qigong: The Quick & Easy Start Up Guide.”
Having once been diagnosed with clinical depression, I know firsthand how debilitating that alone can be. Combined with physical pain? That is a large and stressful load to bear.
One of the key approaches of “Download Qi” is emphasizing the easiness of Qigong, keeping the movements simple, and the repetitions short and sweet. This easiness makes Qigong one of the ideal treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis pain. And, for the depression which often accompanies it.
Qigong Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
The keys to using Qigong as a natural treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis is to use not only your body, but your mind. I often recommend a simplified version of a traditional Qigong called “Tendon Changing.” This ancient Qigong exercise is centuries old and time tested.
The key to Qigong is not just to get the movements “correct.” It is to use your imagination to redirect your bio-electric energy, or “Qi” to the joints afflicted. Take the movement as far as you can physically (without strain), then go past that with your mind. How do we do this?
In this video you see me extend my hand to my right side, then to my left side, taking a deep breath as I come in to my center, then exhaling as I reach out. If we combine the limb extension with imagining a color (healing baby blue), and the exhale going out our forearm and through our fingers with the breath, we focus bio-electric energy to those joints. In essence, this is like giving yourself a free acupuncture treatment. Instead of the needles directing the Qi there, your mind and imagination is directing the Qi, or bio-electric energy there.
Is Qigong Safe to Do?
Because the movements of Qigong are so mild, it would take a lot of work to harm yourself with these movements. If you stay within your comfort zone, do not overextend yourself, and do just a little each day, you will find Qigong a great natural treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Though the principles of Qigong can take years to “master” the basics will be learned in minutes. None of the exercise routines from my book or videos exceed 7 minutes. They can be shortened, or adapted to your range of movement. Do not worry about getting the movements “perfect.” There is no such thing. Just have fun with it, breathe deep, and listen to your body.
Your journey towards a healthier lifestyle should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Download Qi does not claim any medical expertise or to offer expert medical advice. All we can attest to is that over the years, Qigong has helped countless other students who have struggled overcoming autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Each journey towards recovery is unique. These simple tools may help you on your unique journey towards wholeness.