. . . is any swelling of the joints, marked by pain and swelling.
The term “arthritis” means inflammation of a joint. There are many different types of arthritis. Some are due to infection and other are due to wear and tear; for many the cause is obscure. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Conventional treatment often reduces pain, but there is little improvement in the arthritic process itself.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often more severe and more generalized than osteoarthritis. It occurs more commonly in women but it is much more common in younger people. It characteristically affects the hand and the large knuckle joints as well as the wrists, elbows, knees and feet. It affects the hip joints less often than does osteoarthritis. In severe cases, there is considerable destruction of the joints, and other tissues including skin, lymph nodes, lungs, the heart, and even the liver and kidneys can be affected the rheumatoid process.
There is evidence to prove that rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune reaction where antibodies develop against joint tissue. This causes an inflammatory response as the body’s adaptation to protect itself from a hostile environment. What triggers this auto-immune reaction remains largely unknown.
The onset of rheumatoid arthritis is often associated with physical or emotional stress, however poor nutrition or bacterial infection may also be the cause. The synovial tissue experiences metabolic alterations primarily resulting in an acidic environment and a lack of fuel.
All these changes can be modified by holistic intervention, to decrease or normalize the inflammation reactions. Rheumatoid arthritis affects not only the joints but also many other bodily functions These should also be treated to improve the patient’s outcome.
According to Henry Osiecki the following physiological variables have been observed:
Many rheumatoid arthritic patients are anaemic. This may be due to either a lack of iron absorption or simply due to the chronic inflammation occurring throughout the body. Many patients are taking aspirin and this may produce bleeding in the bowel, and in turn, anaemia.
- Many rheumatoid arthritic patients have an inefficient liver metabolism. Weakness and tiredness are common symptoms.
- 50% of rheumatoid arthritic patients have cold and wet hands, suggestive of a disturbed vegetative vaso-regulation.
- Females have an aggravation of symptoms during menses.
- The rheumatoid patient appears to have a reduced defense against the formation of toxic free radicals produced by inflammation.
Detoxifying essential oils should be used in massage oils and baths.
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory oils can be used in baths, local massage and compress on the affected joints, while local circulation can be stimulated by the use of rubefacient oils.
Whenever heat is applied to a painful stiff joint, it is very important to move the joint as much as possible immediately afterwards, otherwise the heat can cause congestion which will make the condition worse rather than better.
Feeling unloved, criticism, resentment, holding on or harboring these feelings
The Mosby Medical Encyclopedia, Revised Edition
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Salvatore Battaglia