One of the most common question I am asked is “What is good for Gout”? so as a follow on from my previous blog, where I shared how common arthritic diseases that impair movement, such as lupus and Fibromyalgia, can be treated with exercises that focus on the Liver system in Chinese Medicine, I thought I would focus on foods and acupressure that bring relief to the painful arthritic condition of Gout.
In Chinese medicine, the same disease can be treated differently depending on the genetics, lifestyle choices and even emotions of the person presenting.
However we can also treat different diseases with the same protocol and this applies to all arthritic conditions. So even though this blog will cover the solutions for gout, these can applied to all conditions that affect mobility and cause pain in the body. “Improving flexibility and Reducing pain” for every body will be our focus for September in Chi Flow with Jo.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by excessive levels of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a normally occurring substance in the body that is excreted by the kidneys in urine. But if there is too much of it, uric acid crystals can collect in the joints, causing intense pain, redness, and swelling in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.
If untreated, gout can cause irreversible joint damage, chronic pain issues, as well as joint deformity. Unfortunately, people are less inclined to move when in pain, and this leads to increased issues with lack of mobility, muscles weakness, and stiffness of the joints – so begins a never ending cycle.
Liver weakness often caused by alcohol reduces the metabolism of uric acid and can make problems with gout more significant. The overindulgence of foods like red meat, fried food and shellfish, gave it the nickname “the disease of kings”. The Liver can become weakened with too much rich food and alcohol, impairing blood flow, creating stiffness and pain.
The goal in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to bring the body back to balance and harmony by strengthening not only the Kidneys but also the Liver, to clear heat, internal dampness and improve blood circulation.
We can do this by avoiding foods that weaken the liver such as excessive fats, red meat and alcohol. Instead use foods that enhance liver function. By following the 5 element chart you can see that these are green in colour and sour in flavour: For example, spinach, kale, broccoli, avocado lemons, limes and grapefruit.
Avoid foods that weaken the kidney such as refined sugar, fructose or high fructose corn syrup found in fizzy drinks. Instead drink more water to help the elimination of Uric acid. Add a squirt of lemon and this will help the liver too.
As I mentioned in my last blog, exercising more and working on healthy diet will help reduce uric acid levels, reduce inflammation, maintain weight and mobility, improve insulin resistance, and even extend lifespan.
Combine this with self-shiatsu acupressure and you have a well balance treatment protocol.
Studies show “that acupuncture is better in improving clinical effective rate, decreasing uric acid, and VAS score compared with western medicine. The overall incidence of adverse events in acupuncture group was lower than that in western medicine group.”
Spleen 6 is a fantastic acupressure point for moving blood and reducing pain around the body. It is so powerful it is contraindicated in pregnancy.
This acu-point is also know as Three Yin Crossing because this is where the three Yin meridians of the Spleen, Kidney and Liver intersect. It is especially good for moving Qi/Chi/Energy and blood. It also helps clear damp and benefit Kidney energy.
Find by measuring four fingers up from the ankle bone on the midline of the inner leg.
Press, massage and hold on both legs for anywhere between 30seconds and 3 minutes
However one point alone does not create a long term treatment plan. If you suffer from painful joints and would like to increase your flexibility, mobility, energy levels and joy of life, join us in Chi Flow with Jo. There’s even a free class to try before you buy.