How can Complementary Therapies Help with Arthritis?

Increasing blood circulation to the affected joints

Any holistic therapy involving movement will increase the circulation of blood in the body and improve the function of the lymphatic system to clear toxins. With improved blood circulation the body is enabled to clear inflammation in the joints: All forms of Massage, Bowen and Acupuncture help in this way. When the joints are especially affected by cold and damp weather it can be useful to heat the joints using moxa; a chinese herb used by Acupuncturists.

Reducing Inflammation

AcupunctureChinese Herbs and Bowen work to reduce inflammation in the body by stimulating the bodies natural anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Cooling herbs can be especially useful when joints are particularly inflamed and hot.

Boosting energy levels to counteract lethargy and encourage exercise

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs, Homeopathy, Bowen and Massage, all work in different ways to boost energy levels. Please click on the therapies for further information about each.

Releasing Tension which is inhibiting circulation

Often it is important to look at the underlying causes of tension which cause muscles to tense thereby inhibiting blood circulation and preventing the body from healing itself. Exploring these underlying causes of tension can be done at depth through Core Process Psychotherapy or Life Tracking. A fair amount of discussion and exploration into lifestyle issues causing tensions occurs in sessions of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine. Bodywork in the form of Bowen, Massage, Reiki and Reflexology all work to release tension in the body.

Knee Problems

For Knee Problems please click here.

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What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are quite different diseases. Whereas osteoarthritis rarely occurs before the age of 40, many people develop rheumatoid arthritis in their 20s or 30s. Many joints are involved – the synovium is badly inflamed and this damages all the tissues in the joint. The affected joints are painful, often very stiff, and appear warm, tender and swollen with fluid (not with extra bone growth). Blood tests show widespread inflammation that affects the body generally, often causing anaemia, weight loss and tiredness. X-rays show that the bones are thin and eroded, rather than the bony spurs and calcification that show up in osteoarthritis

Osteo Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, with an estimated 8.5 million people affected by the condition.Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as 'wear and tear' arthritis.
There are three characteristics of osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis mostly occurs in the knees, hips, and small joints of the hands. However, almost any joint can be affected.

Who develops osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis usually develops in people who are over 50 years of age, and it is more common in women than in men. It is commonly thought that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of getting older, but this is not true.
Younger people can also be affected by osteoarthritis; in some cases, as a result of an injury, or another medical joint condition.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tend to develop gradually, with the first symptoms often being felt in small joints, such as your fingers and toes.The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often tend to come and go, and you will experience what are known as 'flare ups'. This means that from time to time, your condition will worsen and your symptoms will be more intense and severe. You can experience a flare-up at any time of the day or night. However, it is likely that your symptoms will be more painful in the morning, when you first wake up. Usually, your symptoms will begin to ease as the day progresses, as you start using and flexing your joints.

Once rheumatoid arthritis progresses, it can spread to other joints, such as your shoulders, elbows, hips and jaw. The condition tends to affect several joints at the same time, usually on both sides of your body. For example, it often affects both knees or both hands.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are outlined below:

Unlike osteoarthritis, which only affects the bones and joints, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in other parts of your body. The condition can also cause inflammation of your tear glands, salivary glands, the lining of your heart and lungs, and your blood vessels.


I found the treatments which I had from you over many years were immensely beneficial in reducing the pain I was experiencing from the arthritis in my joints. This undoubtably helped to delay the time when surgical intervention for both my knee and ankle become imperative. This has greatly increased the chance of these prosthetics lasting me for the rest of my active life! So many thanks.


Writing on behalf of my Father who travelled up yesterday from Cornwall to see Rob Long for Acupuncture.  He has been suffering a lot of pain due to Rheumatoid Arthritis style symptoms.  After the initial consultation and treatment he felt much better and could feel his feet again.  Rob is extremely talented, professional and knowledgeable and I am extremely grateful for his help.  He will definitely be back for a course of treatment. Thank you Rob.


Bowen for Knees

Anna Walker was recommended to me by a friend as I had a knee issue. After the treatment I felt elated and also the most relaxed I’ve felt since I was a child.

My knee issue, which had been ongoing for months and was so severe that I had to be on crutches and was not able to put any weight on it, was much improved after the first session, and by the third session was completely healed.

I also noticed an overall improvement in my health in general.

Caia - Contemporary Oil Painter - Brighton

Rob has treated me twice monthly for 12 years and is a superb acupuncturist and healer. He has also treated most of my overseas family, helping immeasurably with, amongst other things, their jet lag. I am now 80 years old and feel Rob has played a major part in my overall wellbeing. From general aches and pains to more specific treatments like arthritis and frozen shoulder he has been able to give me great relief. As he now lives in Devon, Cornwall’s loss is Devon’s gain!

Ann B

Virginia is an amazing therapist, she takes the time to find out why I am seeking her help. She is very professional and has helped me to reduce pain from an arthritic hip with vasti treatments. She also helped me with long standing sleep difficulties by a 2 hour shirodara session- that was sublime!

Julia March 2022