Alternatives to traditional medicine

As a long-term rheumatoid patient, I am always looking for possible alternatives to costly conventional medicine. So I started exploring the effects of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. After all, on this side of the world, it is not uncommon for people to value the efficiency of Chinese medicine. Through an acquaintance, I came into contact with a Chinese herbal doctor. His store is located in the famous Warorot market of Chiang Mai. You will find the shop on Chiang Moi Road, on the left side, around 200 or 300 meters before the famous entrance gate of the market.

Chinese acupuncture needles

Description of my rheumatoid condition

In preparation, I had created an English document with an overview of the main symptoms of my rheumatoid condition. I supplemented this with a short description of my pain points and the advantages and disadvantages of my current medical treatment. After the doctor listened to my story, he went through the document and looked up some information on the internet. He proposed treatment with Chinese herbs and acupuncture. Promptly he started making a recipe and instructed his staff to create a spice mix, which took them about half an hour to prepare everything.

A daily Chinese herbs mix to swallow

In total five packages were made. Every day I needed to mix one package with a liter of water and cook the lot for one hour. I used a clay pot for that, as cooking in aluminum could release some toxic fumes and residues. After cooling, I had to drink the obtained decoction. You can use every package twice. The second time you only need to add another cup of hot water to the previously cooked residue and let it cool down again. Afterward, you can swallow the herbal spice mix again. And you can take that literally, swallow. The composition of the mixture consists of bark, roots, mushrooms, herbs, and a few other ingredients.

Effective increased resistance

The decoction produces dark brown gunk, and it tastes like robust and bad coffee, with a ground taste. Luckily I do not start vomiting easily. But I have to admit that I was not unhappy when the five days had passed. So what were the effects of this experimental treatment? Something I noticed was an increased resistance. I started taking these Chinese herbs when I was suffering from the flu for two days. My influenza disappeared during the treatment. So that is a positive effect to start with. I am less convinced about the positive effects on my back complaints on the other hand.


A treatment combining Chinese herbs and acupuncture

As an addition, I combined this herbal mixture with acupuncture treatment. This was performed by the same herbal doctor. In total, I had ten sessions at his private practice somewhere outside the city center of Chiang Mai. It was a combination of needles and electrical pulses on those needles. Afterward, I have to admit that I had relatively little trouble with my pain points on the lower back and shoulder. The acupuncture sessions must be taken into account for that, I believe.

All means of pain relief are a surplus

In conclusion, I want to refrain from making any long-term statements, specifically on the treatment of rheumatism, when combining Chinese herbs and acupuncture. I regard this mainly as an experiment and a possible workaround. Thus a temporary solution, to stay away from or postpone my purely medical treatment. Back in my country, I talked this through with my rheumatologist. As he is trained in classical medicine, I would have expected him to reject this sort of treatment. But actually, he said that all means of pain relief are fine to him, on top of the medicine I am already taking.