About three years ago, I started having arthritis pain in my knees. I've been to more doctors than I can remember, and their recommendations haven't worked. I've now been told that I need to have surgery to implant artificial joints. If there are any alternatives you know of, I'll be happy to give them a try. I would like to keep as many of my original parts as possible.
As strange as some of them are, I'm awfully fond of all my original parts, too.
In Copenhagen, researchers gathered 29 patients (average age 69) who were recommended to have knee replacement surgery. Half of the patients received acupuncture treatments—six during each three-week segment of the study—and the others were given painkillers.
After nine weeks, more than 85 percent of the patients receiving acupuncture had improvement in both the way they felt and in their knee function. Seven of them were doing so much better that they decided to forgo surgery altogether. For others, subsequent acupuncture treatments (one per month for a year) eased their pain while they waited for surgery.
Israeli researchers have shown another interesting technique to be effective. Fifty patients with knee problems were instructed in self-treatment using infrared therapy (18), a simple red light (15), and a placebo (17). They were instructed to administer the treatment for 15 minutes two times a day for 10 days.
When re-evaluated, the patients who used either the red light or the infrared lamp had a 50 percent reduction in knee pain and disability and a 50 percent improvement in function. Those using the placebo showed no improvement at all.
Why These Therapies Work
It's no surprise that acupuncture would be effective in reducing knee pain. What might surprise some folks is that simple red light could also ease pain.
There are two interesting phenomena occurring here. First, both the infrared and red light are undoubtedly stimulating specific acupuncture points. Second, we’re seeing the effects of color therapy, which traditional medicine has a difficult time accepting. (Certain wavelengths of light stimulate acupuncture points just as well as needles, electrical currents, and even lasers.)
You could easily duplicate these positive results using a simple red light bulb or red filtering material. There are also numerous infrared heat devices now available.
How to Find the Acupressure Points
To reduce knee pain, there are three acupuncture points where the treatment should be concentrated. All are on the stomach meridian. The following illustration shows only one leg; however, there are corresponding points on both sides of the body.
Dr. Johanna Budwig, the doctor who has shown us the many health benefits of flax oil, feels that ruby red light (at 6,900 angstroms) has enormous healing powers. It is this wavelength, she says, that enables the unsaturated fatty acids in the skin to chemically "absorb" and store photons of light energy.