Controlling Arthritis Pain with Energy
Irene Q. consulted me for painful
swelling in her right knee. She thought her troubles
started with a missed step while walking downstairs
several months earlier. X-rays showed early changes
of arthritis. Several laboratory tests showed
negative results. Knee exercises and manipulations
gave only temporary relief. Her knee remained
swollen. Irene also suffered from other health
problems, among them fatigue, recurrent sinusitis
and frequent headaches. She considered herself a
"very tense person."
Arthritis is a painful
inflammation of the synovium—a thin layer of tissue
that lines the joints. The inflamed and swollen
synovium begins to erode the joint cartilage. Loss
of cartilage first bares and then destroys the
underlying bone. The muscles surrounding the joint
are irritated and go into spasms to minimize further
trauma to the inflamed, sensitive tissues of the
synovium, cartilage and bone. The muscle spasm
compounds the problem in two ways:
1. It increases mechanical
tension on inflamed tissues.
2. It clamps the arteries,
reducing the supply of blood to the joint tissues.
These mechanisms feed upon each
other and worsen the joint swelling, causing more
and more pain, stiffness and swelling.
There are three principal ways
that pulses help heal arthritis:
1. They relax muscles.
2. They improve circulation, and
thereby the supply of healing nutrients.
3. They enhance energy dynamics
that free musculoskeletal restrictions.
Bone rubbing down bone, that is
the core problem of arthritis. This bone-on-bone
friction of inflamed joints is worsened as the
spastic muscles cause wrenching motions of opposing
bone surfaces. What is needed for relief and
promoting the healing process are some effective
methods of muscle relaxation and improved
circulation. Nothing comes close to autoregulation
All tissue healing requires an
ample blood supply. When muscles surrounding an
inflamed joint are provoked into unrelenting spasms,
they literally clamp the arteries going into the
joint, drastically cutting off the supply of fresh
blood to the joint.
Irene responded well to nondrug
therapies. Next, I focused on her swollen knee.
Specifically, I taught her how to feel pulses in her
fingertips. Unlike John and Kathy, it took Irene
several weeks to bring clear strong pulses to her
finger tips. But once she succeeded, she learned to
direct pulses to her right knee quickly and
Irene practiced autoregulation
religiously. On a follow-up visit three weeks later,
she told me she had very little pain. The swelling
in the knee was gone. But when I saw Irene several
weeks later. She told me her pain had returned. The
knee was also swollen, though not to the same degree
as before. She also told me she had stopped
autoregulation after the pain subsided.
I saw Irene four months later.
Her face glowed with success. Proudly, she told me
how she had controlled the pain and swelling with
autoregulation. Even her fellow teachers noticed how
she was able to walk down the stairs pain-free,
without any limp. She said,
"I have learned my lesson. I
don't dare skip my autoreg now."
Pain and other symptoms are
barometers of biology. They are clarion calls for
relief from a biology under stress. We can hear
these calls, respond with a timeout, and remove the
stressor. Or we can dull the signal from biology
with drugs. That is a clear choice. Irene and Kathy
were two among the first to give me this important
The concept of natural energy dynamics in the
human body, as I wrote earlier, may be unsettling to
those who have never engaged in tissue energy work.
But the concept is readily understood by meditators
and my patients during autoregulation training.
Autoregulation dramatically improves subtle energies
in inflamed joint tissues and promotes natural