Healthy Living, Treatment

Acupuncture for MS Symptoms

January 30, 2018

Here is an article I wrote for Associate Neurologists of Southern Connecticut about using acupuncture to help with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. Thanks for reading!

Many patients at ASNC have come to me with problems such as weakness and numbness in the legs, pain and tingling in the feet, muscle spasms, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms that disturb their happiness in their daily lives. Using acupuncture and herbs, as well as advice on diet and exercise, patients have improved their quality of life by experiencing less pain and more energy. I believe that a preventative effort is crucial and necessary for people with MS to slow down the degenerative process and to keep their bodies and minds healthy.
In a survey conducted by the MS Clinic at the University of British Columbia, 566 patients with definite MS reported using alternative therapies, with acupuncture being the most common method used. The correlates of acupuncture treatment included reduced pain, decreased spasticity, improved bladder and bowel dysfunction, and alleviation of tingling and numbness.
You may wonder why acupuncture can help. Because MS damages myelin in the central nervous system, the disease interferes with messages between the body and the brain. Acupuncture can mediate the effects of this disease because it releases endorphins and peptides in the brain, which modulate sensory information between the brain and body.
Furthermore, Chinese medicine looks at the individual to analyze what disharmony that specific person is experiencing. We are all individuals, eating different diets and having different emotions and life experiences. We can benefit from a practitioner who can help us by looking at our lives from a holistic perspective. For example, a patient with MS came to see me because she was experiencing pain and numbness in her legs, back pain and fatigue. I asked about her diet and she admitted that she ate at least 2 bowls of ice cream each night. After adjusting her diet and exploring what stresses she may be able to let go of, she had some acupuncture treatments and took some herbs to help her sleep through the night. By the third treatment, she was able to walk without limping, and found she had much more energy. She also developed healthy eating habits and became much more aware of how food affected her moods and energy levels. Furthermore, she tried to create boundaries for herself so that she could conserve some energy for her own healing process.

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