Acupuncture has been used for many centuries in other cultures in the world, but has only become popular in Canada since the early 1970s. Acupuncture may provide relief for some Multiple Sclerosis symptom like pain, spasticity, numbness and tingling, depression, and bladder issues. Complementary therapies like acupuncture, yoga, and massage are great for ridding the body of pain and making one feel better. These therapies show evidence of helping painful conditions and diseases like MS but won’t cure the disease.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is damage to the myelin in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as damage to the nerve fibers themselves which interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body. Myelin allows for the smooth, high-speed transmission of electrochemical messages between the brain, the spinal cord and the rest of the body and when it is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses is disrupted, which causes the various symptoms of MS. Approximately 30 million people in Canada suffer from MS and primarily affects adults typically between the ages of 20 – 40 years and is twice as common in women as men.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine based on a theory of bodily functions that involve the flow of energy, known as qi (chee), through 14 pathways (meridians) throughout the body. According to Chinese medicine theories, disease usually results from an imbalance in the flow of energy between the opposite forces of “yin” and “yang.”
Acupuncture is a way of getting back this flow of energy and restoring balance. Acupuncture involves inserting thin, disposable metallic needles, into specific points along the meridians in the body, in order to alter and restore the flow of energy.
Acupuncture Successful in Treating MS
In the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, Scalp acupuncture has been proven to have the most success as compared to other acupuncture modalities including ear acupuncture, body acupuncture and hand acupuncture. A qualified local acupuncturist can not only improve the symptoms of MS but help with the patient’s quality of life as well. Acupuncture seems to slow the progression of the physical disability of MS as well as reducing the number of relapses.
Scalp acupuncture was discovered by Dr. Jiao Shunfa in 1971 and is a modern acupuncture technique combining traditional needling methods with Western medical knowledge of representative areas of the cerebral cortex, including anatomy, physiology, pathology and neurology. Scalp acupuncture treatment for MS has had a lot of success in reducing certain MS symptoms like numbness, pain and spasms as well as improving balance and weakness of the limbs.
Acupuncture often produces remarkable results usually right after a few needles are inserted. Acupuncture relieves symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis almost immediately and MS patients report that it sometimes only takes several minutes to achieve remarkable results.
Areas Of The Body To Treat With Acupuncture
Acupuncture can be used in the foot-motor areas for those patients suffering with motor problems such as paralysis, weakness of limbs or abnormal sensations in limbs, including tingling, numbness or pain. Those areas are usually inserted with acupuncture needles and stimulated for 10-15 minutes according to the patient’s needs.
Depending on which symptom the patient manifests, the balance area or dizziness area of the scalp can be selected. The tremor area of the head should be chosen if the patient has limb spasms. When the foot-motor and sensory area is stimulated, many patients have a very quick and positive response in controlling urine and bowel functions.
There are a variety of acupuncture techniques to treat MS. Although scalp acupuncture has the fastest track record thus far for improving MS symptoms. Other acupuncture techniques may also be necessary for further improvement such as regular body acupuncture, electric acupuncture and moxibustion. Massage and physical therapy along with scalp acupuncture can speed up the time of recovery for MS and have a positive therapeutic effect on the recovery of movements and abnormal sensations of the hands, fingers, feet and toes.
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Related Links: Give to the MS Society of Canada