Complementary therapies can work alongside a person's medical treatment by helping to ease symptoms. Alternative therapies can be used as well as or instead of conventional treatments however caution should be advised. It is always best when considering a new treatment to consult your doctor or other health care provider.
Acupuncture is a therapy of traditional Chinese medicine. Slender needles are inserted into the skin at particular points and according to the theory, help to balance chi energy. While Western science can't explain how acupuncture works, numerous studies have found it is an effective treatment for a host of conditions. Acupuncture can help ease MS-related pain and reduce the severity of muscle spasms.
There are various types of massage including Shiatsu, Swedish massage and acupressure. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is packed with nerve endings that respond to touch. Massage works by soothing the skin and relaxing tense muscles. Regular massages can help a person with MS to better manage muscle pain.
Meditation is the deliberate clearing of one's mind in order to promote a sense of calm and heightened awareness. During meditation, the brain produces alpha waves. This brain state has been found to promote relaxation of the entire nervous system. Meditation is a powerful stress management therapy.
Primrose Oil and Fish Oil supplements
Some studies suggest that evening primrose oil and fish oil supplements can measurably reduce the severity and length of an MS attack. However, these supplements don't seem to influence the frequency of attacks.
"Fatty Acids: Several clinical trials have shown that dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. evening primrose oil) and fattyacids of fish oil appears to exert a modest effect in slowing progression and reducing the severity and duration of MS exacerbations without affecting their frequency."
Source - Therapeutic Claims in Multiple Sclerosis William A Sibley MD. 4th Edition, International Multiple Sclerosis Societies, 1996.
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