How Can Acupuncture Be Effective For Treating Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis, also known as MS, is a progressive and chronic degenerative disease that affects the myelin sheaths, which are the protective coverings around nerve cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Many symptoms act as a tell-tale indicator of multiple sclerosis, including but not limited to extreme fatigue, blurred vision, numbness, muscular coordination problems, and speech impairment.
Treatment for MS
While MS has no definite cure, the treatments usually focus on recovery from acute MS attacks and reduce the frequency and intensity of the acute MS attacks. Methods like corticosteroids, plasma exchange or plasmapheresis can slow down the progression of this disease significantly. Additionally, the FDA approved drug Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) is a widely preferred disease-modifying therapy (DMT) that combats MS. Alongside all these treatments, acupuncture has proven to be an efficacious method in controlling numerous MS symptoms and slowing down the progression of MS.
How does Acupuncture work?
An acupuncturist can use acupuncture in order to reduce the symptoms of MS and help you get much-welcome relief from intense discomfort. Acupuncturists may also combine helpful acupressure points with twice a week acupuncture treatments to further amplify the healing effects. These points may include:
- Gall Bladder (GB-34, GB-14 and GB- 15) Pressure Points, respectively.
- Governing Vessel (GV-6) Pressure Point
- Large Intestine (LI-11) Pressure Point
What can acupuncture do for those with MS?
For sufferers of MS, their own immune system attacks myelin, causing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis to occur. Myelin is the insulation for axons on the nerve fibers. As per common belief, the immune cells attack the axons as well. Due to the destroyed and damaged myelin and axons, nerve communication becomes greatly hindered. Hence, a variety of symptoms may exist depending on the nerve pathways affected. Symptoms like muscle weakness, blurry vision, tingling, numbness, etc, are common.
Choosing the right acupuncture points to balance the immune function is critical to slow down the progression of MS. An experienced acupuncturist will choose the points to clear the internal heat, so the immune system will not be hyperactive and attack your own tissues. The imbalances of the immune function are directly related to imbalances of the nervous system and hormones. The unhealthy digestive system can also contribute to the imbalance of the immune function. That is why we use acupuncture to relax our sympathetic nervous system and improve our digestion so MS patients can sleep deeper, digest better, and restore proper immune system and nervous system function. Acupuncture can also help patients to prevent a different kind of infection if they have to take steroid to suppress their immune function.