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    You are here : Home » About MS » Multiple Sclerosis Treatments » Complementary Therapies » Acupuncture & MS

    Acupuncture & MS

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    Acupuncture

    What is it?

    Acupuncturists believe illness is an imbalance in the body's energy. The aim of Acupuncture is to restore this balance. In the terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it balances the Ying and Yang. They place fine needles into the skin at particular points along invisible energy channels called meridians, which are named after the organs which they represent. The needles help unblock 'chi' which means energy, or life force. By stimulating these points, blockages in energy flow are released. Heat or electrical stimulation can sometimes be applied at acupuncture points. The needles don't hurt.

    Acupressure is similar to acupuncture. Instead of inserting needles, acupuncture points are pressed. It is used to relieve pain and tension.

    How Acupuncture Works InMS

    For Multiple Sclerosis, acupuncture is used to relieve pain and tension, improve movement, sensation and spasticity. It can help eye problems andbladder urgency; it also helps increase energy and gives a boost to the immune system.

    Research

    One study which looked at acupuncture as a treatment for spasticity in MS found the results "encouraging enough to invite further investigation."

    Acupuncture for bladder dysfunction

    A study was done where 41 people with MS were divided into four groups, receiving no intervention, conventional treatment, acupuncture, and conventional treatment plus acupuncture, respectively. Those receiving either conventional treatment or acupuncture alone benefited most, using an outcome measure of post-void residual volume in the bladder. This suggests that in this instance conventional and complementary therapies may not work well together.

    This information is from The A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies edited by Judy Graham.

    Read the latest research into acupuncture and MS.

    Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

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