Alternative Treatments: Acupuncture
Continuing on, we will look at Acupuncture and how it can help us MSers next. First, let’s take a look at what Acupuncture is.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the theory where a body has a flow of energy, qi (pronoucned CHEE), through 14 different pathways (known as meridians). Chinese Medicine theories state that disease arises from an imbalance or disruption in the flows of energy between the meridians. Acupuncture involves inserting small, thin needles into specific points along the meridians, to alter the flow of energy and bring the body back into balance. There are approximately 400 acupuncture points on the body and anywhere from 5-15 are stimulated during a session.
Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis
Acupuncture has shown to be helpful with providing relief from many MS symptoms. Pain, spasticity, numbness, tingling, bladder problems and depression have all been noted by patients to have improved after acupuncture sessions. However, it has not been shown to decrease relapses or their frequency. It can also stimulate the immune system in some individuals, so it may not be for you if you’re not feeling improvement. The treatment itself is safe if preformed properly, so it is up to you whether or not you venture down the path. My suggestion? As with most things, if it makes you feel great, then keep at it. If it makes you feel lousy, then stop.
One of the drawbacks of acupuncture to the larger scientific community, is there are no large clinical trials yet to date studying it’s effectiveness. The only evidence the community has to go on is anecdotal evidence. To me, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, as there are no large clinical trials yet about AIP and only a handful of small trials about The Wahls Protocol, but I know that they work.
I’ve tried acupuncture myself several times. The first time I went, I was in the worst pain of my life and barely able to function. Like breaking down at work and your boss tells you to go home type of pain (NOT usual for me). Instead of being sent home though, my boss did me one better. She made an acupuncture appointment for me. I had never been to acupuncture, but I was desperate at that moment. So I went. After just 1 session, my pain level went from a 9 to a 4. It was incredible.
So my two cents? Try it.