Q: Can acupuncture help Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
A: Yes, it can alleviate many symptoms of MS. However, if a long-tem life quality improvement is expected, we would definitely suggest Chinese herbal medicine as well.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a diagnosis simply no one wants to get. It is such a horrible problem in most people’s minds that seems capable of smashing every good thing in their lives.
MS is the most common disabling disease of central nervous system. It is the result of damage to myelin – a protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system. When myelin is damaged, this interferes with messages and signals between the brain and other parts of the body. This causes a wide variety of symptoms depending on the affected nerves. There is no cure for MS at this time, nor is there any absolute certainty about its cause.
There was no record of MS tracing back to ancient China, but amazingly we still can use ancient wisdom to explain this modern disease. Because every patient may manifest different symptoms, various pathogenic factors could be identified – wind, heat, phlegm, dampness, blood-stasis etc. Nevertheless, no matter what symptoms the patient has, there is always one common factor – deficiency (especially Liver and Kidney deficiency). Therefore, this is the key tone of our treatment, and we take other factors into consideration after this.
We always recommend Chinese herbal medicine to patients because from our clinical experience it has better and more profound effect. Of course, the option is down to the patient. If one opts out of herbal medicine, we can still use acupuncture to treat. Acupuncture is indeed good at alleviating symptoms, and we have found seven-star hammer acupuncture has particular good result. But due to the fact that no one would like have acupuncture treatment everyday or every other day + the effect of acupuncture is accumulative + MS is a complicated problem, we believe the protocol of acupuncture + Chinese herbal medicine is a better choice. Sometimes we also teach patients to use moxibustion at home which they find very helpful.
Our goal is not merely to bring as much relief of the symptoms as possible, but also to improve life quality to as normal standard as possible. And we have seen this happen in clinic. So there is hope.