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Multiple Sclerosis - Using Massage for Early MS
Have you thought of experiencing massage for your MS symptoms?
Try my NEW Massage Treatment Plan for Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition characterized by the inflammation and gradual degeneration of myelin sheaths (insulating covers of the motor and sensory neurons in the central nervous system) in the spinal cord and brain. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms.
While the cause is not clear, the underlying mechanism is thought to be either an autoimmune dysfunction by the immune system or failure of the myelin-producing cells, but the triggering pathogen or other stimulus has not yet been identified. MS has many symptoms, depending on the nature and degree of the damage. These can include, fatigue (normally general, but possibly chronic and sometimes total), eye pain, spasticity, tremors, a progressive loss of vision, sensation, and motor control, loss of balance, strength coordination and bodily functions.
Most patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis are between 20 and 40 years of age, with young women being diagnosed twice as often as young men at those stages. As patient onset age increases the proportion of distribution between males and females is about 50-50.
So when is massage indicated for Multiple Sclerosis? And when is it contraindicated?
Massage is fantastic, and most welcome in subacute stages, when you may be in a period of remission. This can sometimes last a very long time and massage helps the body remain as healthy as it can be during that time. Massage is contraindicated during acute periods of MS, when normal function is diminishing and declining.
What made you produce a special massage protocol for MS?
I think patients with Multiple Sclerosis are among some of the bravest people I know, and I'll tell you why. Many of them have said to me, 'I don't mind that I've got MS', or they'll say, 'Okay, it was my turn and I just got the short straw'. But they nearly always follow up with comments like, 'But I wish I could find a better way to control the symptoms of MS', which is a very different philosophy than saying, 'Get this thing out of me!'.
Maybe this strategy is part of the survival mechanism we all have built into our minds and bodies. If you fight against nature for any length of time, you become exhausted and lose the battle anyway. The harder the struggle, the more rapid the decline.
This is not the same, however, as giving in! I want to make that clear. Fighting aimlessly against a disease as disruptive to the body as MS, is as much use as trying to hold back flood water with your bare hands.
The strength and determination we all see in so many brave MS patients comes from working with the condition at a symptomatic level, supplying the body with all the best resources we can provide, whether that be, mentally coping with worry, anxiety and depression, physically coping by providing healthy, nutritious foods, energy healing, taking the meds, and giving the body every resource it needs to recover and heal itself as much as is physically possible. THAT to me is bravery, determination and conquest.
Massage and therapy and touch and energy and mental clarity all come under that heading of 'Things I can do to help myself'. I'm just so glad to have found a way to be part of that recovery in remission. Making the good times so much better brings the mean level up higher, thus, when an acute phase raises its ugly head, just maybe it won't drag you down so far, maybe it won't do so much damage each time, and just maybe there is a chance of arresting the degenerative changes.
Etiology: What happens to the body following the onset of MS?
The sclerosis part of Multiple Sclerosis means hardened scar or plaque. MS is a nerve disorder caused by destruction of the insulating layer surrounding neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Patches of scar tissue, called plaques, form over the affected areas. When present and healthy, this insulation layer, called myelin, helps electrical signals pass quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body. But when the myelin is destroyed, nerve messages are sent more slowly and less efficiently, disrupting proper nerve communication.
The symptoms of MS occur when the brain and spinal cord nerves no longer communicate properly with other parts of the body, and like so many disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), depend entirely on where and how much nerve tissue has been damaged. This damage can occur in cycles of inflammatory 'flare ups' followed by periods of remission. During remission, some myelin cells multiply and attempt to repair the damage, which is very good news, as it means that patients can regain some or all of the lost neurologic function, during these times. The trick then, is to find ways of helping the body to extend these periods of remission.
So how does massage help here? Where does it come in?
One of the problems MS patients face, so they tell me, is the loss of sensation, and therefore control, or their limbs and extremities. It begins to feel, in the mind at least, as if these hands, feet, legs and arms, no longer belong to the body. They become disconnected, mentally.
Because of the way this massage is performed, it allows each area of the body to communicate with the rest of it. To re-establish an overall feeling of 'connectedness'. These additional modalities are only subtle changes you will find in a 'normal' massage, but they seem to make all the difference. Patients tell me, 'It's like I've got the whole of me back', or, 'I feel whole again!'.
So not only are they experiencing the usual benefits of massage, of relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief, mental clarity, endorphin release, improved circulation, better skin tone, lower blood pressure, increased range of motion (blimey, somebody sign me up right away!!!), but they have this additional benefit of making new connections, or re-establishing a connection with the lost sensations of their extremities. Isn't that something worth having?
My invitation to you is this: If you live in any of the towns and villages in the list below, you are well within a 2-40 minute drive of The Haven Healing Centre, and I'd be delighted to see you. Many MS patients tell me that the massage helps them reconnect, mentally, with their limbs and extremities. Let me treat you with my specially designed massage modalities and allow them to help you with your symptoms. Periods of flare up can be contraindicated, but many patients have long periods of remission, during which time we can attempt to kickstart recovery and reverse some of the damage.
Please call Phil Chave on 01761 462722 to make your appointment or to talk about a treatment plan structured around your needs. Don't wait. Make your appointment today. You'll be glad you did!
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
It's a small investment in yourself, but could be a life-changing experience you will cherish forever.
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