General Health

Does Acupuncture Help with Treating Multiple Sclerosis?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine which may provide potential relief from symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that affects the brain and spinal cord and causes several symptoms ranging from disbalance and bladder dysfunction to pain and spasms. A few reports suggest that acupuncture may be beneficial for reducing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

How can acupuncture help to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Acupuncture is an ancient procedure in which hair-thin needles or instruments are used to stimulate specific points on the skin. This procedure is done to restore balance, eliminate blockages, and support energy flow throughout the meridian. This procedure helps release chemicals like endorphins that decrease pain sensation.

What is the acupuncture procedure like for M.S.?

There are approximately 400 acupoints that may be stimulated along with the body’s meridians. Ideally, 4 to 12 locations are needed. Scalp acupuncture is a new practice that involves taking 6 to 10 sessions to determine if the treatment is effective. The age, overall health, and symptoms are considered before deciding how long the effects of acupuncture shall last.

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Before starting the session, complete medical history is taken. This examination will determine the location of the needles. Once inserted, these needles are kept in place for 20 to 40 minutes. One usually feels relaxed and energized after the session is over. However, after the session, vigorous activity should be avoided under all circumstances and ice packs should not be placed on the needled areas. Stimulants like coffee and alcohol should be avoided.

How helpful is acupuncture in Multiple sclerosis?

A review published in 2022 stated that acupuncture and scalp acupuncture could be beneficial for increasing the quality of life by improving bladder function, reduction in spasms, improving gait, pain reduction in limbs, and decrease in lethargic feeling. The review also emphasized on improvement of neural function as well as the immune system. As a result, a reduction of relapses was recorded. Similarly, there are as a delay in disease progression.

A study conducted in 2017 among 20 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis showed that acupuncture helps reduce spasticity, balance, and gait.

Side effects of acupuncture

Acupuncture is considered safe, provided a licensed acupuncturist administers it. An inexperienced practitioner may do harm. Acupuncture should not be painful. Side effects related to this procedure are bleeding or bruising and dizziness.

To sum it up, acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis-like bladder dysfunction, fatigue, pain, and muscle spasms. Acupuncture is generally safe. But you should make sure to get it done by an expert.

Author

Tuhina Mishra

Dr. Tuhina Mishra completed her MBBS from Grant Government Medical College in the year 2021. She has published several research papers in Indian and international journals. She is a recipient of the ICMR-STS award in the year 2019. She is a staunch believer in making research an integral part of the medical curriculum. She has volunteered in several NGOs, healthcare startups, and awareness programs.

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