I'm going to be speaking to members of the Asheville MS Support Group on Thursday June 9th, 1:30-2:30 at West End Bakery on Haywood Road. In preparation I spent afternoon yesterday googling to see what is on the Internet showing acupuncture's effectiveness in treating MS. I posted many links on my facebook page and thought I would also include them on my blog so that they could be easily referenced in the future.
The MS Trust, a charity in the UK includes this thoughtful discussion about acupuncture for treating MS. Acupuncturist and author Jill Brooks includes a list of MS symptoms that respond well and those that have a mixed efficacy for acupuncture treatment.
Alien Sheng sums up acupuncture benefits for MS patients for the American Chronicle:
Acupuncture treatments for Multiple Sclerosis have had much success in reducing pain and decreasing spasticity. Another area of success is improved bladder and bowel control. The reduction of stress and the improved feeling of well being contribute to an improvement in quality of life. The acupuncture treatments must be given frequently in order to maintain the improvements of symptoms, but Multiple Sclerosis is known for its cycles of remission. During periods of remission, the frequency of the acupuncture treatments can be reduced.This Acupuncture Today article discusses the use of scalp acupuncture for MS patients. They are many styles of acupuncture, including a number of different systems for using the scalp to map out the body. In one scalp system commonly taught in acupuncture colleges, to which the authors refer, there are motor and tremor lines on the scalp. Certain areas on the lines relate to different parts of the body: arms, legs, hands and so forth. I have used successfully used scalp acupuncture for various motor problems, including MS, Bell's Palsy, and Parkinson's disease. In this article the authors cite several remarkable case studies documenting immediate improvement in MS patients using scalp acupuncture.
Drs. Kopsky and Hesselink of the Institute of Neuroacupuncture in the Neatherlands discuss two cases of MS patients with bladder dysfunction (a common problem) which responded well to electoacupuncture. In electroacupuncture, a battery device with wires and clips are hooked up to strategic acupuncture points to increase stimulation of the needles during the treatment. Electroacupuncture is often used in pain treatments. I use it for labor induction and with scalp acupuncture for neurological disorders. Results are satisfying.
Fellow PCOM alumni, Kimberly Thompson, LAc (from my acupuncture college Pacific College of Oriental Medicine) discusses various Chinese pattern differentiations and applicable acupuncture points. In Chinese medicine, we use an individualized diagnosis method. I discuss briefly go into this concept on the Chinese Medicine page of my website. I also explain pattern diagnosis when describing treatment for specific conditions in blog post and articles.
I found a couple of instances where MS patients described there own experiences with acupuncture. The MS Resource Center in the UK discusses Kathy Kelvnik, a hospital coordinator who MS was so advanced she was rendered unable to work until acupuncture got her back on her feet again
On Acupuncture.com Duane Perron tells his compelling story with MS and acupuncture treatment. He sums it up,"Finding a good acupuncturist is like finding a good doctor....and it seems you have finally found your angel." KB