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What Are the Different Alternative Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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Multiple sclerosis is a disease that leads to nervous system problems as the protective myelin covering of spine and brain nerves deteriorates, exposing the nerves and leading to damage. This disease is painful and progressive, leading to crippling disability. Although modern medicine has treatment options such as spinal nerve blocks and corticosteroid shots, alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis can help alleviate symptoms as well. Common alternative treatments include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, adding B vitamin supplements, acupressure or acupuncture, special exercises, and hypnosis.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis. The patient is placed in a special chamber that is pressure regulated. Pressure is created as the oxygen is released into the chamber. Due to the effects multiple sclerosis causes, areas of the body can be deprived of oxygen, leading to cell damage. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy exposes the whole body to oxygen, aiding in cellular repair.

B vitamin supplements are one of the alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis that doctors suggest following diagnosis. Research has shown that B vitamins, vitamin B3 in particular, are beneficial for multiple sclerosis. The results from a study by Children's Hospital in Boston suggested that vitamin B3 can help protect the naked nerves in patients with multiple sclerosis. Many doctors who suggest B vitamin supplements will offer an injection that combines B3 with other B vitamins, such as B1 and B12.

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Alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis can also include acupressure or acupuncture, and both of these treatments are performed by people who are specially trained. These two techniques use special spots on the body called pressure points. These pressure points affect different parts of the body. Acupressure works by applying the ideal amount of pressure on those points while acupuncture works by carefully putting thin, long needles into the skin over the pressure points. Stimulating the specific pressure points that correspond to symptoms can help some sufferers.

Patients who still have full mobility may benefit from special types of exercising as one of the possible alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis. Special exercises, such as Pilates, focus on increasing and maintaining muscle tone, circulation, posture, and balance. Exercising should be gentle and non-strenuous.

Hypnosis is another one of the possible alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis. There has been controversy and confusion about using hypnosis in the treatment of any disease. For multiple sclerosis patients, hypnosis focuses on deep relaxation and reducing stress. Combined with meditation, self-hypnosis can help patients reduce negative feelings and focus on being positive.

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