Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disease of the Central nervous System. The cause is unknown but it is believed to be immune system related. There is no known cure although medication to treat the disease is increasing. MS leads to many debilitating symptoms including pain, numbness, paralysis and incontinence. The condition may take several years, sometimes 30-40 years to develop to a significant level in some people, whereas in other people it may lead to a very fast degeneration over less than five years.
No two people have the same symptoms. The majority of people with MS have at least 4-5 symptoms and they may be a mixture of physical and emotional symptoms. The mounting pain and disability which increases over the years puts enormous strain on the health and the lifestyle of MS patients.
Reflexology is a popular treatment for people with Multiple Sclerosis and has been utilised over the years by people with MS particularly in the UK, Europe and the USA.
A randomised controlled study was conducted in August 2003 and the objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of reflexology on symptoms of multiple sclerosis and compare this with a sham study involving massage of the legs and feet. 71 patients commenced the study and 35 patients received reflexology treatment and 36 patients received the sham treatment over a period of 10 weeks. There were 53 patients that continued through to the end of the study.
Results: were a significant improvement in the reflexology group in the areas of urinary symptoms and spasticity and borderline significance in muscle strength.
Conclusion: specific reflexology treatment was of benefit in alleviating motor, sensory and urinary symptoms in MS patients.
How can Reflexology help MS?
- Because reflexology assists the body to relax it works on both the physical and the emotional aspects of MS
- Reflexology strengthens the immune system and energises the body
- Improves circulation throughout the body
- Works specifically on the nervous system
Reflexology treatment is very beneficial for people with MS in the early and medium stages of the disease.