How MS Patients Can Benefit from Massage Therapy
An estimated 2.3 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis (MS) each day, a debilitating disease that can often cause severe pain, muscle spasms, poor circulation, anxiety, stress, and clinical depression. Although not a substitute for regular MS treatment, massage therapy is an effective, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that can alleviate such symptoms and, in turn, help to pacify the disease.
MS develops as a result of interference between the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. Symptoms and treatment vary widely depending on the amount of nerves that are affected. Massage therapy is an easy and affordable complement to doctor-prescribed treatments. Massage therapy may assist MS patients in managing the stress of their symptoms and to improve their quality of life.
"Massage therapy is a well-being approach for addressing body, mind, and spirit. Along with stress reduction, massage therapy can help to increase flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness caused by spasticity," states Winston Moore, Regional Director of Therapist Development for Massage Envy Spas in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Northern Virginia. "Massage therapy is also very effective at increasing deep sleep, as touch itself has been known to create positive feelings such as comfort and care. And with more deep sleep, you have less pain," added Tiffany Field, PhD, of the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute.
A study reported in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal indicated lower pain levels of up to 50 percent across three months by those participants who received 10 weeks of massage therapy. Long known for its stress-busting abilities, massage has a powerful effect on health and overall well-being. And because stress may trigger or worsen MS symptoms, it is important for sufferers to find ways to relax.
Source: Massage Envy Spa, massageenvy.com