Massage therapy is a well-established treatment for promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension. Among its lesser-known benefits, however, massage therapy can help alleviate symptoms for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s primary defense mechanism (white blood cells) attacks the central nervous system. The process causes inflammation that can diminish the protective covering around your nerves. Doctors are not entirely sure what causes MS, although they do know that environmental and genetic factors contribute to it. Symptoms of MS can affect physical movement and emotional well-being — which massage can help improve.
Many people with MS incorporate bodywork services, such as massage, acupressure, and shiatsu, into their overall treatment plan. These treatments can be used alongside conventional drug therapies to minimize pain, enhance range of motion, and improve quality of life.
Understanding the basics of massage therapy and how it can relieve MS symptoms can open the door to a treatment you may not have considered. That said, bodywork is not right for everyone. Ask your doctor for medical advice before you add regular massage appointments to your treatment plan.
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