Alternative Multiple Sclerosis Therapies

Massage for Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

 Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) use massage for prevention or relief of the following:

  • Spasticity— Massage can help relax muscles and enhance range of motion exercises.
  • Pain — Massage is useful in any condition in which a reduction in swelling or mobilization of tissues leads to pain relief. It can provide pleasurable stimulation, giving the person with MS a chance to relax, and relieving anxiety and fear. If massage is used as an aid for controlling pain, it should be used under the advice of a physician.
  • Poor circulation — Massage can increase blood flow through superficial veins by use of friction, and through deeper arteries and veins by use of petrissage (massaging of skin that is gently lifted and squeezed). Massage can also increase capillary dilation through light stroking.
  • Pressure sores — Massage may be helpful in preventing the development of pressure sores but should not be used if pressure sores or reddened areas of inflammation are present. (NMSS.org)

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

 Acupuncture may provide relief for some MS-related symptoms, including pain, spasticity, numbness and tingling, bladder problems, and depression. There is no evidence, however, that acupuncture can reduce the frequency of MS exacerbations or slow the progression of disability. If acupuncture is used, it should be as an addition to, rather than as a substitute for, standard medical treatments, and should only be used after consultation with one's physician or other MS healthcare professional. In addition, the treatment should be provided by a licensed acupuncturist. There are about 18,000 licensed practitioners in the United States.

In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a 12-member panel to evaluate the numerous studies that had been done of acupuncture in other medical conditions. The panel concluded that acupuncture is a reasonable treatment option following a stroke, and for the management of headaches, facial pain, low back pain and neck pain. Additional studies have suggested that acupuncture might be beneficial for anxiety, depression, dizziness and urinary problems. Since none of the participants in these studies had MS, there is no way to know whether the benefits would be the same in people who have MS.

CBD Oil in Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture/Acupressure for Multiple Sclerosis

Medical Marijuana in Multiple Sclerosis

 Cannabidiol (CBD) from Hemp is a subspecies of cannabis that produces very little THC. At least one federal law says that CBD can be purchased legally in all 50 states.  Ideally, you'd like to see a laboratory certificate from the manufacturer that says that this is a reliable source of CBD.

Pure CBD oil is non-psychoactive, so people cannot get high from it. 


Do your homework and make sure that you're getting that from a reliable source. If possible, you want to see a laboratory certificate to show that this is what you think it is. 

Medical Marijuana in Multiple Sclerosis

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

Medical Marijuana in Multiple Sclerosis

 The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the "high" people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.    "The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relate to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from Multiple Sclerosis. 

How does it help?

Cannabinoids -- the active chemicals in medical marijuana -- are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.

Research suggests cannabinoids might be among good alternative multiple sclerosis therapies because it may:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce inflammation and relieve pain
  • Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy
  • Kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth
  • Relax tight muscles in people with MS
  • Stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS 

Biofeedback in Multiple Sclerosis

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

 Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will.

Biofeedback may be a useful alternative multiple sclerosis therapies because it is a technique you can use to learn to control your body's functions, such as your heart rate. With biofeedback, you're connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information (feedback) about your body (bio).

This feedback helps you focus on making subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want, such as reducing pain. In essence, biofeedback gives you the power to use your thoughts to control your body,  New technology (ex. Fitbit) allows people to try this at home, but you may want to seek a professional for this service.

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

Low-Dose Naltrexone for Multiple Sclerosis

Low-dose  Naltrexone (LDN) has been demonstrated to reduce symptom severity in conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and complex regional pain syndrome.    LDN acts by reducing inflammation in the brain caused by over-active microglia. Microglia are a type of glial cell of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and an important line of defense. When there is an assault on the CNS, the microglia are activated and release inflammatory substances to destroy the foreign invaders. When the assault is over, the microglia go back into their normal resting state. However, when they react too often – from repeated injury, infection, toxins, traumas, or emotional blows – they can sometimes remain hyper-active keeping the brain in a chronic state of inflammation. Research on LDN suggests that it’s able to suppress the inflammatory response of the microglia. 

Alternative Multiple Sclerosis Therapies

 * Disclaimer: The information you find here in MS Frontiers Multiple Sclerosis Support is based on what has worked for some of us with MS. No one solution or medication works for everyone, so the suggestions and information you find on this site should not take the place of your doctor.