Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, most commonly diagnosed in younger adults between 20 – 49 years of age. The disease attacks the protective covering of the nerves, ultimately affecting vision, memory, balance, and mobility.
Depending on the how much inflammation and nerve damage occurs, nerve signals can travel with minor interruptions, or can be completely disrupted. This damage leads to a number of debilitating symptoms that affect quality of life. (MS Society of Canada (https://mscanada.ca/intro-to-ms/what-is-multiple-sclerosis)
Acupuncture has been studied quite a lot to see whether it can help with managing some of the symptoms of MS.
A recent review concluded that acupuncture seems to be helpful in improving certain symptoms of MS such as fatigue, nerve dysfunction, pain, gait impairments, and bladder problems. The study also found that acupuncture could also reduce the chance of relapses!
One of the features of MS is that the severity and length of time spent in disability can be followed by periods of wellness. It is not well understood what causes the alternation between these periods of wellness and disability. Regardless, acupuncture helps many conditions since it has been demonstrated to influence and regulate inflammation and the autonomic nervous system. These healing and basic maintenance systems of the body may explain how acupuncture can help one cope better with a chronic disease process like MS.