Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a degenerative nerve disease that has a number of increasingly debilitating symptoms.
Shiatsu is a Japanese acupressure massage working on the meridians and pressure points (the same ones used in acupuncture)
So how do they work together?
Natural Remedies for Multiple Sclerosis
I had an enquiry recently from a lady seeking natural relief from her MS symptoms, she reported feeling ‘locked in’ and was looking to feel looser and more relaxed
Let’s call her M
M has just turned 60, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 5 years ago, her symptoms have been getting progressively worse, particularly with stress and poor eating habits when stressed.
Lately she had been suffering with pain and rigidity in her right shoulder and arm, with shooting ‘pins and needle like pains’ through her stomach and down her legs, again mostly on the right hand side. This was also coupled with lower back pain and digestive issues (constipation and flatulence).
She reported a life of looking after people, pushing herself and not looking after her own needs.
She felt her body was letting her know that it was time to change this.
During the treatment she experienced her usual symptoms of the shooting pains through her stomach down her legs, bringing tears to her eyes, possibly from frustration.
When I enquired she told me that this was more or less normal.
I started to work gently, taking a meridian diagnosis on her abdomen (getting a feel for the energetic quality of the meridians that pool there)
Then I moved onto working on her right arm and shoulder to release the tension, shaking out the shoulder joint and straightening the elbow which had become quite tight in a bent position. Followed by her neck, upper back and legs.
I completed the treatment by returning to her right arm and releasing more of the tension there, getting the hand to open up and the elbow to straighten out.
Throughout the first half of the session M had shooting pins and needles down her legs, but by the end of the session the pains had subsided and she was very relaxed.
She still had issues with the mobility in her right leg, but for a first session we were both very happy with the results and booked again for the following week.
During the session we talked about being open to finding a kind of harmony in the body with what was, with where she was at… A sense of nurturing and acceptance of the body felt appropriate.
Physical Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
While shiatsu is not going to ‘cure’ MS it certainly appears to be extremely beneficial (almost immediately) in calming some of the more distressing and painful symptoms of MS. It will be interesting to observe how long the results last for and whether progress is made in long term pain relief and improving mobility over all.
I wanted to share the following resources with anyone suffering from MS or who knows someone who is…
First for some inspiration from the amazing TED Talks –
Diet and Supplements for Multiple Sclerosis:
MS Society recommended CAM therapies:
Shiatsu Therapists in your area:
Email from M that I’d like to share with you
That was lovely again today.
I feel as if I am turning a corner right now in terms of what I’m creating for myself, and my decision to treat myself (in both senses of the word!) to body therapy feels very healthy all round.
I’ve had a very good day since and have been looking at the Gokhale method in order to get some good tips re addressing my age old postural habits….I was very aware that my tense shoulders were kind of undoing the relaxing effects of the shiatsu!
Also became very aware this afternoon that historically my response to stress has been flight mode…a continual need to ‘hurry forward’, which I identified very clearly in my body as a chronic stress.
The only ‘cure’ for that can be to slow down and take as much time as I need, all the time! Of course this is what the (so called) MS has been insisting I do anyway, although I can see that I have been resisting it – not quite getting the message so to speak!
I’ve still been in ‘flight mode’, despite no longer being physically capable of rushing around busy all the time.
Anyway, so I got dressed deliberately slowly, walked downstairs, walked to the shops and back ‘in my own sweet time’, and it felt very good. I wasn’t entertaining my usual thoughts about “how difficult and stressful this is for me these days- because it’s so slow and painful ( painfully slow?!) and I even found myself walking upstairs properly, (albeit slowly) i.e without holding onto the rail or leaning on wall, despite carrying a bag of shopping in each hand.
(There’s a subtle but profound difference between being slowed down ‘against my will’- and taking my time, even if the actual resulting pace is the same.)
These are all very good signs…
Your blog post is cool too btw! 😉