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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (c)

Multiple Sclerosis means “many scars”. These scars are a result of destruction of the myelin sheaths that protect and insulate the nerve fibres that surround the brain, spinal cord and op

tic nerves. It’s thought to be an autoimmune disease; the bodies own defence system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibres in the central nervous system. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fibre is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses travelling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur. Statistics indicate that this debilitating disease is on the rise, but it is possible that the higher numbers reflect an increased ability to diagnose MS, rather than an actual higher disease rate.

Western Medicine

Western medicine still continues to search for ways to diagnose and treat MS, doctors prescribe many drugs including ACTH and Cyclospasmol or Interferon Beta 1a to control symptoms, but they are often only effective for a short while in some patients

Chinese medicine can be extremely useful as an alternative method for managing symptoms. In my experience, traditional Chinese medicine can effectively reduce flare-ups, reduce disease progression, and improve quality of life for MS sufferers. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for multiple sclerosis focuses on treating symptoms as they arise while strengthening the Spleen, resolving Dampness, and nourishing the Kidney and Liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), multiple sclerosis is associated with a Wei or flaccidity syndrome, which results in muscular weakness. This is an association, not a classification, however; Wei syndromes generally do not result in pain and some symptoms of MS may be painful. Aspects of MS are associated with Bi or blockage syndrome of the joints and muscles as well.

Case Study

In this article I present a typical case, and discuss the Chinese medicine approach to this case. My belief is that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective modalities to control the progress and reduce the discomfort of MS. When this patient came to me, I evaluated him by taking his history and then looking at his tongue and checking his pulse. Tongue and pulse signs are very important diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, I classified his pattern of disharmony as Phlegm/Dampness Blocking the Meridians. Chinese herbs that open the meridians and counteract damp conditions are commonly used for this pattern. After a long course of acupuncture treatments and using the Chinese herbal formula Tian Ma Wan, he noticed that suddenly he could read books better, and his eye coordination was improved. He no longer woke up at night with muscle spasms and pain. His eyes where steadier his balance improved and his concentration was a lot better. But more important than that, the progress of the disease halted and his quality of life is now more manageable and vastly improved, and he his back playing golf again. after having twice weekly treatments for about 6 months, he then was able to reduce this to weekly treatments for another 6 months, and then reducing further to fortnightly and then eventually to monthly maintenance treatments. A comprehensive treatment plan like this would be quite normal for a severe debilitating chronic disease like M.S.


As soon as a person is diagnosed as having M.S. the sooner they should receive acupuncture and Chinese herbs. This will ensure that results will be faster and more effective. The longer one has the disease the slower the improvements will be, but the good news is improvements will still happen but only just taking a bit longer. To treat M. S. successfully requires a commitment from the patient to undertake lengthy regular treatments. For other articles please visit