While there has been much said about MS and massage there are still a lot of differing opinions as to whether or not it is successful or even safe for the person with this life altering disease. Part of the problem lies in the fact that no two peoples symptoms are alike and you will need to find a therapist who is aware of this and can adapt their massage therapy technique to your particular needs and your symptoms.
There are many different ways that people are affected by MS and massage therapy can be a great way to relieve many of the symptoms as well as provide overall relaxation so that you can continue to get the most out of your day. At times you may find that deep tissue therapy can help to release knotted muscles and relieve the pain that goes with them, while at other times even the lightest touch can invoke a painful reaction.
What are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
When it comes to MS and massage therapy the benefits are twofold, first when applied properly a good massage can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of MS. Secondly massage therapy can help relieve the everyday stress that daily life can cause allowing you to relax. Just being able to relax can help reduce the frequency and severity of many of the symptoms of MS.
One of the problems that most MS patients have to deal with is stiff joints, muscles and tendons. Massage is designed to help increase the blood flow to the muscles and to help the ligaments; connective tissues and tendons become far more pliable so that when combined with a regimen of stretching and exercises the muscles and joints will stay far more flexible all the time especially between sessions with your massage therapist.
If you suffer from muscles weakness or your muscles have started to atrophy massage therapy can help to restore these muscles by improving the blood flow to them. This will help to carry oxygen and vital nutrients to these muscles and tissues and help them to regain some of their former health and vitality. If spasticity is the issue, massage can be used to relax the muscles and improve circulation which in turn will reduce the stimulation of the muscles and in doing so relieve the spasticity.
Are there Times when Massage is Not Recommended?
There are however times when MS and massage therapy are not necessarily a good idea. Most therapists will agree that if you are at a point of acute exacerbation you should probably avoid therapy. Since your body is fully inflamed at this time massage therapy may in fact make the situation worse instead of better. At this point you need to let the exacerbation run its course and then return for more treatment when you are ready.