Complementary and Alternative

Most people with MS take an active interest in managing their health, and it is estimated that between 50 and 75 per cent have used complementary or alternative medicine as part of their lifestyle.

This may be because people with MS feel that conventional medicine no longer has all the answers. Some may feel they have more control over their health and wellbeing when they use complementary and alternative medicines. Others may find the ‘holistic’ approach to treatment appealing because it may look beyond the physical and take emotional and spiritual issues into account, too.

Whatever the reason behind this treatment choice, many people with MS report that complementary and alternative therapies help them to manage their condition.

Unfortunately, there is little research to show how effective or safe many of these medicines are. Despite this, conventional healthcare professionals’ attitudes to complementary and alternative medicines are changing and becoming more positive.

It is important to do some background research, and talk over the idea with your doctor who can check that it is appropriate for a person with your medical history and that it will not react badly with any other medications you are taking.

It is also important to find a properly trained and qualified practitioner to provide the treatment, such as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, homeopath or osteopath. When carrying out your search, also check the practitioner’s qualifications and if you have any questions, keep them to hand, so you can make notes to refer back to.