If you are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.), we may be able to help improve your physical condition. Based on our clinical experience since 2011, we may help significantly improve MS symptoms and quality of life over four to six months with daily or weekly treatments each taking around 35 minutes.
As treatments progress you may experience benefits in one or more conditions such as walking, vision, balance and body sensations like tingling.
The Principle Behind the Approach
We recognise pain and tension around the cervical (neck), shoulders, and lumbar (low back) on MS clients. The pain and tension may be subtle and often hidden, only to be revealed through palpation, or gradually revealed over the course of treatment, i.e. the revealing process.
There is a positive co-relationship between this pain/ tension and many MS symptoms. That is to say, the location and severity of pain/ tension in the shoulders/ spine correspond to most MS symptoms.
Therefore, our treatment goal is to help the body let go of the pain and tension so that MS symptoms improve.
Symptoms Benefitting from Treatment
Based on our clinical experience, MS symptom improvements are as follows (Providing mobility is unaided and independent);
Initial symptom improvements (within 1 ~ 10 sessions); Upper limb symptoms, eyesight, balance, bladder function, sleeping pattern, general energy level.
Further symptom improvements (within 5 ~ 20 sessions); Leg stiffness, heaviness, moving with difficulty in lower limb.
Late symptom improvements (after 10 sessions); Altered sensation in lower limb, i.e. pain, pins, needles, numbness, foot burning sensation, drop foot.
It is important to acknowledge that symptom improvements may fluctuate within the initial 10 sessions as the body often experiences increased tiredness during that period. Afterwards symptom improvement can be steady.
People with aided mobility may respond more slowly than the above suggested.
At the first consultation, between therapist and client, the client's medical history and symptoms will be discussed at length, including mobility, fatigue level, daily activities and other factors affecting quality of life. Afterwards, physical examinations, such as grip strength and visual field, will be conducted.
During treatment clients lie face-down on a comfortable treatment table. As for pre-treatment preparation, the therapist will gently massage shoulders and spine, and also do legs stretching exercise, making you more relaxed for the next stage of treatment.
Then the therapist will gently manipulate spine and surrounding soft tissue in neck, shoulders and back to increase the flow of blood, lymph and nerve function. In this way, the therapist helps the body release tension and facilitates the body's own natural healing process.
After each session, any possible future effects will be explained to you as the body responds and adjusts to the process. Your questions will be answered and suggestions made for things you can do between treatments to help with your symptoms.
Our MS work is relatively new to many people including patients, medical professionals and relevant organisations, i.e. the MS society, NHS. We aim to gather video recording evidence of the effect of treatment. Therefore, if permitted by you, we may video-record a few outcome measures before and after your course of treatment. Hand-grip strength, knee lifting in sitting and walking will be typical outcome measures to be recorded. This will enable both MS patients and ourselves to compare the treatment effects between before- and after- treatments.
Home Exercise Programme
You will receive a home exercise programme, which is specifically tailored to complement the treatment. It is of paramount importance to understand that clients take great responsibility to improve their conditions by complying with the home exercise programme. In addition, we will also go through general MS management guidelines including diet, stress management, walking habits, etc.
Importance of a Healthy Diet
According to many researches, a healthy diet is an essential part of MS management. If you are serious about improving your MS condition, we strongly advise that you significantly (or even totally) reduce diary food, trans fat, wheat/gluten, red meat, ice-cream, chocolate, and all the baddies in your diet. It makes you feel better, healthier and helps to reinforce the effectiveness of our treatment regime.
Individual Treatment Plan
Based on our clinical experience, a course of weekly treatments may produce significant improvements in symptoms, including the eventual ability to walk and use stairs independently.
Providing an MS client’s mobility is unaided and reasonably good, he/she is expected to receive, on average, 25 treatment sessions which can make significant improvements to many aspects of their symptoms. Initially, a block of 13 treatment sessions (initial consultation plus 12 follow-up) will be arranged. For those with aided mobility, i.e. walking stick, walker, wheelchairs, etc, a longer period of treatment plan may be required.
In general, treatment is provided on a weekly basis. However, people outside of Scotland may come to and stay in Edinburgh for a week or more, to receive up to five times per week.
Precise treatment sessions for some individuals may vary depending on each person's circumstances, which will be discussed in the first consultation and reviewed as a course of treatment is completed.
Intense Daily Treatment (Especially international visitors)
MS people from abroad may visit to stay in Edinburgh for 1 ~ 2 weeks or more, and receive intense treatment sessions, i.e. daily treatment (either single or two therapists). They may experience noticeable improvements to their symptoms during their stay and thus feel encouraged. Once they return home, it is expected that a great deal of tiredness will be experienced for a couple of weeks or more. It is advised that they take enough rest, sleep, take plenty of warm water, and follow the MS management guidelines, including the home exercise programme.
In addition, we encourage that MS people receive reflexology, acupuncture or gentle massage once a week from local therapists, which could help reduce the effects of tiredness after treatment. Please ask the massage therapist to work gently, especially around the spine.
It is important to understand that it takes time for MS conditions to improve, and therefore daily intense treatment for 1 ~ 2 weeks should be followed by a further treatment plan, possibly with a one to three month interval.
At the Edinburgh clinic, Chongsu will carry out an initial consultation and treatment, which will be followed up during your course of treatment. Chongsu will continue for at least the first two sessions of the follow-up course. Afterwards, one of our therapists along with Chongsu will be involved in offering you weekly or daily treatment. This means MS clients are expected to receive treatment by either Chongsu or another therapist over the course of treatment. All our therapists are disciplined and dedicated to our work, and are fully trained by Chongsu.
There is also another aspect of receiving treatment from two different therapists over the course of treatment. That is, a client’s body may become resistant to the same therapist after a while, which could reduce the effectiveness of each treatment session. By having two therapists alternating at different times, each treatment session can be fresh and new.
‘Two therapists’ (Double) Sessions
A ‘Two therapists’ session means that two therapists work on a client’s various vertebrae at the same time during the treatment.
It is common that MS clients with more severe issues, e.g. wheelchair or mobility aids users, present with greater pain/ tension in different parts of the body. Compared to the single therapist session, a ‘two therapists’ session helps symptoms improve quicker. MS people in wheelchairs, with severe mobility issues, or who want faster treatment response are recommended to choose the ‘Two therapists’ sessions.
Faster improvements means that the ‘Two therapists’ can save time and money in the long term, and therefore this system represents both cost-effective and time-efficient options for some people.
People in a wheelchair may consider receiving our treatment. It was reported that treatments helped wheelchair MS people feel stronger in legs, improve their energy level, bladder function, etc.
With regard to mobility, which is the single most important concern for them, we cannot guarantee that our treatment helps MS people walk. Compared to other MS people who can walk with/without walking aids, it seems to be a more challenging task for wheelchair MS people to improve their mobility. Wheelchair MS people are advised to receive ‘Two therapists’ sessions to increase treatment effectiveness.
Both respiratory and urinary infections, which most MS people are affected by, on more than one occasion during the course of treatment, may delay the possible mobility improvements.
During treatment it is common that clients experience sensations, such as feeling warmth inside the body, tingly sensation in hands or feet, deep relaxation, falling in and out of sleep and occasionally other effects.
Working on neck and shoulders helps the body to release pain and tension, and it is common that the client experiences headache, head heaviness, tension at the back of eyes, etc. These are releasing reactions, and as the treatment progresses, they will diminish.
As the hands-on process influences the areas with symptoms and subsequently the whole body, such responses are positive signs that the body is responding and restoring balance.
During one to three days after treatment, you may experience great tiredness, lethargy, increased stiffness and other effects. Again, these body responses demonstrate positive changes to your condition. Your therapist will discuss any of the responses during and after treatment with you. All questions will be answered to ensure you are confident with the progress made.
While the body eliminates long-standing toxins, various physical responses may occur which are normal and accepted as positive signs that the process is working.
You should be able to see differences in your symptoms from treatment to treatment, which will vary with each individual because everyone responds to the treatment differently.
Between treatments, you should drink plenty of warm water, avoid cold and fizzy drinks, rest, eat vegetables and fresh fruit and maintain a positive attitude trying to let go of emotional stress.
Driving After Treatment?
We advise that for the initial couple of sessions, clients do not drive on their own. This is because clients may experience dizziness, light-headedness or other side effects. These are natural body responses from the treatment, and they demonstrate that gentle and subtle work can produce profound effects on the body.