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In today’s society, stress has become synonymous with every day life. Some stress is beneficial. It motivates growth, learning, change, etc. On the other hand, too much stress could cause you to suffer not only psychologically but also physically. The important point to understand is that stress is a negative only as it becomes too frequent, intense, or not frequent enough.

Suffering from stress does not cause multiple sclerosis. It is a person’s reaction to stress that aggravates multiple sclerosis and may cause symptoms. Spreading ourselves too thin or expecting too much from ourselves can bring on symptoms of stress. Learning to cope or making changes in our lives can reduce and alleviate some of this stress.

A stress reduction program including a nutritional diet, staying away from stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, or sugar; regular sleep patterns; enjoyment of a hobby; relaxing; or many of the following therapies can be useful if approached with the right frame of mind. If one fails to get results because the expectation was too ambitious in the first place, additional stress can result.

Contact your health care practitioner to find out which process may be right for you.

  • Aromatherapy – A science that utilizes essential oils derived from botanical ingredients with anti-viral and anti-fungal properties to effect medicinal treatments. The oils are inhaled, applied topically, or ingested. In France, Aromatherapy is a recognized system of medicine and is utilized in hospitals.
  • Ayurvedic Medicine - A system of medicine coming from ancient India rooted in treating patients according to three metabolic types. Therapies would come from nutrition, exercise, herbs, detoxification, and meditation.
  • Biofeedback - Teaching the mind how to control involuntary body functions in the Autonomic Nervous System by utilizing biofeedback devices in order to alleviate stress, headaches, high blood pressure, and many other ailments.
  • Feng Shui – A Chinese art of placement and design of home, office, and its furnishings. Clutter, it is believed, affects how you feel and act. Feng Shui practitioners offer solutions to better health, vitality, and prosperity by possession placement that offers balance and spacious “flow” in your surroundings.
  • Guided Imagery - A part of the Mind/Body field of medicine that uses the power of the mind to help evoke a positive physical response.
  • Humor Therapy - The use of laughter to help stimulate healing through the release of endorphins in the body.
  • Hypnotherapy - A method where the practitioner can talk to the unconscious mind of the patient in order to work with the center of the mind that deals with perception, memory, cognition, and physical functions of the body. It also may work well for the treatment of depression
  • Massage Therapy - Soft tissue manipulation with numerous techniques used for relaxation of muscles, pain reduction, relief from stress, and healing.
  • Meditation - An integration technique of mind, body, and spirit. It is helpful for stress reduction, respiration, cognition, relaxation, and energy revitalization.
  • Qigong - An Oriental technique using movement and breathing to stimulate qi (vital energy) throughout the body. It is used to enhance vitality, aid in disease resistance, and reduce the effects of stress.
  • Reflexology - A healing method through the stimulation of the reflex areas on the hands and feet, which correspond to all the parts of the body.
  • Tai Chi - An ancient Chinese exercise and martial art that stimulates qi (vital energy) in the body. It is used to enhance vitality, aid in disease resistance, and reduce the effects of stress through its slow and simple movements.
  • Yoga - Indian health system that encompasses exercises, posture, meditation, and breathing to promote balanced health. Assists with many conditions including pain and stress.

There are many books on stress and multiple sclerosis. If you are interested in additional information on stress or any other topic related to multiple sclerosis, call our Program Services Department at 1-888-MSFOCUS or you can contact us by email: support@msfocus.org.

View these alternatives

Symptom Management - acupuncture, ayurveda, homeopathy, chiropractic

Health and Well Being - diet, exercise, herbs, vitamins, apitherapy, hyperbaric oxygen

(Last reviewed 7/2009)

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Unless otherwise specified, all medical content is compiled by MSF staff and reviewed for accuracy by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.

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