Our understanding of Multiple Sclerosis is improving all the time, as are the drugs that are used in treating it. For some, however, the currently available medication does not provide adequate relief, or comes with unwanted side effects. Because of this, Multiple Sclerosis patients often turn to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to help manage their symptoms, and acupuncture is one of the more popular of these therapies. Western studies on the effects of acupuncture are in their infancy. As a result, the mechanisms by which acupuncture works, from a Western Scientific perspective, have yet to be uncovered. Furthermore, studies looking specifically at the effects of this therapy on Multiple Sclerosis patients are rare. Those that have been carried out suggest that acupuncture may have some effects on the syptoms of multiple sclerosis, particularly on pain and spasticity. What has been looked at in some depth, however, is the opinion of Multiple Sclerosis patients who have tried acupuncture in an attempt to relieve symptoms and quicken the recovery from relapse. A recent questionnaire study asked patients about their experiences of CAM therapies in general. Acupuncture was one of the more frequently tried therapies, along with meditation, massage, yoga and reflexology. Encouragingly, those that had tried acupuncture generally reported that it had benefited their condition. Around one quarter found it to be 'extremely helpful', whilst over 80% said that the therapy had helped them in some way. The most commonly reported benefits were relaxation, reduction in pain, improved balance and flexibility, quicker recovery from relapses, and improvements in energy and general well-being. Other surveys have shown similar findings.
Affordable Acupuncture In Merton
With many Multiple Sclerosis patients reporting benefits from acupuncture treatment, it is well worth trying this therapy when considering options to help reduce symptoms. Unfortunately, acupuncture is not widely available on the NHS, and a course of private treatments can quickly become financially draining. Over the past few years 'community' or 'multi-bed' acupuncture clinics have started to open across the UK. These clinics aim to reduce the cost of treatment, without compromising on quality. They utilise larger spaces containing several treatment areas, usually separated by screens. Recently, the first clinic of this type opened in Merton - 'Community Spirit Acupuncture Clinic'. Community Spirit runs every Tuesday from 2.00pm to 6.30pm, at the All Saints Centre near South Wimbledon tube station. It was founded by Lenka Bacikova and Andrew Nuttall, who were inspired by similar clinics around London, and saw the need to provide affordable acupuncture to Merton residents. Treatments are priced on a sliding scale, so patients choose the amount to suit their budget. A session can cost as little as £15. All the practitioners at Community Spirit are licensed acupuncturists and members of the British Acupuncture Council. They can also provide dietary advice, as well as information on yoga, qi gong, and meditation, which can give additional benefits to Multiple Sclerosis patients.
If you would like to book an appointment at Community Spirit, or would like more information about the clinic or on how acupuncture might be able to help you, please contact Lenka on 07809 671 246.
When: Every Tuesday, 2.00pm to 6.30pm
Where: All Saints Centre, 44 All Saints Road, London, SW19 1BX
How Much: Initial Consultation - £25 to £45
Follow Up treatments - £20 to £40
Concessions - £15 (unwaged, Senior Citizen, Student)
Contact: 07809 671 246