vascular disease, I wouldn’t need a cane to walk today. I
had all the tools for self help at my disposal, all I needed was the IDEA.
Well, now I have the idea. It comes a bit late for me, but I hope my suggestions can help others control if not outright heal the disease.
It’s Chinese Acupuncture theory which opened the door to
this insight. Amazingly, Acupuncturists seem unaware
of the possibilities their treatments can bestow, being limited (they and everyone
else) by the idea that MS is an auto-immune disease. Let’s be clear. The
auto-immune response is secondary to the true cause of MS, a blood
reflux which injures the brain and spinal cord.
"In November 2009 Dr. Paolo Zamboni and colleagues reported that all patients with multiple
sclerosis (MS) had abnormalities in veins in their neck or back that could be diagnosed using
ultrasound." From Appendix 1 Lay Summary October 2011 of the CMAJ (Canadian
Medical Association Journal.)
So let’s assume that the shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line. Stress tenses up the
neck and back. Veins draining the brain and spinal cord pass through the neck
and back. Tensed muscles compress these veins thus impeding free flow of blood
from the brain and spinal cord. Let’s consider treating the tension which
knots up the muscles and deforms the veins. The Gall Bladder Meridian begins at
the outer corner of the eye, runs over the side of the head, down the
neck, down the upper shoulder under the arm, down the side of the body and
legs to finish at the outer corner of the 4th toe. The Bladder meridian begins at the inner corner of the eye, passes
over the head, down the back in 2 vessels parallel the spinal column, over the buttocks and
down the back of the legs to end at the edge of the little toe. Since
these are the main protective meridians which begin on the head and pass down
the neck, over the shoulder or down the back they become the primary candidates
for treating neck, shoulder and back stress which apparently “deform” or constrict the veins
draining the Central Nervous System. End of story. (Actually the flow of all fluids which drain the central nervous system including cerebrospinal fluid need to be liberated to prevent the blood reflux.)
I get an acupuncture treatment once a month for maintenance. Tension builds up over the month until I
feel like a clenched fist is knotting up my insides. The treatment opens up the
fist like a flowering. I know the same relief when I swim. Now I realize
that in both cases the blood/cerebrospinal fluid flow has been freed.
Lest my insistence on this point makes me obnoxious, it IS the blood flow and the
OXYGEN. Yesterday I was recovering from a minor cold. (I use the homeopathic
remedy by Boiron, Oscillococcinum, to prevent or minimize a viral illness.)
The setback had been attenuated, but I was still feeling tense and dragged out.
After swimming I felt SO much better, total relief. It’s the release of
blood flow, the oxygen. Every time I experience that relief I can’t emphasize
enough how important it is. I also can’t believe it. I’ve heard of oxygen
therapy. If swimming is impossible –Acupuncture is a good replacement –
oxygen therapy might work.
It is therefore imperative that the Acupuncture therapist treats both the gall bladder and bladder (back)
meridians. Both front and back of the body needs treatment. A
traditional acupuncturist usually has several rooms so that he can treat
patients consecutively which allows each to have a longer treatment. In France
that often is not the case, so I have been treated by doctors who treat the back
and then I lie down on an inclined table and the front is treated with the
needles still in the back (taped flat.) (My Asiatic Doctors treated
both front and back separately.) Your Doctor should be made aware of the CCSVI
theory that veinous blood backs up into the brain and is need of release.
By accident I discovered that a point on the back slightly below where the neck meets the shoulder opens up the blood flow in the neck vein to give me much relief. This point belongs to the Gall Bladder
meridian (GB21) . Neither of my current Acupuncture doctors were aware of the
importance of this point or of the CCSVI theory (even though the Gall Bladder
meridian is known to be critical for MS treatment, but usually work is done on
the leg.) Not all acupuncture treatments are effective.
ACUPRESSURE SELF HELP: One evening while alone after learning about the
CCSVI theory I could feel all the warning signs of an MS
attack. I performed a TENS self acupressure treatment which relaxed
me slightly but I was still worried about what the next day would bring. Well,
the next day, the “attack” was gone. Just stopped in its tracks. That
never happens without treatment. In fact once the MS process begins the stress
feeds on itself, stress triggers it off and then the anxiety exacerbates
it. So now, every morning I give myself a treatment. I’m probably in a
progressive stage with occasional crisis. Often on waking I feel like the blood
flow is stagnating in my brain and doing some damage. So I get the flow going
again. The summer of 1993 when I began to“lose” my legs, I made a terrible
mistake. I listened to an Acupuncture Doctor who told me my TENS apparatus
couldn’t do much. (At the time I was using it to “balance” my meridiens in
general because I had had an MS attack which caused me to limp.) True, the TENS
self treatment is not as profound as a good acupuncture treatment,
but now I realize it can and does get the blood flowing. It can stop brain
damage.This doctor might have thought it wouldn’t do much good but it could do
no harm, so why discourage me?
Now I will describe the basic TENS treatment I use as
"maintenance" as well as to stop an impending "attack".
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator which
is sold to deliver small electrical impulses
via electrode pads placed on the skin to ease pain. However, I use it to
stimulate acupuncture points to open blood flow from the Central Nervous System.
I use a small 9 volt battery powered apparatus (3.5¨ x 2.5¨or 9
cm x 6.5 cm). It has 2 controls linked to 2 leads which branch into 2 pads each,
thereby giving the possibility of stimulating a total of 4 acupuncture
points at a time. It can be purchased on the Internet in the US for
about $50. I ordered one from England which was a bit more expensive. (I have
to buy a supply of pads as well which come in packages of 4. The
pads are adhesive. Eventually they stop adhering so I use tape for a
while to extend their use longer.) See below for update on supply.
The basic principle is to balance 2 Yin points with 2 Yang points. The Yin Organs "nourish", the Yang
"protect". One can consult the Acupuncture meridians on the internet at
YingYangHouse.com. (The Spleen meridian runs up the INSIDE of the leg which
isn't made clear on the chart.)
I now start with the upper back point to open circulation from the brain. I place a pad on the upper back
just below (slightly outside - lined up with the nipple) where the outside of neck meets the shoulder. This
is Gall Bladder 21 "Shoulder Well". (Acupressure points are sensitive so I
poke around until I've found the point.) This Gall Bladder point "clears up" my
head and I'm convinced it opens the blood flow from the head. For the
complementary Yin point I use Spleen 10 which is found about 3 fingers up from
the knee on the middle of the inside thigh. (An alternative would
be Liver 9 found one third up the inside of the thigh between the muscles.)
Again, these will be very sensitive points. I place the pads from the lead
on one side and then repeat the process on the other. Now I slowly turn on
the "wheel" controls of the TENS unit to feel the electric impulses. (I
don't touch the pads with my fingers when the unit is "on", the finger tips are
very sensitive.) I get immediate relief with the upper back points.
Also, if I start to have an "attack", this will stop it. Sometimes I'm not
really aware that an attack has stopped, but by next morning the symptoms are
I then turn to my original self treatment. I start with Spleen 6
which is a powerful Yin point. Called the 3 Yin it is the intersection of 3 Yin
meridians - the Liver, Spleen and Kidney/Adrenals. (Warning – Don’t
use needles on a pregnant woman. It’s good when giving birth.) The
Spleen meridian runs up the INSIDE of the leg. I place 4 fingers at the top of
the ankle bone along the leg bone, at the last finger I press into the leg to
find a sensitive point, that's it. I place a pad over this point.
Then I find the Yang Gall Bladder 34. I find the small bone on the outside of
the knee. I press just below, slightly inside, this bone, (when an acupuncture
needle is used one can feel an electric impluse down to the ankle.) I
place a pad over this point on the same leg as the Spleen 6. I
then do the same thing on the other leg with the second lead..Again I
slowly turn on the "wheel" controls of the TENS unit to feel the
If you increase the electric impulse on Gall Bladder 34
it will stimulate the "releveur" muscle and lift up the foot. This is the "drop
foot" muscle and if I had known this I would have tried to keep this muscle
working on my right side. (The muscle still works as a reflex, but I
can't make it work. Maybe continued stimulation will revive it, but at any
rate I will do everything to avoid losing the left side.)
As an alternative Yang point I place the pad in the middle of the back of the knee
which is Urinary Bladder 40, thinking this will open circulation from the spine.
However, it can cramp the calves, so go slowly.
I don't know how effective this self-treatment will be for others. But it has changed my life. I
used to live in dread of a breakdown. I can now control the stress and prevent
“attacks”. The TENS device is a minor investment. I believe one should take
confidence in one’s own healing powers.
SUPPLY UPDATE: A friend just suggested I check out TENS on Amazon. Many different models are suggested
which differ from the one I use, but we can assume they are all essentially the same. Also, available are Acupuncture Pens which allow one to find the Acupuncture point without guessing. Usually when one finds the point a light goes
on. Google "Acupuncture Pen" and more models are suggested as well as pamphlets on Acupuncture/Acupressure.
It looks like a technique I began to use the late 80's is becoming the rage.
(By the way, I received a diploma as an Acupressure Massage
Therapist in 1987 from the Berkeley Acupressure Institute. I only practiced on
myself, family and friends, but I have some knowledge of the subject. Ideally an
Acupuncture Doctor or Acupressure Massage Therapist can help you get started. If
you bring in these new ideas to your therapist, he/she might learn something
which can help other patients. Amazingly enough, Acupuncturists are fixed on the
auto-immune theory of MS and don't even realize the healing power of their own
skills. Just don’t let some self important control freak discourage you.)
(Originally posted July 19, 2012. I'm "housecleaning" and will post a separate Tens Acupressure Self Help Blog post.)