As far as traditional western medicine is concerned there is no known treatment or cure for Multiple Sclerosis and no predictable pattern for the progression of the disease for any individual. Effectively this allows each person suffering with MS to become an expert in their own care, you can through your own experience learn what works best for you and what doesn’t. Many sufferers do know that stress exacerbates symptoms, the key here is to avoid panic and to maintain hope in the midst of a disease with no known cure. I have found with my clients suffering from MS that a combinaion of Mindfulness and Hypnosis is especially useful. Whilst meditation is known to calm the mind and create a sense of peace, people overwhelmed with feelings of fear and distress struggle to achieve a state of being calm in their minds and can find that trying to meditate becomes stressful in itself. Here mindfulness meditations I feel are far more beneficial for they help to focus the mind in much the same way that we do with hypnosis, especially The Body Scan and Mindfulness of Breath( Jon Kabat-Zinn et al). These techniques are so easy to learn and the benefits are immediately felt.
Various studies have suggested that Hypnosis can offer MS sufferers significant pain relief and that the pain relief can be maintained long after the treatment has finished. The benefits of hypnosis may not be restricted to pain relief alone, a case study by JR Dane (1996) described “significantly improved control of pain, balance and diplopia along with a return to ambulatory capacity within two weeks of begining treatment with hypnosis” so it appears that there may be neuro muscular rehabilitaion gains too. Recent research has shown that there can be neuronal growth in adults so bearing this in mind balancing techniques are particularly useful. Maybe engaging the services of a physiotherapist to help with this, some people get a yoga teacher or personal trainer this can help to retrain the nervous system thus enabling you to fully use the intact neurological function that you do have and learn to neurologically compensate for those that have been lost. The three factors which enhance neuronal growth are enrichment , novelty and physical exercise. Maintaining your social life and contacts is imperitive as well as continuing to engage in new experiences and learning, whether this means completeing the daily crossword or learning something new it doesn’t really matter as long as you continue to exercise your brain.
In my own practice I use a hypnotherpeutic approach incorporating mindfulness for relaxation together with practising balancing techniques, visualisation for healing and direct suggestions for confidence and self esteem building. Encouraging you all the while to explore the question of how will you stimulate your nerves to build new connections? trusting that the nerve stimulation will in turn stimulate the muscles.
All those that come to see me for hypnosis for whatever problem, trauma or illness that they are suffering including MS have one characteristic in common, they all believe that their lives can on some level be better, they have an optimism and hope for a better way of being. Hypnotherapy enables you to feel more in control of your emotions, your behaviours and feelings and ultimately empowers you to feel more in control of your own destiny whatever that may be and where ever it may lead you.
In the words of Paramahansa Yogananda ” One cannot tell when he is going to be healed, so do not try to set an exact time. Faith , not time will determine when the cure will be”