Treating patients as individuals: A review of a patient with Multiple Sclerosis

When a patient walks through the door of a clinic and tells you that they have been suffering with a chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), this can be a daunting experience for any practitioner. The question that runs through my head everytime is “What can I do to help this person?”.


I recently spent some time treating a lady who had MS for over 15 years, and although I could do nothing to alter the disease process itself, I was able to work with the patient to help with some the issues that commonly arise as a result of having MS. Whether it was a coincidence or fate, I came across an article in the Journal of Movement and Bodywork Therapies (January 2014) whilst treating her. The study had investigated the effects of massage therapy on the self-efficacy of MS clients. The results of the study supported previous findings that massage therapy increases the self-efficacy and improves the ability to perform activities of daily living in clients with MS, potentially resulting in a better overall adjustment to the disease and an improvement in pyscho-emotionl state.

The feedback that my patient gave me was that whilst having treatment, her walking improved and she was able to perform daily activities with less struggle. My experience with dealing with chronic patients and the results of the above study goes to show that all patients need to be treated as individuals and not be given a label – as is the aim with all pateints who come to the clinic. My goal is to make the body work as effectively as it can, irrelevant of the canvas it presents with.



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