Disclaimer: I share this information, purely for informational purposes, and as a matter of personal opinion. It is always a good idea to discuss with a healthcare professional, before starting any exercise program or alternative therapy.
I’ve been going through a stressful time. For the first time, in the two years since I’ve been taking Ocrevus, I am having difficulty accessing my medication. Due to the pandemic, I am not in my state of residence, where I have my health insurance, and I’m having great difficulty getting covered out of state. I’m working on it, overtime, but I also seem to be waiting a long time to get nowhere closer to my infusion. So, I’ve been trying to be aware from letting myself it carried away by STRESS.
Stress management is paramount while dealing these technical and frustrating issues. My two major relapses since my MS diagnosis 18 years ago, may have been contributed to by overwhelming amounts of stress. An occupational therapist suggested to try using Qigong, for better movement, relief of pain, and stress management. Not all the techniques listed are qigong, but other ways I find relief from symptoms through movement and stretching.
Liver Cleanse Qigong for easing pain for MS Hug
MS Hug causes a constriction around the trunk of the body. It can be caused by a few different conditions, including multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis. The uncomfortable, and often painful sensation feels different in different people. IThe first time I experienced the MS Hug, I went to Urgent Care. The pain was so bad and severe, it made me fear I was having a heart attack. I found it very difficult to relieve the pain of the hug, that I felt in my chest and squeezing my ribs. Over the last two years of dealing with this symptom I’ve found ways to relieve some of the tension. I use helichrysum essential oil, which helps relieve some of the emotional tension that can worsen the pain of my MS Hug, but the most effective relief has come from stretching and qigong exercises.
I came across this Liver Purification Qigong when I wasn’t having the Hug, but I recognized the feelings discussed by the video, anger, and the tension that comes with it, often worsen my MS Hug. I book marked it, and now that I’m having the Hug again, it did help relieve some of the tension. I notice I can feel overwhelming amounts of anger, when I feel like the control over my life, is being taken out of my hands. My DMT helps prevent my relapses, so I’ve felt a big loss of control, and a lot of anger over it. I need someway to cope with that anger, so it doesn’t end up doing me harm. When I feel anger my hug gets worse. This is a great video, to help release some of that anger.
In addition, here is a stretch that I was taught by my occupational therapist to stretch the webbing, holding the muscles in place. She instructed me, that this is a technique of myofascial release. I demonstrate this prolonged stretch on one side, but please complete the other side. Make sure that you are amply supported by pillows, and its a good idea to have a support person near you while performing the stretch, so you don’t fall off the bed. 🙂
Qigong for Relief of Head Pressure, Headaches, and TMJ
I’ve been having some killer headaches. Sometimes they are like mild migraines, but I pefer to describe them as the headache of a thousand small pains. The ache will begin in my hair follicles and extend down into my brain. Sometimes it feels like crawling feelings on my scalp, and then quicksand and numb feelings. Sometimes its a combination of all these feelings. I found this video of self head and face massage techniques extremely soothing, and informative.
I also suffer from TMJ, clenching my teeth at night. I wear a mouth guard, but I found that this qigong technique did wonders, not only for relieving my jaw pain, but for also helping with the sensations of crawling, pain and numbness that contribute to my headaches.
Body Tapping for improved circulation and movement
I first was introduced to Body Tapping when my mom bought me a Dahn Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis DVD, when I was in my early 20s. I was struggling to find invigorating exercises , that would not drain my energy. I would repeat the exercises over and over, until I knew them by heart. I practice Body Tapping as often as possible. It helps to minimize those feelings of heaviness and spasticity in my limbs. Here are some methods of body tapping, which are used in Qigong and Dahn Yoga, that you can find for free on Youtube:
Here is one additional body tapping video that I love to release my tension from Head to toe. However, this one can be a little more intense, and sometimes I tire while performing the exercise. To combat this fatigue, sometimes I remain seated in a chair to complete the exercise.
Invigorating Body Tapping
Qigong for Immune Boost
Finally, this is the exercise that was recommended by our awesome friend, Damian Washington. This one is an exercise to improve the movement of air through your lungs, and just give a little boost to your whole immune system. It helps give me a little piece of mind to know that besides all the mask wearing and social distancing I’m doing to protect myself, my family and others from exposure to Covid19. I’m doing what I can do to keep my lungs strong and healthy. At the end there is also a Chi Shower, that just helps create that feeling of relief and the “Ahhh, I feel a little better than I did before. “
I hope that at least one, or more than one, of these exercises help to relieve a little of what you are going through. It helps me immensely to do what I can, aside from taking my DMT of Ocrevus, to help me feel as well as I can, for the day I am in. Right now, the day I am in, is the day where I’m stressing about getting my Ocrevus infusion, to prevent an MS attack. So until I can get that arranged, I’m going to keep doing what I can, to relieve my personal stress. Part of that is sharing with you guys, whether you are in the MS Community, or you are just looking for relief from the stress of your Chronic Condition. I hope that this was helpful to you. Do you have a favorite exercise, stretch, or stress relief technique? Please share it in the comments below! 🙂
Until next time, stay safe, and May God Be With You Til We Meet Again.
p.s. If you find any of the videos too intense, here’s one more seated, relaxation qigong.