Multiple Sclerosis Info for Massage Therapists & Bodyworkers

Multiple Sclerosis Info for Massage Therapists & Bodyworkers

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is an idiopathic nervous system disease that affects the spinal cord and brain. It damages materials that surround and protects nerve cells, known as the myelin sheath. This damage can block or slow down messages between the brain and body.  MS symptoms can include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Muscle weakness
  • Incontinence issues
  • Trouble with coordination and balance
  • Sensations such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles"
  • Thinking and memory problems

Not all MS patients have these symptoms.  MS is symptomatic from patient to patient, and symptoms can vary.

No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak, or walk.[i]

Advisements to provide massage or bodyworker service include: allow extra time for a MS client.  Depending on the severity of their disease and/or length of their service appointment, they may have to use the bathroom frequently, have trouble sitting down, standing up or moving, have communication problems, etc.  Do not work on any areas where the client has numbness or cannot feel.  Check with their physician for additional instructions or directions.

To learn more, please register for quality, affordable, professional training at:

[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Multiple Sclerosis | MS.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 Apr. 2018,


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