According to the Mayo Clinic - Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which your immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Myelin damage disrupts communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Ultimately, the nerves themselves may deteriorate, a process that's currently irreversible.
Signs and symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, some experience an event where they have damage and loss of function, then recover some, most or all of their abilities, while others experience long periods of remission during which they develop no new symptoms.
There's no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.
Four disease courses have been identified in MS - Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS), Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS), Secondary-Progressive (SPMS), and Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS). Each of these disease courses might be mild, moderate or severe. When I Walk is a documentary produced by a young filmmaker as he experienced an attack, diagnosis and progression of Multiple Sclerosis.
"But you look so good!"
So the way I explain it to friends and family is that it's like a big orange extension cord (because most people can visualize one) that gets a hole in the orange plastic coating. The hole exposes the wires. The wires can be bent or completely broken. Sometimes the signals will still go through, but sometimes they won't. Hence, good and bad days or "she was just fine this morning...". The wiring is so complex that everyone experiences it differently depending on which tiny wire(s) happens to be affected. Bottom line - there's a glitch in my wiring.
What it isn't:
* Multiple Sclerosis is not a death sentence.
* It is not always easy to diagnose.
* It is not easy to understand or explain.
* It is not predictable.
* It is not fun.
Yoga and MS
My personal experience with yoga and the way it helps me manage MS is completely positive. Yoga only makes me feel better. Every time. In every situation. In my body, my mind and my spirit.
Yoga helps with the myriad of symptoms and challenges MSers face daily - fatigue, spasticity, pain, anxiety, depression, needles, MRIs, sleep disorder, etc...
I created 'Your Own Gentle Approach' because yoga has helped me and I believe it can help you too!