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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

The use of unconventional therapies may be “complementary” (used in combination with conventional medicine) or “alternative” (used instead of conventional medicine).

Allen Bowling, MD
Complementary and Alternative Medicine in MS

Because there is evidence that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used extensively in the United States, a greater effort is being made to find ways to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of various types of CAM.

General Information
 Alternative Therapies: An overview
 Clear Thinking About Alternative Therapies
Facts and common misconceptions, plus practical ways to evaluate benefits and risks
 Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs in MS: An Introduction
Practical guide to diet supplements for people with MS. Outlines what is and is not known, with references for further study

Acupuncture in MS: The Basic Facts
An exploration of what is known and not known about this complementary therapy

 Review of Regular Medications and
A form to keep track of prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, herbals, vitamins, or other dietary supplements
Physical and Mental Well-being
 Taming Stress in Multiple Sclerosis
Simplifying daily life. Instructions on muscle relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, and more

Meditation, visualization, and relaxation tips
Many people find that meditation greatly decreases the stress in their lives


Adaptive Tai Chi
Deep breathing and slow, gentle movements are the primary elements of this “moving meditation”—and it can be done sitting down

 “The effectiveness of reflexology in the management of pain in MS” (Andrea Lowe-Strong, PhD) Conducting a clinical trial of a complementary therapy to determine if it can relieve pain in people with MS

“Cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: placebo-controlled study ” (Mark Agius, MD) Conducting a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of smoked marijuana and an oral form of marijuana to treat spasticity in people with MS.


“Ginseng treatment for MS-related fatigue” (Ruth Whitham, MD)Conducting a clinical trial testing the ability of ginseng to improve fatigue and quality of life in people with MS.

CAM image


Consult your physician before starting any new activity or treatment.

Make sure your physician knows about all the medications you're taking: prescription drugs, non-presciption drugs—and even vitamins!


webcast icon Webcasts
(transcripts available)

MS Learn Online presents
Understanding Complementary & Alternative Options in Treating MS

Integrating Unconventional Approaches
Examining the Facts

Learn more about these and other webcasts

Clinical Bulletin Clinical Bulletin

Print out the document below and share it with your heathcare provider.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in MS

Complementary and alternative medicine center run by the Rocky Mountain MS Center


Also of interest...


Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis

Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis, 2nd Edition
by Allen C. Bowling, M.D.,PhD
Order through Demos Publishing*

The Alternative Medicine Handbook The Alternative Medicine Handbook
by Barrie R. Cassileth

Order through Amazon.com
The Art of Getting Well The Art of Getting Well: A Five-Step Plan for Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness
by David Spero, RN
Order through Amazon.com
Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies
by Steven Foster, Varro E., Phd. Tyler

Order through Amazon.com
*All orders placed on Demos Publishing web site receive a 15% discount from list price.  
Last updated April 27, 2007