Everyone with MS is familiar with alternative medicine, or as it has been dubbed, probably by practitioners of mainline medicine so they don’t get completely cut out of the deal, “complementary medicine” or CM. There’s also the compromise term, CAM, i.e. complementary and alternative medicine. Now everyone is happy.
The CAM approach is a good one. If we shut out any avenue to wellness, we’re shutting out possibilities. There are limits to this, of course. If someone told me that scaling El Capitan by hand was proven protection from MS because neither of the two guys who just did it have MS, I’d question the sample size on which they based their statistics.
There’s alternative/different and there’s alternative/nuts.
No, I won’t get the bee stings and I won’t sit in a hogan for a month sweating and concentrating on my navel (or any other body part) and I won’t twist my body into the shape of a pretzel and I won’t spend money (or a single moment of thought) on the latest Internet fad and I won’t diet on nothing but stir-fried marsupial kidneys and I won’t read every self-published self-help book describing the latest miracle cure.
I do, however, have a list of complementary vitamins that I swear by. These are not alternatives; I still take my 2000 IU’s of D every day. That is complemented by these:
Vitamin MV – Every chance I get, I take in a dose of Martha’s Vineyard. Some would call it my happy place. It is a sanctuary of sorts, a place where relaxation and recuperation come easy. It’s a pleasant coincidence that there’s a bike (q.v. Vitamin T) ride there to raise funds for the MS Society. Read about last year’s ride here.
Vitamin O – Closely related in molecular structure to MV, O as in “ocean” is another special place for me. If I can’t get the MV-specific O, I’ll take it wherever I can.
Vitamin T – T as in Trek, the kind of bike I ride. (All the B’s were used by real vitamins.) To be taken as often as possible. May cause drowsiness and muscle fatigue after a large dose, but long term benefits have shown tremendous curative qualities for MS and depression. Particularly beneficial when taken in conjunction with Vitamin MV.
Vitamin W – Not every form of W (as in wife) is helpful, but the one I rely on daily, WJ, makes all the difference for good. (A similar compound, Vitamin H, offers the same potential benefit.)
Vitamin P – P as in prayer has proven to be effective in all areas of life. It’s painless, as simple as conversation, and has the added benefit of being effective even if (maybe especially if) administered by others on your behalf. You can’t do that with your Rebif!
Vitamin SB – Another compound similar to Vitamin MV, but usually taken less often, is S(anta) B(arbara). Besides lifting your spirits in general, SB is a great source of vitamin D because the sun shines there all the time. Be aware that there are serious withdrawal symptoms upon ending this therapy.
Vitamin L – Vitamin L must be administered to you in massive doses. However, it is just as important for the patient to give it to others if they are to get the full benefit of this life-giving therapy. (I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the chemical composition of Vitamin L.)
Vitamin G – None of the other therapies, alternative or not, has any long-lasting benefit unless taken in a committed regimen of Vitamin G: God. (I’ll readily admit that minimizing the Creator of the universe to the level of a dietary supplement is borderline blasphemous. This is just a metaphor and I’m sure He’ll understand. He created that concept, too.)