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    MS Rehab Centre

Incurable diseases, like MS, offer a lifestyle of endless deteriorating torture, that are often underlooked in support, understanding and public awareness. For MS sufferers, treatments to cure a life of torture are impossible, instead rehabilitation centres like Cambridge, which are independently and charity ran, offer alternative remedies to try and help MS sufferers endure a life of pain.

Reflexology is a main therapy at the Cambridge MS Rehabilitation Centre. Dispite MS being incurable, patients have found that this type of therapy can help reduce symptoms and prevent relapses in the deteriorating form of the disease. It concentrates on applying pressure to the feet which then stimulates regeneration in certain areas of the body. The big toe is the focus for most MS sufferers as this concentrates on the immune system.
Another important part of the Cambridge MS centre is the huge social room, full of chairs and normally everyday full of people. They didn’t have to talk about MS, but to just make friends who each knew were going through the same experiences as them had some type of release. Socializing is a huge part to keeping sane for MS suffers whose lives can become extremely lonely, like this woman Margaret. When I first sat down next to her she would not speak, I found she was a victim of a severe stroke only months ago and had lost a huge amount of her speech. She started to break down as she eventually revealed to me how she felt so alone and humiliated for months when trying to construct just a mere sentence to strangers who thought she was stupid, slow or losing her mind. Sometimes just possessing patience and listening can save a victim of such a humiliating disease from insanity.
For these individuals, having oxygen therapy is part of their daily routine. Each enters the small, silent, metal chamber for the one hour, sitting quiet and carm. Reading is the main activity once inside. ' Your first time inside is quite unnerving and a rather strange sensation' Alan tells me. For the majority, this scene would look like a commute to work in the year 2151, but for MS sufferers the site of tubes and 'space helments' no longer phases them.
Chair aerobics is the only form of actual physical therapy offered at the centre, and it is also the only group based activity. Although it is a centre for people with MS, the topic is rarely discussed and most therapies are kept private. This class contained strong individuals who had fully accepted the difficulities MS has given them, and weren't affraid to show their physical weaknessess among each other. Instead the people within this class possessed huge amounts of dignity and determination by helping, cheering and pushing each other  on to complete these simple exercises.
Despite this woman losing use and feeling in her right hand and arm due to MS, throughout the exercise class she was determined not to let it stop her. When asked if she needed help grasping the exercise band, she politely declined on several occassions. Taking 15 minutes to bend, twist and intertwine the band around her arm and inbetween her fingers, she apolgized to the class for her disturbance. MS is known to effect one side of the body  more dramatically than the other for unknown reasons. To have use of a limb all your life and it suddenly stops working in 2 years, requires a lot of patience, determination and acceptance to deal with.
Bowen therapy is another alternative remedy offered at Cambridge MS rehab centre. A much gentler technique compared to Reflexology, as it involves no hand or prolonged pressure using only thumbs and fingertips to touch the soft tissue over muscle and ligament tendons. Simon has been having the remedy for around 7 years, unable to work now due to his MS, he finds that the remedy is just keeping him from relapse and he is able to enjoy activities like watching his football team play.
During the Bowen remedy Simon is required to lye on his back and relax. A lot of the remedies offered at the Cambridge MS rehab centre involve a sense of mind to be successful. Relaxation and focus is a huge importance to remain in a positive state of mind with such a deteriorating and incurable disease. Many believe negative thoughts can trigger relapses with the power over mind theory. 
A popular and very successful remedy for MS suffers in the oxygen chamber. Once inside patients are required to wear masks or the slightly modern version of hoods, as the pressure is dropped to 30,000ft, like that of a dive or an airplane flight. Once reached this pressure, the patients breathe in a constant flow of pure oxygen for an hour each session. At 30,000ft it is easier for your body to observe oxygen and you can saturate your body with it. Pure oxygen is known to help speed up recovery time for many types of injuries, with MS suffers it gives them a reburst of energy and can prevent symptoms returning.  Alan, a suffer of MS and constant user of the oxygen chamber explained how he was in a wheelchair 4 months ago, he was now walking with two canes.