Alison Peebles – How I Overcame MS With The Power Of Physio

by Kate Foster

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Chongsu Lee lead practitioner at the O POINT ONE MS Clinic One of Scotland’s most highly respected actresses has revealed she is tackling Multiple Sclerosis – and preparing for her next major role – with a revolutionary physiotherapy treatment.

Alison Peebles, whose credits include Taggart, River City, High Times, Afterlife and Sex Traffic, as well as many memorable theatre roles, was diagnosed with the condition in 2001.

Since then she has experienced a year-on-year decline in her mobility and was preparing for the permanent use of a wheelchair.

She recently co-wrote and starred in The National Theatre of Scotland play My Shrinking Life, dramatising her experience of the debilitating disease.

But since undergoing a revolutionary physiotherapy course, she has seen “dramatic” improvements in her walking, balance and flexibility and is optimistic she can keep on her feet.

Ms Peebles, from Edinburgh, has primary progressive MS which is characterised by a steady worsening of symptoms without any remission.

HIGHEST MS RATES IN THE UK

Between 100-140 per 100,000 people in England and Wales suffer from MS, but rates in Scotland, where Ms Peebles is from, are much higher at up to 190 per 100,000.

The actress underwent treatment at a specialist physiotherapy clinic in Scotland which is now treating growing numbers of patients with the disease, the Point One Clinic in Edinburgh.

Their treatment technique involves very gentle manipulation of the spine, which releases tension and allows better movement.

Ms Peebles said: “The benefits of this treatment have been quite dramatic. I was collapsing all the time as I had poor balance and strength. I was mentally and physically exhausted.

“Now, after 18 weeks of treatment my walking, balance and vision are hugely improved and my body is much more flexible. I still use a crutch but if I continue like this I feel optimistic that I can keep on my feet and delay the imminent need for a wheelchair.

“I am more supple, I am standing straighter and have more energy, which several people have remarked on. Obviously these things are really important for my career and I would never have had the stamina to perform in the recent epic five-hour outdoor production of Ane Satyre of Thrie Estaits without this treatment.”

The timing of the improvement in Alison’s condition has been crucial as she is to direct Bite the Bullet starring Sandy Nelson and Keith Warwick at the Assembly Rooms as part of the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

PIONEERING TREATMENT

She was treated by qualified physiotherapist Chongsu Lee, a former engineer for Hyundai, Korea, who is now a Chartered and State Registered Physiotherapist.

Mr Lee and his team pioneered the ‘Point One technique’ after observing several MS patients reporting significant improvements in their MS symptoms (see notes to editor)

Mr Lee said: “When Alison came to see me she was walking haltingly, her posture was stooped and looked quite tired. These symptoms and other issues seemed to have been affecting her quality of life and acting career.

“Now she is walking more comfortably with significantly increased fluidity. Her posture is more upright. She looks positive and her persona seemed to come alive again.”

The technique involves very gentle manipulation of the spine and soft tissue around the spine, which releases chronic and long standing tension from the body, and allows better movements of the neck, shoulders and back. As the congestion around the spine gradually eases off, blood circulation, lymph circulation and nerve transmission improve.

Mr Lee added: “The established treatment for MS is conventional drug therapy and this does help many patients, especially with acute-stage MS. However this physiotherapy technique is something that can fit alongside conventional treatments to ease patients’ symptoms further.”

Public relations for the Point One MS Clinic is handled by Holyrood Partnership. To see how PR could work for you contact us to find out more.

Private: Kate Foster

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