little or no risk for the user and
some limited research evidence
for beneficial effects in MS. The
therapies include biofeedback,
guided imagery, therapeutic
horseback riding (called “
hip-potherapy”), massage, acupuncture, music therapy, and
multiple forms of meditation in
addition to mindfulness.
Are borderzone therapies still
unconventional since they
involve methods that are gener-
ally viewed as alternative and the
research evidence is still limited?
Or, are they now conventional
because some research evidence
supports their use? Answers to
these questions may not be particularly helpful to people with
MS or even to MS clinicians.
Many people with MS—and, in
my personal experience, a growing number of conventional
health care providers—don’t care
what category a therapy is in
but rather what type of information is available about that
therapy. Available information
for all the borderzone therapies
discussed here indicates that
they pose little or no health risk
and may help relieve certain MS
Please visit our website at
zonerefs for a complete list of
references for this article.
Dr. Allen Bowling is the medical
director of the Multiple Sclerosis
Service and director of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Service at the Colorado Neurological
Institute. He is also clinical associate professor of Neurology at the
University of Colorado. Additional
information about unconventional
medicine (CAM) may be found in
his book, Complementary and
Alternative Medicine and Multiple
Sclerosis (2nd edition, Demos Medical Publishing), and on his website,
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