Anat Ayalon was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) almost 30 years ago. She is the founder of MS Israel, a group dedicated to supporting people with MS and their families. A couple years ago, Anat started using dance as a way to help alleviate the symptoms of her disease.
The course of MS and symptoms vary from person to person, and are often unpredictable, but nearly everyone experiences disease progression or worsening – even in the most common form, relapsing MS, which can have a significant impact on everyday life for people living with MS.
In Anat’s case, symptoms manifest themselves in her legs and arms, as she explains: “There are days that my legs hurt and are weak, and I feel the electricity in my body and I’m very, very, very, very tired, so I called my dance teacher and told him I need a lesson today because it helps me with my stability and with my flexibility and with my balance, with everything. How I stand, how I feel and of course a good feeling. I really believe the dancing impacts my MS.”
As MS affects the central nervous system, its effects can potentially be felt throughout any part of the body. No matter where the disability occurs, maintaining as much function in the other parts of the body is crucial to stay independent. Keeping active, like Anat, and having a healthy lifestyle may help people with MS maintain independence even when they experience disease progression.