Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre

Kent Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Therapy Centre received funding through Kent Community Foundation to provide a weekly singing therapy session for people with MS, those with long term medical conditions and their carers. Singing is an excellent form of therapy and exercise, improving mental health, relieving stress and helping participants forge new friendships.

Kent MS Therapy Centre

The Need:

Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating and unpredictable disease which affects the nerves in the brain and spinal chord causing problems with mobility, balance, bladder control, speech and vision and there is currently no cure. The lifetime risk of major depression in people with MS is estimated to be as high at 50% compared to 10% - 15% in the general population. The Kent MS Therapy Centre is the only dedicated MS Therapy Centre covering the whole of the South and East of Kent. People with MS feel at home at the Centre and are able to undertake physical exercise in a facility that is purpose built to their needs.

The Difference Made:

The Kent MS Therapy Centre was established in 1984 by people with MS, for people with MS. Its membership has grown steadily over the years and currently stands at 750. 

The Centre runs weekly singing groups for their members with an experienced vocal coach. Currently there are 25 people who attend on a regular basis. Singing is an excellent form of therapy and exercise and is used successfully at the Centre to ease stress and aid relaxation as it provides a workout for muscles in the pelvis, stomach, chest and neck. It encourages deep breathing, increased circulation and a ‘feel good’ vibe in the body, due to the endorphins released into the blood. 

When asked about the workshop,  19 of the participants noticed a reduction in their stress levels since they started singing, all had forged new friendships, 18 felt their mental health had improved and 19 felt they were more confident directly as a result of taking part in the singing therapy.

One of the Centres members had this to say about the therapy; 

“The therapy I most enjoy is the Friday singing group. It is escapism and pure enjoyment with no reference to MS. We all come away with smiles on our faces. It doesn’t feel like a therapy, but singing helps us with posture, breathing and using our brains to follow the music. It can also be useful for maintaining our vocal chords.”