Yes, I'm referring to the same Heimlich Maneuver that is used to help people who are choking.
If you are wondering what the Heimlich Maneuver has to do with multiple sclerosis (MS), I'll tell you - a great deal. As it turns out, many of us have MS-related dyphagia, the clinical term for problems swallowing. In fact, it is estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of us will experience problems swallowing at some time. What is especially alarming is that in many cases, the dysphagia is subtle enough that we don't know it is an issue until we start choking.
For this reason, I strongly urge anyone with MS to encourage family member to learn the Heimlich Maneuver. It is an extremely simple procedure, performed by wrapping one's arms around a choking person from behind and thrusting joined fists up into the upper abdomen.
Since it is far easier to see what to do by looking at some illustrations, I urge you to visit this link to the website of the Heimlich Institute: How to Do the Heimlich Maneuver. You will find instructions for many kinds of situations. I also strongly recommend you look at the part that gives instructions for what to do if you are choking and alone.
Please. Explain to your family the importance of learning the Heimlich Maneuver. Take 10 minutes and look at this website with your loved ones. Learn the Heimlich Maneuver - even practice some of the positions on one another. You can make it a little silly if it makes it easier to tackle this scary topic, but make sure the message gets across. It could save your life some day.
Read more about MS-related dysphagia: