At Overcoming MS, we understand that living with multiple sclerosis can be overwhelming.
Over 2.8 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis, with many experiencing progressive disability over time. Although there is currently no cure for MS, we believe that people with MS can lead positive and fulfilling lives. This belief is based on substantial scientific evidence of the benefits of holistic self care, alongside medical therapies when appropriate.
At the heart of OMS is a self-management program for people with MS, devised to support their physical and mental health, based on clear, practical actions.
Our vision is a world in which every person with MS is empowered to take control of their health, is making informed lifestyle choices and is living their fullest life possible
Our strategic goals to achieve our vision are to:
We ensure people affected by MS are fully informed about evidence-based ways to help self-manage multiple sclerosis.
We help people living with MS to feel supported through OMS Circles (our growing global volunteer community network). OMS Circles are accessible and responsive to the diverse needs of people affected by MS.
We advocate for and with people living with MS and demonstrate how self-management and lifestyle choices are a vital part of living a full life. We influence policymakers and campaign to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of MS self-management.
We support and contribute to the growing body of evidence around lifestyle choices and self-management of MS to help influence and create change amongst healthcare professionals and policymakers. We work in partnership with individuals, communities, healthcare professionals and other charities to create genuine and sustainable benefits for people living with MS.
Who we are and what we do
Overcoming MS is the world’s leading multiple sclerosis healthy lifestyle charity. We are unique in our whole person approach and practical evidence-based focus upon self-management of MS, formulated as a holistic program. We are registered to work in the UK (England, Wales Scotland), the US and Australia.
The OMS program addresses those lifestyle factors that are shown to influence MS progression the most, such as diet, sedentary living, stress and a lack of vitamin D. We provide extensive tailored information and support for people living with multiple sclerosis to help them make practical changes in their day-to-day lives.
The OMS program is a product of pioneering work by Professor George Jelinek and the Neuroepidemiology Unit (NEU) of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. Its evidence is broad-based and incorporates over 1,000 research studies from some of the world’s leading medical journals.
“The work of Dr. Jelinek and the principles of OMS gave me a sense of hope and more importantly, a sense of control. Upon learning of my diagnosis, it was especially important for me to find ways (above and beyond medication) to ensure I lived my best possible life, despite MS. OMS showed me how living a quality life with MS could be a reality for me. And I especially appreciate how evidence-based and data-driven the OMS lifestyle is. I'm convinced that I'll live an even better life now than I would have had I not been diagnosed with MS, as crazy as that sounds.” Nicole, OMSer, USA
The OMS charity was established by Linda Bloom in 2012, whose life was transformed by the approach. She wanted to distribute the OMS program and its powerful message of realistic hope across the globe empowering ever more people to live well with MS. Today, our reach has exceeded 20,000 people affected by MS worldwide. Our team is small and punches above its weight, supported by a passionate and growing group of volunteers and led by the CEO, Grazina Berry. A committed Board of Trustees is chaired by the founder, Linda Bloom.
Our values shape how we work to create positive outcomes for, and with, people affected by MS. We are:
The OMS Program
The program promotes a comprehensive and holistic approach to multiple sclerosis management. It focuses on 7 areas:
- Eating well – a plant-based, whole-food diet, very low on saturated fat, no diary, with seafood and Omega-3 supplements
- Getting enough Sun and Vitamin D – managed daily sun exposure and Vit D supplementation as a preventative measure
- Regular exercise –combining cardio and progressive strength/resistance training
- Meditation and mind-body connection – management of daily stress and development of a healthy, positive and empowered attitude towards controlling one’s health
- Taking medication as needed – medication as an important part of MS care, enabling people with MS to make personal decisions about medication use
- Prevention of MS in family members – focus on smoking cessation, Vit D and sun exposure for family members and dietary recommendations for children and siblings of people with MS
- Changing life for life – long-term behaviour change, with guidance and motivation.