Jumpy and aching legs can be very aggravating, and at night, disruptive to sleep, preventing a restful and recuperative sleep cycle. This syndrome has been receiving a lot of publicity recently, with television commercials touting the latest medications available. Unfortunately, the drugs are usually central nervous system depressants, anticonvulsants, or opioids (compounds created to mimic the effects of opium on the brain). These medications can be very beneficial, at least for a short time, but treating a leg problem by suppressing brain activity has consequences. Primarily, we need the brain to be active in sleep, producing dreams and managing other systems. Also, the brain has an amazing ability to accommodate to depressants, requiring ever-increasing doses to keep its function restrained. This suppression can spill over into the daytime in the form of mental sluggishness.
Fortunately, acupuncture is extremely effective for treating this problem, and has no side effects. Restless legs tend to occur due to an imbalance in the gallbladder energy, and 1 or 2 treatments plus a stretching program and the home use of a plum blossom hammer (an inexpensive device for stimulating the energetic pathway) for a few seconds prior to bedtime or when the symptoms occur usually resolves the problem. In addition, limiting the use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can help minimize the symptoms. Herbs or nutritional supplements of iron, folate, or magnesium may also be helpful. Exercise habits may need to be slightly altered as well, as they may be contributing to the problem. The holistic approach provided at Golden Leaf Health Services can help resolve the problem quickly and painlessly.