Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS and Chinese Medicinerestless leg foot soak with essential oils

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is considered a complicated internal disease in Chinese medicine. RLS is not detailed in ancient Chinese medical texts as a specific syndrome, but displays particular attributes that are recognized in Chinese medical theory. The patterns of disharmony described below are separated to help describe this condition; in actuality, restless leg syndrome will have combined patterns of imbalance. Resolving this condition will require many months of combined therapies used daily including RLS foot soaks, Acu-stick application to acupressure points 2-3 times per day, and herbal therapy.

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Acupressure Points for Restless Leg Syndromeessential oils for acupressure

 

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RLS Causes and Symptoms of Patterns of Imbalance in Chinese Medicine

Blood and Qi Deficiency Leading to RLSLongevity-Wellness organic herb formula

One of the underlying imbalances that will likely begin to develop before RLS symptoms start to appear is Blood and Qi Deficiency. It is not unusual to develop these deficiencies as one ages if the proper lifestyle habits including a proper diet and regular exercise are not maintained. Iron deficiency has been associated with RLS which would be a clear indication of Blood DeficiencyTo rebuild Qi and Blood, consider our organic Sage Mountain formula. 

Blood Stagnation and RLS

In Chinese medicine, the tingling and stabbing sensations that come with Restless Leg Syndrome indicate Blood Stagnation. Additionally, Blood is very grounding and the vacuum created by Blood Deficiency allows for Internal Wind to occupy the space created by Blood vacuity. Additionally, Blood Deficiency becomes much more prevalent with aging, and RLS tends to begin affecting people after 50. Blood Deficiency can give rise to Blood Stagnation and would account for the strange sensations experienced with RLS. 

Heart Imbalances and RLS

Heart Blood also helps to ground the mind so that we can sleep soundly at night. Because RLS tends to occur at night and disturbs sleep, Heart Blood Deficiency is often a complication. Additionally, the Heart is closely associated with emotional imbalances in Chinese medicine and chronic anxiety has been linked to RLS. Consider our organic Blood Mansion formula!

Kidney Yin Deficiency and RLS

Kidney Deficiency is a prevalent underlying condition with restless leg syndrome. The Kidney energetic organ system in TCM is closely related to the spine, brain, and nervous system, and RLS has been associated with a brain metabolism defect according to western medicine. Additionally, Kidney Essence is depleted as we age, and RLS is associated with aging. Essence is also related to familial conditions, and there appears to be a genetic link to RLS. The Kidneys are the source of all Yin of the body, and Yin Deficiency can cause Deficient Heat and Internal Wind. Also, conditions associated with Yin Deficiency are often more reactive during the night time. Consider our organic Yin Valley formula!

Liver Imbalances Causing Internal Wind and RLSliver detox remedy with essential oils

In Chinese medicine, involuntary tics and spasms are attributed to "Internal Wind". In health, the Liver is rich with Blood, and the Liver is able to circulate Blood and Qi freely. If the Liver is out of balance or undernourished, Qi stops circulating and Blood becomes deficient. Because Blood is cooling in nature, the Liver naturally begins to heat up with Blood Deficiency and Liver Qi Stagnation. If you have ever studied a bonfire, you would notice that a wind tunnel develops over the flames as the heat rises; this is the concept in Chinese medicine as heat rises and creates a chaotic wind. Our body will react to internal heat just as a bonfire reacts to heat, by creating a chaotic wind. In the body, pathogenic Wind is seen as spastic movements, spasms, and chaotic jerking of limbs. Consider our organic Free and Easy Wanderer formula!

Wei Qi Deficiency and RLS

In Chinese medicine, the Wei Qi is likened to the immune system; in actuality, it is much more divers in its functions that just immune responses. The Wei Qi circulates on the surface of the body during the day protecting us from external pathogens, but returns to the internal body and organs during the night. If the Wei Qi is compromised, it may not circulate correctly back internally at night and can be a contributing factor to RLS. Additionally, the Wei Qi protects the body from the invasion of External Wind which can contribute to RLS. Consider our organic Enlightened Emperor formula!

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References

Raissi GR, Forogh B, Ahadi T, Ghahramanpoori S, Ghaboussi P, Sajadi S. Evaluation of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Oct;10(5):346-350. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2017.08.004. Epub 2017 Aug 22. Erratum in: J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018 Dec;11(6):380. PMID: 29078970.

Xu XM, Liu Y, Jia SY, Dong MX, Cao D, Wei YD. Complementary and alternative therapies for restless legs syndrome: An evidence-based systematic review. Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Apr;38:158-167. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2017.06.003. Epub 2017 Jun 19. PMID: 28886918.

Cui Y, Wang Y, Liu Z. Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;4:CD006457. 

Li Y, Li Y, Winkelman JW, et al. Prospective study of restless legs syndrome and total and cardiovascular mortality among women. Neurology 2018;90:e135–41. 

Yilmaz O, Şengül Y, Şengül HS, et al. Investigation of alexithymia and levels of anxiety and depression among patients with restless legs syndrome. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat2018;14:2207–14.

Huang Z, Qingqing C, Wenchun Z, Zhouhang W, Jiankun R. Acupuncture and Moxibustion for restless legs syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jan;99(4):e18827. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018827. PMID: 31977877; PMCID: PMC7004730.]