Acupuncture Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder in Bermuda

Restless leg syndrome, RLS, affects people of all ages and can worsen as one grows older. Those who suffer with this condition have a persistent desire to get up and move. By doing so, the uncomfortable sensations of tingling, cramping or itching are temporarily relieved by the movement. The symptoms become more severe in the evening and disrupt sleep, but they also occur during the day after prolonged periods of inactivity.

There is no known cause of RLS. It appears to have a genetic component. Also, there may be nutritional deficiencies that accompany the condition. If deficiencies are detected by a blood test, they can be corrected with supplements. Finally, RLS may be associated with other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy, kidney failure and diabetic neuropathy. When these conditions are properly treated, the symptoms of RLS may minimize or resolve.

About 85 percent of people with RLS also have period limb movement disorder, PLMD. However, the majority of people with PLMD do not have RLS. This is a sleep disorder where the person twitches and kicks, sometimes violently, during sleep. Obviously, the condition affects the quality of sleep and contributes to drowsiness during the day. Certainly, one’s bed partner does not appreciate being frequently awakened throughout the night.

COHA Health has successfully treated clients who have been diagnosed with patterns consistent with the western definition of RLS and PLMD. It is most important to determine if these two conditions are symptomatic of other medical problems and/or result from the side-effects of medications. Antidepressant medications, for example, are known to worsen PLMD.

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

Iron deficiency, or anemia, can exacerbate the symptoms of RLS. If the individual has an iron deficiency, as revealed by a blood test, there may be a yin deficiency in the kidneys that contributes to excess heat in the heart. In this event, the acupuncturist will stimulate specific points on the kidney meridian along with other points consistent with the diagnosed pattern. For example, the Taixi point, KD 3, may be targeted to treat yin deficiencies of the kidney or heart. Another relevant point on the bladder meridian is the Shenshu, BL 23.

With PLMD, there is often internal wind that results from a liver yin deficiency. For both conditions, your practitioner will determine if an herbal supplement should be included in your treatment regimen.

As you can see, there are many factors that must be evaluated while diagnosing an appropriate pattern related to these two western diagnoses. Coexisting conditions can also be treated with complementary and alternative approaches. The qualified diagnosticians at COHA Health will make an evaluation based on eastern medical theory and will design an individualized treatment plan consistent with your diagnosed patterns.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cann, contact COHA Health at 1.441.295.7612.

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