Restless Leg Syndrome and Reflexology

By  Erin Kenneally – A Personal Account

When I say I get a kick out of life, I really mean it. I have had restless leg syndrome (RLS) my whole life. For anyone who has this incredibly under-rated “syndrome” you know how intrusive it can be. From the uncomfortable distraction of having the “willies” running up and down your legs, to kicking your legs for no apparent reason during dinner parties, to keeping you up all night. The worst is thinking that maybe you are sleeping only to realize that the reason you are still completely exhausted the next day is that you are not getting any deep, a.k.a. restorative, sleep (and haven’t been for countless years!)

When I say not getting any sleep, I’m not talking about the water cooler chat, “Oh, yeah, my husband snored all night and kept me up …” No, no, no. This is (and my five sleep studies in 10 years back it up … I LOVE vindication!) my brain being “stimulated out of deep sleep every 26-35 seconds all night long!” So literally, NOT getting sleep.

Deep sleep is so important. It’s when you’re body has time to rebuild itself from a hard day’s work. If you are lucky enough to dream (even if you don’t really remember them,) you dream as you are coming out of deep sleep. If you’re not dreaming, you’re not getting deep sleep. I wish I had known that years ago because maybe I would have noticed then that the quality of my sleep had really gone down hill.

I was once a “lucid” dreamer. That’s someone who can literally control their dreams. I loved going to bed at night. I could choose whom and what I was going to dream about, change the outcomes of bad dreams, and travel to places I’d been or never been, wake up and remember it all. But somewhere in my mid-twenties that all changed. I didn’t realize it in the beginning, in fact, I didn’t realize it for quite some time. I was working in advertising, traveling all over the country … I was lucky to be in bed for more than five hours each night. Then came marriage, kids, and craziness. It wasn’t until the kids had stopped waking me up at night and I wasn’t working during the day, that I couldn’t understand  why I was still so incredibly tired.

I was always a very active person. A New England ranked swimmer, working 80-100 hour weeks (no joke, advertising is awful!) had 10 projects at a time … but now I didn’t even have the energy to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail! I finally said something to my doctor and she immediately sent me for a sleep study.

Sure enough, my sleep study results were astonishing, and as I mentioned before, vindicating. I really had thought I was going nuts. Not only was my RLS “off the charts,” but now, with the weight gain, I also had severe sleep apnea! Unfortunately at the time doctors treated RLS with muscle relaxants which worked against the more serious sleep apnea. So, I was kind of between a rock and a hard place and was only able to be treated for the apnea at the time. If only I had heard of Reflexology at that time!! (Helen, where were you???)

Thankfully now, a few years later, doctors realize that RLS is a neurological syndrome and can treat it accordingly. But like most of us, do I really want to be on medication for the rest of my life? Not really. That’s where Helen and her magic fingers come in.

I’ve been going to Helen for reflexology, specifically for my RLS, for about four months. It is amazing how much it helps. At first it was hard, but totally worth it. The sessions can be exhausting. Now it’s just relaxing. The results are quite noticeable. At first the lasting effects of a session would only last a day or two before I’d start “dancing a jig” again (good thing I’m of Irish descent!) Now I go once every 10 days or so and it’s only toward the end of that time that the RLS starts kicking in again (pardon the pun.)

It’s amazing how little we really know about the human body, and how much we rely on pill popping. I for one, am so happy to have reflexology and most importantly, Helen.

Helen Chin Lui is a certified Reflexologist and certified Energy Medicine Practitioner. She is the owner and founder of the Healing Place located in Medfield, MA. She specializes in helping people with digestive disorders. If you would like to schedule a free 30 minute consultation or would like to make an appointment, call 508-359-6463. For more information about her services, visit www.healingplacemedfield.com.

 



10 comments

  1. Kim says:

    I have restless legs so bad. I am only able to sleep an hour maybe 2 every night.
    I do not want to take medication for it would like to get rid it some other way.
    I am I’m California. Help!

    • I have had tremendous amount of success of helping clients with Restless Leg Syndrome through applying foot reflexology. I find people with this syndrome lack certain supplement like potassium. Please email me with other questions. Thank you. Helen Chin Lui

    • Lisa Adamson says:

      Hi i really would appreciate your advice on what oils to use,and the best areas of the feet to work on.My husband has suffered with RLS for over 11yrs.He did have a good 18months free of RLS,which was amazing for him, Unfortunately it came back abut 3yrs ago,and there is just no let up,And it is as describe absolute hell for my husband,please help. many thanks Lisa Adamson

      • Hello Lisa, Unfortunately, there isn’t one spot to press on the foot or hands to get relief from RLS. RLS is an autoimmune disease can be brought on by stress or nutrient deficiencies. Sometimes a supplement deficiencies such as potassium, magnesium and antioxidant can be helpful. When I work on clients with RLS I worked all body systems (integumentary (skin), digestive, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, lymphatic, circulatory, nervous, muscular, skeletal and endocrine and I can usually find something that is off balance. I have had tremendous success in helping clients with RLS to calm the body with four sessions. In most cases, a certified reflexologist with 300 hours of training most likely find where the imbalances are. What state do you live in?

  2. Kim says:

    I have restless legs so bad. I am only able to sleep an hour maybe 2 every night.
    I do not want to take medication for it would like to get rid it some other way.
    I am I’m California. Help!

    • I have had tremendous amount of success of helping clients with Restless Leg Syndrome through applying foot reflexology. I find people with this syndrome lack certain supplement like potassium. Please email me with other questions. Thank you. Helen Chin Lui

    • Lisa Adamson says:

      Hi i really would appreciate your advice on what oils to use,and the best areas of the feet to work on.My husband has suffered with RLS for over 11yrs.He did have a good 18months free of RLS,which was amazing for him, Unfortunately it came back abut 3yrs ago,and there is just no let up,And it is as describe absolute hell for my husband,please help. many thanks Lisa Adamson

      • Hello Lisa, Unfortunately, there isn’t one spot to press on the foot or hands to get relief from RLS. RLS is an autoimmune disease can be brought on by stress or nutrient deficiencies. Sometimes a supplement deficiencies such as potassium, magnesium and antioxidant can be helpful. When I work on clients with RLS I worked all body systems (integumentary (skin), digestive, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, lymphatic, circulatory, nervous, muscular, skeletal and endocrine and I can usually find something that is off balance. I have had tremendous success in helping clients with RLS to calm the body with four sessions. In most cases, a certified reflexologist with 300 hours of training most likely find where the imbalances are. What state do you live in?

  3. Judy says:

    RLS for 30 years. Parkinson drugs have too many side affects. I live in N San Diego county & have not been able to find any reflexologist a in the area. When I search, only massage therapists come up. Any suggestions?

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