Can acupuncture help allieviate my restless leg syndrome?

Q: I am enquiring if acupuncture could help allieviate my restless leg syndrome (Ekbom Syndrome)symptoms which are now effective my ability to rest in the evening and to sleep.

 

A:  Restless leg syndrome is awful, as this 'expert' knows from personal experience back in the 80s when nothing, but nothing, would make the problem relent. It is now gaining recognition as a diagnosable problem, with a new name(!), and there are a number of treatment options which are being explored. A review article
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101885/
 
cites several of these, and the one acupuncture review this in turn cites
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18843716
 
mentions two to three studies which are interesting but generally concludes that the majority of studies are too small and not methodologically sound enough to draw firm conclusions.
 
From a Chinese medicine perspective, however, there are entirely different ways of looking at the balance of energies within the body which can sometimes make sense of problems such as these within a theoretical structure which is quite different from western medicine. Problems like restless legs syndrome, where the leg feels as though it is 'over-energised' can sometimes make sense in a system of thought which looks at the free flow of energy within the system, and tries to understand the pathologies which arise in terms of excesses and deficiencies, and especially blockages.  A skilled practitioner should very quickly be able to make sense of the energy flows within the system, and be able to offer you some sense of whether there is something which is treatable.
 
Even where this is not the case it is important to mention that the older theories of Chinese medicine were primarily aimed at balancing the whole system, seeing symptoms only as alarm bells, not the problem itself. Working in this kind of way our members very often have an effect on problems without necessarily being able to give a highly specific audit trail of what is causing something to go wrong.
 
It would be worth your while to visit a BAcC member local to you to seek their advice and ask whether your specific presentation is something which they feel they may be able to help with.

 

 

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