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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

Massage and Restless Leg Syndrome

Massage and Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. It is often accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling in the legs, such as burning, crawling, itching, pulling, or aching. This condition can disrupt sleep, diminish the quality of life, and leave individuals searching for effective remedies. While there is no known cure for RLS, massage therapy may help reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality in those who suffer from it.

Massage therapy is a natural, non-invasive treatment for RLS that may help relieve the uncomfortable sensations associated with the disorder. Massage may help to improve circulation which improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Additionally, muscle relaxation reduces tension and tightness, which can help to reduce the urge to move the legs and help them feel more calm and still.

Having any issue that is out of one's control and especially one that disrupts sleep can cause stress and anxiety, and the lack of sleep can imbalance hormones and cause other health-related issues. Massage therapy has proven benefits in reducing stress hormones like cortisol while increasing the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood elevators. As clients experience a sense of calm and relaxation during a massage session, stress levels decrease, creating an environment conducive to managing RLS symptoms.

The therapeutic nature of massage not only addresses physical symptoms but also provides a valuable sensory distraction. As individuals focus on the soothing touch and rhythmic movements of the massage therapist, their attention shifts away from the discomfort in their legs. This redirection of focus helps break the cycle of restless sensations, promoting a greater sense of body awareness and control.

Massage and Restless Leg Syndrome

Consistency is key when it comes to managing Restless Leg Syndrome, and incorporating regular massage sessions into a wellness routine can contribute to long-term relief. Establishing a schedule for massage therapy allows individuals to maintain the benefits of improved circulation, reduced muscle tension, and stress reduction over time, potentially leading to a decrease in the frequency and severity of RLS symptoms.

While massage therapy is not by any stretch a cure for Restless Leg Syndrome, it can be a complementary approach to managing the symptoms. It is not a replacement for medical advice, so a doctor should be consulted about all the options for treating and living with RLS. Integrating massage into a holistic care strategy may offer a natural and soothing method for finding relief from the challenges posed by Restless Leg Syndrome, promoting overall well-being and improving the quality of life for those affected.

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