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What is Restless Leg Syndrome(RLS)?
Restless Leg Syndrome, sometimes called Restless Legs Syndrome – RLS – is a condition suffered by approximately 2% of British adults. Sufferers describe an irresistible urge to move their legs. Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome are often worse when you are trying to rest, and improves when you are able to move. The improvement in symptoms last as long as the movement continues. For many people it is worst in the evenings when you are trying to relax and watch TV or have dinner, and again when you are in bed trying to get to sleep – RLS and insomnia often go together. Travelling is often difficult, with sufferers feeling that they need to move around – this is problematic when flying and virtually impossible when travelling by car, making it necessary to stop frequently. Going to the cinema or a concert is similarly made very uncomfortable by your restless legs and the inability to move about freely without disturbing others.
Sypmtoms of Restless Leg Syndrome may fluctuate over time and even sometimes disappear completely for a while. Although symptoms tend to increase with age, and are more prevalent amongst women, anyone of any age can be troubled by the feeling of being unable to keep still. Pregnant women sometimes temporarily suffer the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, especially late in the pregnancy, but for the majority of women the symptoms disappear once the baby is born. Insomnia often accompanies Restless Leg Syndrome.
What causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
There is no test for Restless Leg Syndrome. Its precise causes are often unknown. In some cases the condition is thought to be hereditary. Restless Leg Syndrome sometimes arises due to an iron deficiency. Before seeking hypnotherapy for Restless Legs Syndrome you are advised to consult your GP to rule out certain underlying conditions, including kidney problems, arthritis, and nerve damage. These can sometimes be a cause of the problem, although it should be noted that this is unusual; varicose veins may also cause Restless Leg Syndrome. To treat RLS in such cases, the underlying condition needs to be dealt with; for the most part, in these cases the RLS symptoms will then subside. Whatever the cause of it, for the vast majority of sufferers, stress and fatigue make the symptoms worse. It is also believed that stress and anxiety can on their own cause Restless Leg Syndrome, with many sufferers reporting that once they have learnt to control their anxiety and to switch off, the symptoms either disappear completely or, at the least, become much more manageable.
Insomnia and Restless Leg Syndrome
The feeling of being unable to keep still and of an irresistible urge to move your legs often mean that you have difficulties sleeping. In turn the fatigue caused by Restless Legs Syndrome and insomnia often make the symptoms of RLS worse, as can the added stress of worrying about being unable to sleep and feeling tired all the time. To add to the difficulties, worrying about insomnia usually makes you even less able to get to sleep easily. Hypnotherapy and hypnosis help to learn again how to fall asleep quickly and naturally.
How does hypnotherapy help Restless Leg Syndrome?
There are a number of hypnotherapy techniques that can be used to alleviate restless legs. By training your mind to focus away from the area of discomfort and onto other parts of the body, and by teaching you to become very deeply relaxed, hypnosis allows you to give your attention wholly to something other than the need to move about. Because hypnotherapy allows you to achieve a level of relaxation much deeper than that which you normally experience, your body becomes less tense, and this in itself is known to reduce the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome. Hypnosis allows you to “switch off” your awareness of the urge to move your legs. There are many everyday sensations of which you are unaware, unless your attention is drawn to them – the feeling of the shoes on your feet for example, or the clothes against your skin; unless you are thinking about it, you don’t tend to notice when you blink or swallow or breathe. Hypnotherapy encourages your subconscious mind to focus more on those other sensations which are not troubling to you, and also to focus on other sensations and emotions which are pleasant and relaxing, instead of increasing the tension you feel by thinking about the need to move restless legs.
Where other underlying emotional problems and worries are contributing to heightened levels of stress, then these too can be dealt with by hypnotherapy.
What else can help Restless Leg Syndrome?
Over the counter painkillers, particularly ibuprofen are know to reduce symptoms in some sufferers. Many people find relief from a warm bath or having their legs massaged. It is well documented that relaxation techniques, yoga and meditation are helpful. Try a hot water bottle or a cool pack (some sufferers find relief from Restless Legs Syndrome by applying heat, and some by cooling the area). Regular exercise helps – studies have shown that sufferers who do 30 minutes light exercise every, or almost every, day experience a considerable reduction in symptoms. Stretching on waking and on going to bed may also be helpful. Alcohol, caffeine and smoking have been shown to worsen symptoms; these substances are stimulants which produce an urge to move about, and where possible intake should be reduced or (in the case of caffeine and cigarettes) stopped. Boredom or drowsiness before bed can make the symptoms more noticeable and so if you can find something to distract you – a crossword. Su Doku, video game or TV programme, listening to music or reading; whatever keeps you engrossed – this will help to draw your attention away from your restless legs, at the same time as reducing the urge to move about.
Hypnotherapy in Manchester
Each hypnotherapist at this south Manchester hypnotherapy clinic is fully registered, qualified and insured. They have 15 years of experience, using hypnosis, hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques and teaching self hypnosis. If you want to find a hypnotherapist in south Manchester to help you make changes, to help with Restless Leg Syndrome, stress and anxiety, emotional problems such as jealousy, insecurity or low self esteem, then go to any of the independent websites which list and give reviews of hypnotherapists (for example www.freeindex.co.uk – Google also displays reviews) and you will see the excellent results which Pam and her team have achieved. If you would like further information about hypnosis in Manchester, for insomnia, self esteem and confidence, depression, for help with weight loss, to break bad habits, or for any other problem, please call 07779 575816 for a free, no obligation, confidential discussion.
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy in Didsbury, Manchester – convenient for Chorlton, Gatley, Cheadle, Stockport and all areas of south and central Manchester.