By Hannah Schenker
Have you ever had that gnawing feeling in your limbs, an uncontrollable urge to move your legs as you are finally lying down to rest? It can be characterized as an itching, burning or crawling pain. For some people, especially pregnant women, this can be more than just a passing irritation. It can become a nightmare, and is known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
For this unlucky 15 per cent or so of pregnant women, symptoms peak during the seventh and eighth months of pregnancy, and it can be difficult to find relief. Symptoms usually flare up when you’ve finally come to rest after a long period of sitting still, like watching a movie or travelling long distances by car. Most feel it in their lower legs, though some have been known to experience the sensations in their upper legs and even their arms and hands. For expectant mothers who are already bravely tackling sleep deprivation thanks to heartburn, pregnancy insomnia and the ever-present need to pee, this can be yet another mountain to tackle.
While some say it may be genetic in origin, research continues into the real causes of this syndrome, as it may be that hormones or dietary deficiencies play a part. Not only are pregnant women affected who have never suffered from this before, it is also experienced by women who are not pregnant, as well as children and men. However, women who have experienced RLS before tend to find it gets worse during pregnancy.
So what can you do? Here are some tips to help you find relief:
- Give Martin & Pleasance oral Homoeopathic Complex sprays a go. They have formulated a lactose-free homoeopathic formulation, prepared by traditional methods and created with the inclusion of Schuessler Tissue Salts. Homoeopathic formulations stimulate the body’s own ability to assist in restoring natural equilibrium and health.
- Use your muscles during the day. Do some easy form of yoga or stretching to get the blood flowing, or get some gentle exercise like walking around the block.
- Stretching or using your muscles in the night can be used to relieve the sensations as well. This flexing/relaxation technique can help during a flare-up: A bit like Yoga Nidra, spend time moving your attention through each part of your body, from your toes to your head, flexing the muscles tight and then moving on. Toes, calves, knees, thighs, etc. Finish with a few deep breaths, hopefully by now relaxing more deeply into your bed and into sleep.
- Reduce caffeine and carbs before bed.
- Fill up on iron-rich foods like leafy greens, beans and chickpeas, as low iron has also been associated with RLS.
- Have heat packs ready to be placed on the affected areas for soothing.
To see the whole Martin and Pleasance Homoeopathic Complex Range, please click HERE.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.