John's Path to Relief from Restless Leg Syndrome
John is a 52 year old patient who came into my office around a month ago, suffering from severe restless leg syndrome. I have been treating his wife for several months for chronic neck and back/hip pain with great success, and she has been constantly nudging him to come in for a treatment with me. I had told her from day one, you really have nothing to lose by trying acupuncture. This sentiment is what finally convinced her husband to call and make an appointment with me at the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey in Morristown, NJ. Upon meeting him, I was bombarded with his extreme disdain for having to be here with me, but even more extreme was his skepticism about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. To John it was such a far out, hard to grasp medicine that really put him outside of his comfort zone. But he came, he was here, and as I began to talk to him I realized that he was very eager to put an end to his discomfort.
John had been suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS) for many years. No conventional medical treatments had worked. John had experienced symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS) for as long as he could remember. It would be present every single day for a week and then disappear for a few day, with this cycle continuing to repeat on an endless loop. He had tried various medicines, physical therapy and chiropractic before finally resigning himself to the sad inevitability that this was something he would just have to deal with. I asked John about his medical history and he revealed that he was on testosterone, and he asked if this could be causing the issue. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture diagnostics I did not believe this was the root cause. I had a strong feeling after fully evaluating him that his symptoms of nerve impingement originated in his sacroiliac joint and sacral spine. Initial acupuncture treatment was focused on relieving nerve pressure and elimination from his lower spine down the legs. Gentle needle insertion to the acupuncture points of the lower spine as well as down the legs, feet and ears. Not only did I focus on the affected areas, but I treated his body as a whole in order to reduce systemic inflammation and trigger certain points to stimulate the flow of Qi (ch-ee) and to promote the release of endorphin's, which are wonderful, natural pain relief compounds. I had him lay for 30 minutes where he drifted into a total state of relaxation. ( I knew that based on the snoring coming from the room, music to my ears! LOL). I advised John to put heat on his back and avoid the ice, a mistake that so many patients make when there's suspected inflammation. I asked him to return the following week with an update on how he was doing.
A week went by, and John walked into my office saying that he had zero discomfort since the treatment, and he could not believe it. Fast forward to a month later and John is still totally free of his restless leg symptoms. AND, his back is feeling a hundred percent looser than it had in years! It took him a few treatments to admit that it was the acupuncture that alleviated his symptoms, but now John is a full fledged believer and one of my biggest supporters here at The Acupuncture Center. Although I'm not saving people from death in the ER or performing any major life altering surgeries, patients like John make me grateful to be an acupuncturist. Being able to provide a better quality of life for my patients is my ultimate goal, and I look forward to helping many more people like John gain their health back.
Rachel Specht, MSTOM, L. Ac.
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