RESTLESS LEG- A Case History
I have heard often over the years, or read, that "_________ thus and such ____" requires allopathic medical attention only. In the case of many named disease conditions, nothing could be further from the truth.
First of all, as a naturopath I do not diagnose or "name" medical disease, and see this as a neuromuscular issue which - at a very basic level - causes discomfort, often anxiety, and also contributes to poor sleep quality. So, anyone can observe these two converging conditions. People are coming to me because , despite years of pharmaceutical medication, they are STILL HAVING THE SYMPTOMS. What is wrong with this picture? I think it is pretty clear that if you have been "on" medication for something for longer than a couple weeks, even years, and there is no change or improvement, IT IS NOT WORKING. Your body is not being healed, it is merely being medicated.
We do, I do, what allopaths do not do- an outline of which includes neuromuscular soft tissue therapy, locating and releasing trigger points, adding home self care methods such as stretches and compresses, and in the case of our practice approach, which includes natural medicine education- I recommend and guide in the use of herbs given that I am a trained and experienced clinical herbalist.
Let me outline this and personalize it a little with some narrative from one of numerous successful case histories.
Dan ,50 year old executive, had been coming for massage therapy for "wellness", and after some few sessions he began to open up about his "restless leg syndrome" issues. A medical doctor had prescribed a pharmaceutical pill for him, and he had been taking this for a couple years. Yet he still had the condition, which prompted him to bring it up after feeling a level of confidence with a massage therapy practitioner.
The first level of care was to incorporate specific trigger point work- palpating and locating trigger points in his leg muscles. I found a lot of them and released them- and as any experienced bodyworker knows, this type of therapeutic approach requires a Treatment Plan with a frequency of sessions. So I recommended 2 sessions a week for 4 weeks, with an additional recommendation to drop back to once a week after that time.
I recommended, and Dan adopted 1) Stretches, including work with a foam roller 2) a Castor Oil pack external poultice on the tissues 2X a week 3) Skullcap herb extract, daily, which as you will soon see became an interesting learning experience for all concerned.
I found the skullcap herb extract was key, however this is WITHIN A CONTEXT of a holistic treatment plan. Call this the "Eight Pillars of Herbalism"- a take on my model of the 8 PIllars of Natural Medicine- in this case using the pillars of Bodywork, hydrotherapy, movement, and herbs to provide synergy for the goals of treatment. (this is being called "vitalism" in herbal practice as of late- but classical naturopathy methods preceded by many decades).
Skullcap offers, among other activities, Antispasmodic actions, pain relief, sedative actions, neuroprotective activity....a trained clinical herbalist can guide in the use.
Dan decided to stop taking his pharmacuetical meds , and although our measures were providing relief- here is the reality- these meds were designed to be Addictive, and there was a backlash, a short period of time wherein his symptoms returned full force. His medical doctor, who had no training in herbal practice whatsoever, incorrectly told him that "skullcap would damage his liver". This is in no way true, skullcap can be safely administered to babies. So we went through- Dan- myself - and his allopath- a period of reckoning to get to the truth. I told Dan that I felt his meds were producing a withdrawal reaction, being addictive as they were, and FINALLY, his doctor admitted that a) this was correct and true and b) that he, the doctor, had no herbal knowledge whatsoever and made his "claims" by reading propaganda on the internet. This was a little puzzling , considering the medication was not helping Dan or his condition, and that Dan continued to suffer after years under this medical "care".
After this kerfullfle cleared up, Dan took his skullcap as directed, followed his self care regimen, and continued with his bodywork therapies, and his symptoms cleared up. He also pursued some dietary changes to reduce inflammation within the body. He also began adding a compound formula we call Nerve Rejuvenator to his healing plan. This formula strengthens the nervous system. Dan got better. His body detoxed from the addictive meds which were not helping anyway. His sleep improved to a sound sleep, and his leg muscle issues were gone. Moreover, he had some great tools to address these issues in the future, and he adjusted his life from being overdriven and sedentary to prioritizing self care, which was important to him as he thought about his future, an upcoming promotion, and the general issues of aging.