Relaxation techniques

Hi, have suffered from RLS since a teenager, but it all got much worse a year or so ago. As written in a previous post, I began pramipexole, but it stopped working and I got augmentation, so after reading this forum, I decided to try to avoid the dopmanine agonists. So, am trying FODMAPS diet, valium (works) and codeine (worked for a while and then didn't) and then decided to try hypnotherapy - suggested by a family member. The practitioner I visited also uses a range of other techniques, including EFT, and relaxation and breathing exercises, which I have been doing, and am very surprised to say, have been working. My legs aren't "cured" but the intensity is less and now manageable with a small dose of valium , massage and stretching - maybe the diet I am on also helps, but I am unsure. It is harder than just popping a pill, as it involves a time commitment, and had you asked me whether I thought it would work I would have been very sceptical, but there is no doubt in my mind it has helped the RLS. So I thought I would let you all know in case anyone is interested in exploring this avenue. Note, it was a while after stopping the dopamine ags., before the immediate worsening calmed down. Thanks

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  • Hi Eve- great that you are geting relief at last.

    You are correct in that it takes a while for underlying symptoms to establish after coming off the DAs. Well done.

    It's difficult to judge on the hypnotherapy or diet change has effected the "cure". I know there are many food triggers that kick off rls. So if you are on a "healthy" diet that may well be doing it for you.

    Also , I believe that stress is a major contributor to rls, so the hypnotherapy will be a great help.

    I'm delighted you've got relief and shared the results. Long may it work for you.😇

  • I had severe RLS and the usual medicines were temporary or had impossible side effects. I was sure it was somehow food related so I eventually decided that a FODMAP diet might be effective. I now have very mild RLS. I sleep for a few hours, sometimes all night. If I wake, I walk around for 5 to 30 minutes and then usually go back to sleep. This is a vast improvement.

    The diet is fairly intrusive but I thoroughly recommend it. I point out that its important to stick with it absolutely. Also note that its not a HEALTHY diet. Its an exclusion diet that should work in 6 to 12 weeks. After this period you then re-introduce foods in a careful and systematic manner to expand your diet as much as possible. There does sem to be some relationship between IBS and RLS. I have heard that a big fraction of IBS people also have RLS and that their RLS goes away when they apply the FODMAP diet rules.

    For info see Monash University website where you can buy a phone app that is apparently a great help. There are other sites in UK and US that have lots of information on their sites.

    I would strongly reccomend that you get help from a dietician. Ask if they have lots of experience with the FODMAP diet.

    Good luck

  • hi Graham, thankyou very much for your informative and helpful reply.

  • Good to hear that you are seeing some improvements with your new regime, long may it last. Thanks for the update. .Pipps x

  • Hope you don't mind but I have a few questions:

    Have you actually tried the EFT for the RLS?

    Also what about the hypnotherapy- how have you found it?

    Do you have to do some thing when the legs start to go or is there a regular practice that's needed?

    Thanks

    glad you are getting place with the RLS long may it last.

  • Hi Raffs, no, I don't mind at all :)

    What I have started to do is a 10 minute relaxation session every afternoon - it is a free thing you can use, called FASTNAP10, and I find that it definitely relaxes me which then has the knock-on effect of being more relaxed in the evening and so my legs aren't so bad. Incidentally, I went on holiday, and by the end, actually had 3 nights of no RLS !!! - I did the relaxation stuff every day and also had escaped from the stresses and anxieties at home! I also do it in the morning if I feel I am getting too anxious/stressed. So, in answer to that part of your question, I guess it is an on-going attempt to keep anxiety and stress levels down, which will then help the night RLS. The therapist has also started me on EFT, as you asked about - I got a book he recommended and there is actually a section on RLS. Like all the EFT uses, you tap when there is an issue; so when your legs get going, you "tap" on that, as many times as needed, until they calm down. To be honest, I haven't managed that yet- did a couple of rounds of tapping, and then gave in and took a valium, so the don't know whether the improvement was drug or EFT !. However, I do believe it has a place, even if to "tap" on being anxious about having RLs, etc.

    So, regular practice re decreasing stress levels, and then the EFT as needed. I hope this helps - have you tried EFT?

  • I had a friend who trained in it, (but stopped using it some years ago), and he has done it on me. I had encountered a traumatic event that was playing on my mind and after one session although I could remember the even the fear/trauma was gone! I would not have believed it had I not experienced it myself.

  • Sounds like you could find it helpful for the RLS as well then