Yoga and aromatherapy for restless leg syndrome in pregnancy

Yoga and aromatherapy for restless leg syndrome in pregnancy

What is restless leg syndrome? According to The Mayo Clinic “People typically describe RLS symptoms as abnormal, unpleasant sensations in their legs or feet. They usually happen on both sides of the body. Less commonly, the sensations affect the arms. The sensations, which generally occur within the limb rather than on the skin, are described as: Crawling, Creeping, Pulling, Throbbing, Aching, Itching, Electric. Sometimes the sensations are difficult to explain. People with RLS usually don’t describe the condition as a muscle cramp or numbness. They do, however, consistently describe the desire to move their legs.” And this can cause sleeplessness!

Gentle exercise, particularly yoga, walking and stretching can help. Symptoms can worsen if sedentary throughout the day (e.g. due to working from home in lockdown). I love this link I found at MamaNurture.ca there’s a great yoga for restless legs sequence.

Pranayama – e.g. balloon breath – can help by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging relaxation.

Myofascial release with a foam roller or massage stick, or both!Yoga for restless legs

Trigger point release, particularly of the piriformis muscle. You can buy MFR balls or you can just use a tennis ball. Here’s a short video of me demonstrating the MFR and trigger point release techniques. MFR Video

Massage and self-massage. Pregnancy Massage. From the ankles towards the hips/heart can help! I am, of course, a huge fan of using essential oils but please do ask a professional aromatherapist, like me, about which oils are safe to use before making something at home. Here’s a link to the podcast I did for Carla at MyBump2Baby on using essential oils safely in pregnancy.

Aromatherapy
Lavandula Angustifolia. Lavender’s soothing and analgesic (pain relieving) properties can help with throbbing and aching.
Pelargonium Graveolens. Geranium is a topical circulatory stimulant and can stimulate blood supply especially after long periods of sitting.
Cupressus Sempervirens. Cypress can ease puffiness and soothe swollen ankles
Anthemis Nobilis. Roman Chamomile is a great calming and anti-inflammatory so this would be a great oil if your legs feel hot or look red.

Dietary changes can help.
Restless leg syndrome has been linked to iron deficiency. Seek medical advise from your GP who will be able to do a blood test.
It has also been linked to Vitamin D deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency, according to Healthline.
And to SIBO, Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth.