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By P. Sze | Last updated: December 16, 2022

5 Acupressure Points For Restless Leg Syndrome That Few People Know About

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Dr. Gene Wei DOM, AP is a Primary Care Provider and Board Certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Physician in the state of Florida (NCCAOM).

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These Acupressure Points For Restless Leg Syndrome Could Be Your Key To Natural Comfort

To those who have not experienced it, restless leg syndrome may sound harmless. However, those who have experienced restless leg syndrome know of the sleepless nights and endless discomfort this condition causes. As the condition does not have a cure, you can only apply the management techniques available such as lifestyle change and medication. This condition constantly haunted me until I discovered these five acupressure points for restless leg syndrome.

Most people who use the five acupressure points for restless leg syndrome method of treatment feel fast and lasting relief concerning their restless legs. Acupressure and acupuncture for restless legs syndrome are such easy and universal treatment options. And they’ve both shown potential help alleviate the symptoms associated with this syndrome. Once you learn how to locate and use these pressure points for restless leg syndrome you are sure to experience more restorative sleep. Here I will share my top five acupressure points for restless leg syndrome so you can enjoy natural relief from your symptoms and sleep disturbances as well.

Can Acupuncture Help Restless Legs Syndrome?

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Like all methods of natural treatment, there is the question of efficacy when it comes to acupoints. These methods both stem from historical Chinese medicine, and have shown great potential for treating the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. They’ve also been used successfully for thousands of years, as treatments for a wide variety of ailments. The practice of acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system, a system that has direct influence over many of the body’s sensory processes, functions, and the quality of sleep we experience.

The National Institute of Health has run numerous studies concerning acupoints. The results have shown that it is an effective method for treating a number of conditions, including conditions that cause chronic discomfort and sleep disorders, like Parkinson’s disease which share some of the same root cause of Restless Leg Syndrome, e.g., dopamine deficiency.

Meanwhile, a more recent review and meta-analysis analyzing the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of restless leg syndrome found sufficient data to support that acupuncture is an effective treatment option for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

A 2022 research that supports that acupressure reduces the severity of restless legs syndrome in hemodialysis patients applied acupressure on a number of pressure points including Zusanli (ST36), Yanglingquan (GB34), Sanyinjiao (SP6), and Chengshan (BL57), which I would now proceed to discuss in full details.

5 Acupressure Points For Restless Leg Syndrome

Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)

Zusanli
Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)

This point is part of the stomach channel and with good reason. Restless leg syndrome has no distinct cause, but it is believed to be related to gastrointestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

ST-36 has been included in this list because it regulates any stagnant energy in the intestinal area that may be leading to restless leg discomfort and triggering related insomnia from a Chinese medicine point of view. It also alleviates pain along most of the stomach channel, which is helpful since the channel runs down the legs.

The ST-36 point is located 3 cun below the ST-35 point at one finger’s width outwards from the tibia. I have found it easier to find the indented area beneath your knee cap and follow it down your tibia 3 cun. At that point, you can shift your fingers 1 cun to the outside of your tibia (as the acupoint is 1 finger breadth to the outside of the tibia) and apply direct pressure.

In acupuncture for restless leg syndrome an acupuncture pin would be inserted here, but for at-home treatments finger pressure or a dull pen cap will do. Press firmly for a few minutes until a warm sensation is felt, and be careful not to damage your skin. Dr. Gene Wei suggests treating this acupoint before bed as it may help you achieve a more restful sleep without the interruptions of your restless legs.

ST-36  is also one of the effective acupressure points for knee pain.

Acupoint: GB-34 (Other Names: Gallbladder-34/Yang Ling Quan/Yang Mound Spring)

This point is found along the gallbladder channel. It is one of my personal favorites because it is easy to locate and provides quick relief. This acupressure point is often used for resolving pain and discomfort in the lower extremities, which are issues that are directly linked to restless leg syndrome.. The calm and comfort that results from treating this acupoint will help turn your restless nights back into restorative sleep.

To find this acupoint, it is helpful to sit down. I recommend sliding your hand down the side of your knee until you pass a large bony bump on the outer side of your shin. This is the top of your fibula bone, and the GB-34 point is in the indent right beneath and in front of it. Press and gently rub this point until your restless leg symptoms diminish.

GB-34 is also one of the acupuncture points for hip pain.

Acupoint: SP-9 (Other Names: Spleen-9/Yin Ling Quan/Yin Mound Spring)

In the spleen channel, you can find yet another easy-to-locate and widely used pressure point for restless leg syndrome. This point is known for its ability to reduce pain in the knee area and improve the flow of internal fluids. As a result, you may find that your legs retain less fluid and feel less restless when you are trying to enjoy some restorative sleep. According to Dr. Gene Wei, since this point is used in TCM to help with intestinal health, you may also get added benefits as intestinal health may be related to restless leg syndrome.

The SP-9 point is easy to find once you have identified the GB-34 point that was discussed prior. The SP-9 point is in a very similar location but on the inside of the lower leg. It is almost directly across from the GB-34 point, and it can be identified by a slight angling of the bone. When you apply pressure to the proper location, you should feel a gentle and soothing warm sensation.

SP-9 is also one of the useful acupressure points for snoring.

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)
Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

This point is so effective on pain relief that it is commonly used as a treatment for both menstrual cramps and labor pains. The pain relief benefits of spleen channel pressure point 6 can extend through all 3 channels on the inner leg to help relieve the discomfort associated with restless leg symptoms.

To find SP-6, you will want to start by finding the bony protrusion on your outer ankle. Then use the width of four fingers to measure up your leg. This acupressure point for restless leg syndrome can be located at that measurement at the rear edge of your tibia bone.

SP-6 is also a good acupressure point for weight loss.

Acupoint: Bl-57 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-57/Cheng Shan/Support the Mountain)

Restless leg syndrome can manifest with cramps or mild cramp-like sensations in the legs. Luckily, Bl-57 is perfect for managing leg muscle discomfort. This acupressure point has made our list of acupressure points for restless leg syndrome since it has a soothing effect on irritated muscles and discomfort in the legs.

This point can be challenging to locate at times, so I have found that it is easiest to find the central point on the back of your leg, between your heel and the back of your knee. This point is commonly located at the base of your relaxed calf muscle, and unlike the other acupoints, you will not feel any bone when you apply pressure. Instead, you will feel firm muscles, and you can hold gentle pressure in that area to avoid muscle damage.

Bl-57 is also one of the top 10 acupressure points to relieve body pains and aches.

Written by

P. Sze

P. Sze

P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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