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Restless Leg Syndrome and Gate Control Theory

Gate Control Theory (link to VA article) describes how our bodies and brains interpret pain and other signals that are carried by our nervous system to our brains. Rigorously studies by the VA, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and many others, the theory of Gate Control is taught to neurologists, anesthesiologists, and other medical students across the US and globe.

 

Simply put, Gate Control Theory states that in order to make one sensation diminish or go away, apply another sensation. Ever stubbed your toe or bumped your elbow and had a sudden reflex to grab or rub it? That's your body exhibiting Gate Control tendencies.  By rubbing, scratching, or otherwise applying a counter-sensation when you experience and uncomfortable sensation, you are essentially distracting your brain from the unpleasant incoming signals.

 

This natural process can be used to help those that suffer from restless legs. By applying a counter sensation, restless legs can be reduced or eliminated all together.  The key is to find a product that delivers the right strength of sensation and lasts long enough to provide a good night's sleep.