Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disease that affects 10 percent of Americans and creates uncontrollable “throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs.” In short, RLS sufferers’ legs are constantly agitated, especially when they are at rest. This creates an array of problems connected to sleep conductivity, such as problems concentrating, impaired memory, and depression.
Although the cause of RLS is unknown, evidence suggests that RLS may have to do with a “dysfunction in the brain’s basal ganglia circuits that use the neurotransmitter dopamine.” Without it, normal muscle activity and movement cannot occur and frequently causes involuntary movements.
Currently, the pharmaceutical industry is banking on dopamine-increasing drugs to help relieve RLS.
Luis Marin of the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil has a simpler, but messier, solution: masturbation.
Knowing that masturbation (usually) leads to an orgasm and ejaculation releases dopamine, Marin and his researchers took that leap and connected that masturbation could relax RLS sufferers. Lo and behold, after a vigorous round of hand-to-gland combat, their 41-year-old male test subject’s legs calmed down.
Marin suggests that this ancient method is may be an alternate and cheaper way for men to alleviate RLS without the cost and side effects of drugs.
—Photo Bryan Gosline/Flickr