Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural Remedies



Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil  

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Posted by Jessica (Moore, Oklahoma) on 11/10/2013
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The only thing that I have found will stop my rls at night is if I pull oil. Each morning, I pull oil with coconut oil and at night, my legs are calm or relaxed. It is amazing! I don't dare miss a day!

Replied by Sue
Manchester
08/11/2016

Hi, what does PULL oil mean please?

EC: It refers to Oil Pulling. For more information, please see our page on OP here.


Pineapple Juice, Tonic Water, Nutmeg  

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Posted by Tulip (Monticello, Arkansas) on 11/14/2010
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For RLS: 3 oz. Pineapple Juice, 3 oz. Tonic Water, and a couple of shakes of Nutmeg. Mix these 3 ingredients together and drink nightly about 30 minutes before your RLS usually kicks in. I was given this recipe by a holistic doctor and it works every night.


Poppy Seeds  

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Posted by Katherine (Tokyo, Japan) on 04/05/2013
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I have tried endless things to find a solution to my RLS that I've had for over 20 years.... I came across some information on Wikipedia that poppy seeds are an effective treatment due to their codeine, morphine and paperverine (a smooth muscle relaxant) conent. I tried it and couldn't beleive how effective poppy seed tea is! I use about 60 ml of seeds (4 tablespoons) and add 200 ml of hot water and juice of a lemon and shake it then leave it for about 20 minutes.. Then I strain it and drink the liquid. I sleep right through the night for the first time in years and years. It's truly amazing.. although I am a little worried about the long term effects of the small amounts of opiods.

Replied by Karsten
Canada
10/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Cold water extraction actually works better to extract from the seeds. My doc said that that's why I used to like it so much, because it helped my rls so well. That is at such a low dose, you have nothing to worry about!

Replied by Donna
Qld
07/31/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I drink half a cup of poppyseed tea early in the evening. Have done for years. Health benefits for me to numerous to mention here. Staying on the subject, restless legs is a distant memory, and I have peaceful childlike sleep every night. I am in my late fifties and would like to suggest anyone over 50 try it. Quality of life improved immensely. I shall be having my evening tipple till the day I take my last breath.

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney Australia
08/01/2015

Donna, how do you make your poppyseed tea? Thank you.


Posted by Anita (Princeton, WI) on 07/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from restless legs for 15 years (since I was started on an SSRI for depression). I could not go off the antidepressant because otherwise I would become unable to work. When I took hydrocodone for a pain condition, my restless legs went away. My doctor tried me on all sorts of medications for restless legs and nothing worked. When I told her that hydrocodone worked, she said "I cannot prescribe that for restless legs or I could lose my license." So, I did some research and found out that hydrocodone, like other opiates are made from poppy seeds. Now I take 1 pound of poppy seeds (you can get from bulk food stores) and mix with 16 ounces of fruit juice. Shake well for 20 minutes. Poke small holes in the top of the fruit juice bottle and drain out the juice. Drink approximately half cup of that juice every night and you will not have restless legs. At least, it works for me. You can use the poppy seeds twice and then toss.

EC: Just be careful about poppy seeds and employer drug screening tests!

http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp

Replied by Noddy Hophead
Australia
05/04/2013
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

Be careful with poppy seed tea. It is as addictive as any of the more demonised opiates (diamorphine ["heroin"] for instance) but you are consuming a wide array of the opium poppy's dozens of alkaloids (morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and many, many more). In certain individuals and dosages, poppy tea is a comforting, functional, relieving natural medicine - but it is as physically addictive as any other pharmaceutical or illicit opiate. Should you fall into habitual use of this "tea" (or wash, as I prefer to call it - the opiates are on the coating of the seed) you'll be addicted to that full spectrum of opiate alkaloids. The implications of the alkaloid profile are two-fold; the body metabolises broad-spectrum opiates much slower than purified morphine, codeine or opioid drugs that generally contain a single substance. This gives poppy tea a very long half-life in many people, meaning addicts (of which I am one, for the record) - can take it once a day, or even wait longer than a day for re-dosing before withdrawal symptoms become apparent. The downside of this is that upon ceasing the use of poppy tea, the withdrawal experience (which for most addicts includes intense Restless Leg syndrome; hence the slang term "kicking" a habit, which I believe to be a direct reference to this phenomenon) can also be extremely prolonged.... Leaving you back - or maybe worse off - than when you started.

While poppy seed tea can be a godsend for some people, it must be emphasised that there is a great potential for addiction, that it is nearly impossible to know how potent your seeds are, batch to batch from the same store. Because of this, quitting is complicated as taper need to be precise. I became addicted to these seeds for their narcotic properties almost 8 years ago. I am in the process of finding a way to shake my addiction with as little discomfort as possible. I am not saying "don't use poppy seeds", I am just urging caution. Mild as they may seem, they can lead to serious narcotic addictions. People may ridicule the idea of a poppy seed addiction, but for myself and plenty of other people, it is no laughing matter!

If you are going to use poppy seeds for RLS, please be aware that even taking some every 2-3 days can lead to physical dependence. It stays in your system for a very long time. You will then - if you miss that crucial daily dose or cease taking poppy tea - find your restless legs are dramatically worse, as the post-acute withdrawal symptoms from opium can drag on for months at a time. And opiate withdrawal RLS is not your average restless leg syndrome - it can be agonising. I would recommend using this remedy no more than once a week, if you choose to try it. Keep your doses as low as possible, as opium can be a very euphoric, misleading drug that can easily lull one into a false sense of security, and start dosing daily as I did.

I apologise for the negative post, but I really feel people need to know some of the consequences of this treatment, as it lead me from the spice isle through a wide range of "hard drugs", injecting street heroin and wasting a lot of time, money and effort in trying to stay "well", rather than sick from opium withdrawals. I am now seeking to turn my life around - I've always eaten well and lived a healthy lifestyle, but drug addiction does not discriminate! Please be careful with these seeds; I wasn't - even though I knew the risks - and now face a tough battle to rid myself of them.

Replied by Joy
Battleground, Wash
05/05/2013

My people perish for lack of knowledge. Thank you for your informative post. I did not know these things. My compassion goes out to you as a former addict to many substances. Most people try this and try that, sugar, coffee, salt, tobacco, herbs, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Whatever..... trying to feel better and that is how it all begins.

I love the flowers of the poppy and also enjoy poppyseed lemon treats. I haven't gotten into it much since it is usually a treat that is overly sugary with fats, like a doughnut. For me doughnuts are poison.

I commend you for the post and the bravery to hang it out there.... Blessings JOY

Replied by Donna
Qld
07/31/2015

Some people are capable of having poppy seed tea in an evening without succumbing to such a painful lifestyle. That's like saying, for God sake be careful when you have a beer, you may end up a raging alcoholic homeless and roaming the streets with cheap wine in a brown paper bag. Your scenario, although possible is highly unlikely. Like all things, moderation is the key.


Potassium  

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Posted by Udpert (AR, US) on 10/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Not sure if this passes for a "natural" remedy, but it's the first thing that I've known to help my particular RLS, so passing it on. Potassium Gluconate. It's sold in the vitamin/mineral section of the department or drug store, usually in 595 mg doses. I take one capsule before bed and it improves my condition. This would suggest that in my case a potassium deficiency might pertain to the RLS. Natural foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes and bananas. I also make certain not to go to bed cold (I find it advisable to keep warm, at least to start the night).


Prescription Drug Link to Rls  

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Posted by Sharin (Seattle, WA) on 10/06/2008
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Guess what kids, one of the major causes of RLS, is anti depressants and over the counter cold/sinus meds. muscle relaxers too. You didn't hear much about RLS until everyone and their brother was on ANTI Ds. Also, a lot of sinus medications, cold and flu meds.

I noticed this as a child, I could not take over the counter or prescribed meds because of those side effects. I decided I would rather have the symptoms of the cold or allergies than the RLS they gave me, back in the 1960s, 70s,80s, they didnt have a name for it, you hardly ever heard of it. But once the whole world got in anti depressents you starting hear about it. Even Nyquil or Benedryl does it to me, flexeril, all that stuff.

So if you have RLS, you might start looking back on when it started and what meds you introduced into your life. I'm not saying you should go off your prescribed meds, but every once in awhile the insert of a medication will now list RLS as a side effect, but not often enough. I hope this info can help someone. Just a thought.

Replied by Jon
Australia
11/03/2014

Yes, that is because antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and antiemetics reduce the amounts of iron in the brain can cause restless leg syndrome.

Supplementing with molasses or plant-source iron helps.


Quinine  

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Posted by Dolly (Brighton, United Kingdom) on 07/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

This remedy was given to me by a friend and my husband has used it with highly successful results. It's quinine. He takes it by drinking a well-known brand of Tonic Water (not all tonic waters containe quinine) - but I know you can't advertise. I understand you can buy quinine so could be worth a go. (Hmm think it is a natural substance??).

Replied by Jo
Surrey, Uk
07/30/2012

To Dolly from Brighton. Wonder if you could advise about the quinine in the tonic water. When you refer to the well-known brand are you referring to the one that starts with the letter S and ends with the letter s? Also, can you please advise how often your husband drinks this for his restless leg syndrome and in what quantity? Many thanks.

Replied by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
07/30/2012

Hi Jo from Surrey - I'm not Dolly, but my Dad uses tonic water for restless leg syndrome. He uses either Schweppes or Canada Dry tonic water - 4 ounces at noon and 4 ounces about one hour before bed. You may not need as much (his is quite severe). You also may want to check out magnesium (most people are deficient in magnesium). I have RLS to a lesser extent (not as severe as Dad's) and I find that taking magnesium citrate (about 1 teaspoon in 2 or 3 ounces of water) nightly helps. I use a magnesium citrate powder called "Calm" but there are other good products available in health food stores. I find powder or liquid is better than a tablet because it gets into the bloodstream faster. Transdermal magnesium also helps (60% magnesium chloride to 40% water) rubbed into the legs before bed. It does tend to leave an oily film on the sheets though if you don't rub it in thoroughly. Good luck! Bess

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
07/30/2012

Hi Jo, I bought the Schweppes brand a couple of years ago on recommendation from my chiropractor to take tonic water. My neck and trapezius area had completely seized up so badly, I couldn't move. I bought the well- known brand and promptly drank it. I began to then have my negative reactions that I get instantly from sugar. I avoid sugar because I am sensitive to it. I looked at the ingredients and was upset that the second ingredient was corn syrup high fructose and the second sugar. I didn't take any more after that in spite of the fact that the quinine was supposed to help the muscle spasm. I have since learned there is very little quinine in this company's tonic water.

Then, about a year later, I noticed that one of my favorite health food stores here in LA was now carrying a few brands of quinine and of very high quality. The one I chose had purified water, natural bitters, handpicked quinine, lemon juice extract and organic agave as the sweetener.

I just wanted to pass this info on to others that might have issues regarding ingredients. Hope it helps, Lisa

Replied by Share
Il
03/01/2014

Hi I have had Restless Leg for at least 20 years. I have tried several types of over the years and I found Quinine worked for a short period of time. I even had a prescription for quinine capsules however as anyone who has had this illness long enough understands that something that is associated with it is called the phenomenon meaning at anytime the symptoms may reappear. These are the things I have tried and that have been prescribed

Neurontin, 1-2mg of anti psychotics, these minuscule doses worked for years so well that several doctors couldn't reason why! Mirapex, Chamomile, Valerian capsules, Passion flower, Teas, kava Kava, Melatonin Alcohol removed wines, Borion under the tongue pellets, Total blood cleanser, water, exercising, Hylands restless leg product, peppermint, cold applications soap vinegar etc....

As you might can see my restless leg symptoms are quite severe early on when I started suffering with the illness I also went to Mayo clinic after being told I might be a little batty however Mayo stated contrary to others belief it was not a fact however they could actually see the physical manifestation of the illness but however they couldn't come up with a illness they could recognize. However they did find a somewhat of a solution after a week of testing me. That was years ago and I no longer use that method because I became a herbalist .

So these are the ones I found to be helpful to a small degree Borion allergy salts pellets at one time worked like a charm. As well as another one that begins with a M however I have not seen it in a while. The teas still work however since my symptoms are flare up during the day, and the teas cause sleepiness as well as the Melatonin I choose to be without them at certain times because otherwise I couldn't function . Alcohol removed wines actually helped moved my gut around, and afterwards I would get a little relief. Ivory soap, helps a lot, but it worked better when I smoked cigarettes!! Herbal cleansers aggravated my condition severely. Mirapex worked for 10 minutes, water aggravates my symptoms, so does wheat, grape juice, chocolate, peach, and green tea. peppermint gum helps as well as keeping the sheets off my legs my legs, as well as my arms need to be cool. Riding the train causes my symptoms to flare up severely. Lastly vinegar does not work for me. Neurontin does work, however its effectiveness wears down after time.

Which brings me to the conclusion that its seems like its the brain however I believe its the heart due to the pulsating and rapid beats twitching itching and crawling sensation surrounding the rapid beats. thus I apply pressure and sure enough given the right amount of pressure and wait time that place of sensation and others are relieved; however other areas are not relieved. But if I put pressure near the third toe on the top part of the foot from the little toe all symptoms end as well sometimes if I place pressure on the skull in certain areas Folks I have Restless Leg in majority of my body, I a mostly attacked in the inner part of my legs top part where the toes end, hands, fingers, inner arms, shoulders and back. currently I am trying magnesium and God willing a withdrawal of milk products. By way the iron use to work now its doesn't . Yes, they saw my ferritin was very low.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
03/01/2014

Share, I was wondering when magnesium would come up in your post, and it did towards the end. Try Epsom Salts baths, soaking for 20 minutes at a time.

For iron, the only thing that helped get my ferritin level up to normal was Blackstrap Molasses, about a tablespoon a day.

Replied by Prioris
Fl
03/01/2014

I use magnesium to keep my restless leg under control. Works well. I use a cal-mag-D3 supplement with food and add a magnesium glycinate if I feel I need it before bed since it can be taken on empty stomach and not cause diarrhea. You may want to also look into getting something called Calm and testing that out also. I take a potassium tablet every 4 to 7 days.


Rls Comments  

Posted by Alan Rk (Bowral, Nsw, Australia) on 08/28/2012

Could someone pls tell me what type of chair they find the best to prevent RLS, I have no problem at work but of an evening the minute I sit down on a chair or couch I feel RLS coming on. I find sitting on the floor does help, also putting my feet up and my back on the floor helps as well. Last night I took both Tonic Water and the mixture with BI-Carbsoda and thanks to all you great people I didnt get RLS, thanks heaps. I am an active person walking before work, I am 60 and enjoy my work as an Engineer, we eat a balanced diet and I drink 1 lite beer/night 4-5 times a week, a few more an weekends. So I agree with you all, that it is messages coming from the brain to the legs. It would be interesting to know if there is any tie up with MND (Motor Neuron Disease) I find if my legs are hot in bed this brings on RLS also if the weight of the Blankets doesnt help.


Posted by Jezuzgirl (Ada, OK) on 06/02/2009

I am, like all of you have already posted here, going crazy with this RLS. I have read and read and read (and read) about some of the things that are helping you all. I have not tried any, but am now at the breaking point. I will try the apple cider vinegar or baking soda or maybe both. What I wanted to say here, is that I noticed a lot of people talking about how the irritation is coming directly from their legs. My experience is my lower back problems; I can feel it stemming from there, and working it's way down into my knees, mostly on the left side which is where the sciatic nerve is. I believe this has a lot to do with, at least my problem. I also get that nervous twinge in my upper back between my shoulder blades and then get the rls feeling in my arms. I don't know what all this is about, but like many, I am at the point where I'll try anything to get a good nights sleep. Thanks so much for all your posts.

Replied by Anonymous
Anonymous, USA
06/02/2009

You may want to check out The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, M.D.,N.D. and read about muscle pain and spasms on page 67:
"magnesium helps muscles relax magnesium relieves spasms"

Some people increase their intake of calcium to help muscle cramps which helps for a short period but then makes the situation worse. Many health care professionals believe that most people do not get enough magnesium or vitamin d3. If you visit amazon's bookstore online you can actually view information in some of their books which might be helpful to you for your health.

Hope this helps! Wishing you well!

Replied by Pappy
Kannapolis, Nc Usa
10/23/2009

Just wanted to let Jezugirl know that I have the exact symptoms she describes and that she is not alone in this feeling. I very rarely have pain from this condition, but more like an overpowering energy that grows until I have to get up and move.


Posted by Rich (Boca Raton, Fl) on 03/28/2009

Restless Leg Syndrome: I have a theory on this one, that this disease, RLS, exists in the animal world with a different name. WMD - White Muscle Disease.

Somebody on here with this disease will eventually get a blood test. I propose that someone with RLS tests for Selenium Deficiency.

Replied by Mary
Douglasville, Georgia, USA
03/28/2009

I have found magnesium supplements at bedtime work like a charm. However, they also loosen the bowels a bit, but nothing uncontrollable.


Rubbing Alcohol  

Posted by Nancy (Shreveport, LA, U.S.) on 04/27/2009

Since I am seeing more posts about Restless Leg Syndrome, I thought I would share with all of you as a possible solution. I was telling a friend about the Earthclinic web site and she told me she once had restless leg syndrome. She said remembers how releatives used rubbing alcohol for horses legs. She thought, why not and rubbed her legs with it. The next day and to this day she has had no more symptoms. I don't have personal experience with this but I thought I would throw it into the mix to see if anyone else had tried it.


Soap  

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Posted by Mbk (Amherst, Ny) on 05/15/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I am a neuroscientist and I suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. I've racked my brain trying to figure out why it works, but it does. About 6 months ago my wife started putting 3 bars of Irish Spring soap under the sheets next to my legs and my RLS has subsided about 90% (Ivory sop didn't work). I think the effect may be olfactory - the soap has to be strong smelling), but I haven't tested it (putting the soap next to my head instead of my legs). I am the world's biggest skeptic and I'm flabbergasted, but really, it works.


TCM  

Posted by Sam (Miami, FL) on 04/02/2015

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is often thought of as an inexplicable movement of the legs at night. In fact, it is a neurological disorder characterized primarily by unpleasant sensations, particularly below the knees, that result in the movements. There are many different descriptions of the sensations, among them are: a crawling feeling; a creeping inside the calves; aches and pains in the legs; or pins and needles, a prickly feeling. These sensations are accompanied by an urge, often irresistible, to move the legs in order to provide relief from the discomfort. In other words, the distressing feelings include within them a sense that movement will alleviate them; movement usually does help. Since the restless legs condition occurs most often during inactivity, particularly at night, the best relief-getting up and walking around-disrupts sleep. But, so does the movement of the legs while in bed, which prevents easily falling asleep (or falling back to sleep after wakening). Restless legs syndrome is commonly discussed in the field of sleep disorders (1,2).

The syndrome was first mentioned by an English doctor, Thomas Willis, in 1672. In 1861, a German doctor, Theodor Wittmaack, described it as Anxietas tibiarum (literally anxiety of the lower leg muscles: the tibialis). The Swedish doctor Karl Ekbom in 1945 reported his observations in 34 persons with the condition and used the term "restless legs;" later, he observed 70 additional typical cases. Ekborn founded the department of clinical neurology of Uppsala University in 1956, continuing his studies of restless legs, which was known for some time as Ekbom's Syndrome or Wittmaack-Ekbom Syndrome. Much progress in understanding the disorder has been made recently as new study techniques have been developed.

Restless Legs Syndrome may have a genetic component (especially when onset is before age 50), and it is partly related to dopamine activity in the brain affecting function of the cerebral cortex; this is the same neurotransmitter involved in Parkinson's disease. Dopamine agonists (drugs that stimulate the dopamine receptors in the same way dopamine does) and dopamine itself (e.g., l-dopa) are often effective in treating the condition. However, studies suggest that the specific dopamine systems in the brain differ in Restless Legs Syndrome versus Parkinson's disease; the two disorders can coexist when dopamine levels are quite low.

Restless Legs Syndrome mainly occurs past age 50, and affects about 10% of those in that age group; it is particularly common in women. Poor circulation in the legs-which may result from history of smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, and other factors-contributes to the development of the condition. Nutritional deficiency, particularly lack of bound iron, is known to exacerbate the disorder. The syndrome may also occur temporarily during late pregnancy, possibly as the result of reduced circulation in the legs and lower levels of folate (a B vitamin, B9).

Tests have suggested that serum levels of both ferretin and folate are involved in nutritional aspects of Restless Legs Syndrome (3-5). The levels of these nutrients within cells may not be relevant, nor, apparently, are levels of hemoglobin or free iron. Administration of iron and folate in deficiency cases can provide some relief and sometimes resolve the problem entirely. Folate deficiencies can result from genetic defects, low absorption, or dietary insufficiency (recommended intake for adults is 400 ?g/day). The following table displays good sources of folate (see the article Iron Deficiency Anemia for good dietary sources of iron; suggested daily iron intake is 7 mg for men; 12-16 mg for women). Some foods are rich sources of both folate and iron, especially liver (and, to a lesser extent, other meats), spinach (and, to a lesser extent, most green leafy vegetables), and several legumes (beans and peas). Fortified foods, such as breads and cereals, are also good sources of these nutrients. Folate was named for leaves (foliage) that were noted to be a significant source; the supplement form is called folic acid. Current recommendations suggest limiting intake of supplements with folic acid to 1,000 ?g (= 1 mg) per day, but the concern for high doses is eliminated when vitamin B12 is also administered.

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/restlessleg.htm


Tonic Water  

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Posted by Karen (Chicago, Il) on 05/25/2015
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RLS: I drink tonic water with quinine. I have never found it without quinine. I like it so I sip on it all day and into the evening. If I'm not home all day, I sip on it all evening. My doctor suggested 12 oz. in the evening. That amount worked initially but sipping on it all evening is a must now. Every once in a while it will act up despite the tonic water. I don't just have the creepy crawlies that make me need to stretch my legs with no relief. I also have uncontrollable movement of one or both of my legs. I used to have it in my arms also. They would flail on their own during the night. Jerking up. Typically the left arm. When it acts up I chug the tonic water. Glass after glass. On the rare occasion it takes longer to take effect.


Trigger Point Therapy  

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Posted by Trish (Tri Cities, Washington) on 05/06/2012
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I've had RLS for quite awhile and have started using Trigger Point Therapy for the last couple of years. I sometimes have to work at it a little while, but I eventually find the trigger Point that is causing the symptoms in that particular leg. After I have massaged it the RLS symptoms slowly go away and my leg quits twitching. I know I have found the right spot because it will trigger the twitch in my leg untill it is massaged. I seem to mostly find the trigger points are in my hips and/or lower back. You can find the books and videos online that can show you how. Hope this helps it sure has me.



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