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Cold hands? Cold fingers? Cold feet? Cold toes?
You may have Raynaud's Syndrome or Raynaud's disease
Try my NEW Massage Treatment Plan for Primary Raynaud's Syndrome.
Whether you have Raynaud's or not, the winter is approaching and if you have cold hands and cold feet, you know that from now on it's going to get a whole lot worse, before it gets better. Wrapping up warm, with gloves, double socks, furry boots and battery powered hand warmers become the norm, as well as mittens indoors and hot water bottles or hot blankets at night.
There may be many causes, but in Primary Raynaud's the cold, vibration, vasospasm and stress (there's that word again), stress crops up everywhere nowadays, are likely causes. But in secondary Raynaud's, connective tissue disorders, eating disorders, obstructive disorders, drugs, occupational issues and physical trauma are potential contributors. That is not to say that this treatment plan won't help secondary Reynaud's, but it is necessary to point out that dealing with the secondary cause should also be a stragedy in full recovery, otherwise we are doing nothing more than a prescription designed to cover up the cause and just treat the symptom.
I need to take a step back here. For several years now I have been developing a massage technique to help people with Fibromyalgia, and who regularly suffer from moderate to high degrees of pain and dysfunction in 11 out of 18 points of reference that is the criteria for a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. An article and treatment plan will follow as more evidence is gathered, but in the meantime, patients with fibromyalgia who also had very cold hands and feet; to the point of getting constant chillblains every winter, have been showing signs of improvement in their circulation, expecially at the extremities. Their hands and feet are feeling warmer, and less numb, and crucially, less painful.
Not everybody who has cold hands and feet will have Raynaud's disease. Some people are naturally colder at the extremities than others, and this may be due to bad circulation. And whilst it is very uninviting to be touched by someone with very cold hands, there is much that can be done to help reverse the symptoms of cold extremities, and the consequential fear by the patient of physically touching anyone in case they recoil with frostbite.
Of all the treatments offered for Raynaud's Syndrome, none seem to offer, or feel that massage is appropriate. I don't know why this is. Perhaps the drug route is cheaper, easier to administer, or massage is too 'new age'. It is likely that 'massage' as most of us know it, is too strong, when arteries or veins are collapsing all over the place. But perhaps that's the point here.
The techniques I'm creating for fibromyalgia are a FORM of massage, and I call it massage, but it is lighter and a whole lot different than normal massage. You can't place pressure on fibromyalgia points, you have to glide over them; you can't shove your thumbs into muscles and joints, you have to do a semi-circular wave motion, so as not to kick off the tenderness and pain points. The effect is to clean the joints and extremities of toxicity, a bit like manual lymphatic drainage techniques. By combining all of my 10 years of experience in multiple forms of massage, manual lymph drainage massage, body stress release and neuro-muscular therapy, I have (am still) creating a type of massage that is effective on Raynaud's as well as fibromyalgia.
One of the reasons I have pursued this light touch massage technique is because of something I was reading in a Chinese massage technique book that talked about circulatory sedimentation. Now this is a concept that western medicine seems to find both incredible and unbelievable. However, before I became a physical therapist, I was a builder, plumber, electrician and general mr fix it. I was called to drain and repair hundreds of boilers and central heating systems in my time. One of the things we had to deal with was thick black sedimentation in radiators and pipes. Most of this sedimentation occurs at the transition of pipe to radiator where the pressure differential is greatest, allowing anything in the water, like metals, gunk and sludge, to settle.
If this occurs in a pumped central heating system, why could it not occur in a pumped blood supply? Arteries and arterioles are pumped blood and so are forced around, whereas veins are more passive and draw blood by movement through a series of non-return valves. The sequence of blood flow is from the heart, to arteries, arterioles, capillaries, then to venules, veins, and then back to the heart. If, as is likely, this transition results in pressure changes in the various channels, then why could there not be a degree of sedimentation in the extremities, resulting in reduced blood supply, reduced oxygen delivery and the feeling of cold? Afterall, the only way the body has to warm itself, is through muscle spasm (shivering), and the delivery of warm blood to the cold area. Your hands have precious little in the way of muscle, and is instead full of bone, ligament and tendons to make the fingers work.
The effect of this light massage technique seems to be to clear the sedimentation in the hands and allow sufficient blood flow to restore the warmth of the hands and feet, to bring their colour back to normal, and to reduce the pain associated with this condition, which is the result of lack of oxygen in the tissues.
What is Raynaud's Syndrome and Raynaud's Phenomenon?
Raynaud's syndrome is defined by episodes of vasospasm and vasoconstriction causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas, like the nose, ears and lip. Raynaud's phenomenon, or secondary Raynaud's, is a complication of an underlying problem.
Symptoms include pain in the affected extremity, discolouration (paleness), and sensations of cold and/or numbness. When the oxygen supply is depleted, the skin colour turns blue (called cyanosis). When the episode subsides or the area is warmed, the blood flow returns and the skin colour first turns red (rubor), and then back to normal, often accompanied by swelling, tingling, and a painful "pins and needles" sensation.
"Primary Raynaud's" is diagnosed if the symptoms are idiopathic, that is, if they occur by themselves and not in association with other diseases. "Secondary Raynaud's," occurs secondary to a wide variety of other conditions. These can include: Connective tissue disorders, eating disorders, obstructive disorders, drugs, occupations involving vibration, particularly drilling, suffer from vibration white finger, beta-blockers or other physical traumas.
Treatment can include avoiding environmental triggers, such as cold, vibration, etc. Emotional stress is another recognized trigger. Extremities should be kept warm. Consumption of caffeine and other stimulants and vasoconstrictors must be prevented. Prescription medications are available to promote vasodilation and increased blood flow, and surgery may be another option.
One treatment that seems to work quickly, is called 'windmilling'. Though only with medical approval, the act of whirling the arms around like a windmill has the effect of rushing blood to the fingers and hands, warming them and giving them more colour. Best done indoors, in the warm, as rushing hands through cold air takes away just as much heat as the blood can deliver, leaving you with a zero result. Still, worth a try.
My invitation to you is this: If you live in any of the towns and villages in the list below, you are well within a 2-40 minute drive of The Haven Healing Centre, and I'd be delighted to help you with this condition. Primarily, the first thing is to treat you and see how you respond. Secondly, the idea is to teach you how to do this yourself, or teach your partner, so you can be treated at home, saving you money, time and travelling/treatment expenses.
Please call Phil Chave on 01934 740275 to make your appointment or to talk about a treatment plan structured around your needs. Don't wait. Make your appointment today. You'll be glad you did!
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
It's a small investment in yourself, but could be a life-changing experience you will cherish forever.
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