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HEALTH INFO - Raynauds Syndrome
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Raynaud's Syndrome, also known as Raynaud's Disease, is when the arteries in your fingers & toes contract suddenly & cause your hands or feet to spasm. This causes fingers & toes to become numb & turn pale, red & then slightly bluish, as the blood is unable to circulate properly. These digits can feel weak & numb.
When the circulation returns it may be accompanied by pins & needles and/or throbbing pain. This syndrome may be brought on by stress, poor diet, a reaction to certain drugs such as beta-blockers or repeated use of certain power tools. It can also be a feature of another disorder such as Buerger's disease, scleroderma, arteriosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, neuralgia or neuritis.
It affects 9 times more women than men.
There are many ways you can help ease Raynaud's through diet & lifestyle. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Opt for the easiest tips first, then consider other changes as you see improvements or if you feel you need to step up a gear to see an improvement.
- a great way of easing symptoms is to drink herbal infusions instead of drinking tea or coffee. Try ginger, rosemary, black pepper, garlic, blackberry leaf or gingko. Sweeten it with a little honey to taste if you wish. Rosehip tea with cinnamon orange & nutmeg is another delicious way to bring some warmth to your toes.
-a delicious way to benefit from these herbs is to make a syrup, e.g. from ginger, garlic, rosemary or thyme which can grow well in your garden. Chop up the ginger or garlic, or take the leaves off the herbs & pop them in a clean jar. Cover them in honey. Leave to stand for 2 nights. Strain off into another clean jar through muslin. Label & date it. The dose should be 2 tsp 3 times a day for adults, ½ -1tsp 3 times a day for children. You can increase these does to 6 times a day in acute cases.
-if you prefer you may wish to consult a qualified herbalist for a tincture or herbal preparation to suit you.
-foods that you should have plenty of in your diet are as follows: avocados, blackberry, blackcurrant, black pepper, blueberry, cabbage, carrot cayenne pepper, chervil, garlic, ginger, onions (raw, or lightly cooked is best) red currant, soya beans, tofu. Increase your intake of magnesium rich foods such as wholegrain cereals, nuts & seeds. Eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel & sardines
-consume plenty of hot drinks & warming foods like soup.
-avoid sugar which can adversely affect your circulation. Check the labels on foods you buy for hidden sugars.
-avoid too much salt.
-try cutting out caffeine in tea, coffee chocolate etc which again can contribute to poor circulation.
-to restore circulation to your hands & feet, whirl your arms about in the air & swing your legs to & fro.
-ensure your hands & feet are warm before you go out in cold weather. Warm gloves & socks on a radiator before you go out.
-make sure gloves & socks are not too tight to prevent further restriction of the blood flow. You can get soft-top socks which are ideal.
-if you smoke, consider quitting as this contributes to poor circulation & furring up or hardening of the arteries.
-spinal manipulation can help restore healthy circulation to fingers & toes. Try massage, osteopathy, Tui Na or chiropractic treatments to see if they help. Find an accredited, qualified therapist & give them 3-6 initial sessions to see if it is the right therapy for you.
-take time out to relax & destress. The more stressed you are the more pressure you put on your arteries. Consider a relaxing aromatherapy massage where a therapist will use oils to improve your circulation, or acupuncture, Thai massage, or catch a sunset, take a warm jacuzzi or sauna.
-hydrotherapy, jacuzzis & saunas can boost circulation. In the sauna you might be given permission to use combinations of the following oils to further improve blood flow.
-try essential oils ginger, black pepper & plai, or rosemary & thyme .....or for the best blends try the following recipes:
15 drops nutmeg
5 drops lavender
10 drops geranium
30ml of base oil e.g. sweet almond oil, comfrey or arnica
10 drops each of black pepper, geranium & nutmeg
in 30ml of base oil
keep them in a dark airtight bottle in cool, dry, dark conditions. Of course you can make up larger amounts if you wish.
Use the first recipe to pour about 5ml in a hot bath twice a day, or massaging the oil into your fingers & toes while you sit there. Do this for 2 weeks.
Now use the second recipe for a week in the same way.
If your extremities are very painful, add 50 drops of tagetes oil to your blend.
Remember to book in for a full body massage regularly; every week would be most beneficial. Alternatively, get a partner or friend to massage your oil blend in all over.
-the occasional nip of alcohol can help thin your blood & improve your circulation. 1-2 units a day is a good guide, but remember to have a day or 2 off a week to allow your liver a breather.
-nutritional supplementation may be useful:
garlic capsules (see health food shop for correct dosage)
vitamin B3 50mg 3 times a day after meals
1gm vitamin C per day
600IUs of vitamin E per day
500mg evening primrose oil per day
200-400mg magnesium per day
15-50mg zinc per day
Country Store health food shop in Bond Street, Redruth are very friendly & helpful. Tel 01209 215012. Or check out your local quality health food shop for advice.
-homeopathy can make a real difference. Consult your local qualified homeopath for a remedy especially to suit you & your specific symptoms.
Remember this advice is to complement any treatment you may be receiving from another health professional e.g. your G.P.
Should you wish to make an appointment for a consultation, or for me to blend a prescription of oils to suit your individual needs, or have any support in making any lifestyle changes, please feel free to contact me on:
Tel: 01209 711686
The Little Massage Clinic
Half Moon Salon
Beach Road, Porthtowannicolle@lifenlimb.co.uk