February – Love Your Gloves

By Izabel Carter

Coping with Raynaud’s disease

February is often one of the coldest months of the year.  Whilst, for most of us, this is an inconvenience, for those with a sluggish circulation system, or Raynaud’s –  it can actually be quite painful.

Cold hands may make good pastry, and also indicate a warm heart, but these ‘benefits’ do not outweigh the downsides.

Raynaud’s is a common condition thought to affect up to ten million people in the UK alone. The reason this is an approximation is that many people have never seen a doctor about it – and so go undiagnosed.   Like most conditions it can range from the mild to the incredibly painful.  What is happening in the body?  The small blood vessels in the extremities (fingers, toes, ears, nose, nipples) are over-sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, causing an attack, where the extremity can turn red, white or blue.  It is more common in females and can affect any age group.

They still don’t know what triggers it; it could be temperature change, emotional change, stress, hormones or using vibrating tools.

If you, or someone you know, suffers from cold hands or feet regularly, please don’t struggle, there are lots of ways you can prevent an attack of Raynaud’s and don’t ignore the signs, as some diseases have silent phases where you don’t feel any pain. A simple blood test may rule this out and give you peace of mind.

The Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Association (RSA) (www.raynauds.org.uk) has useful information to download:

Raynaud’s leaflet (http://bit.ly/Raynauds-main )
Handy Hints for keeping warm leaflet ( http://bit.ly/Raynauds-hints )
Childhood Raynaud’s ( http://bit.ly/Raynauds-children )

Through February, the RSA aims to highlight Raynaud’s and their work by asking you to “LOVEyourGLOVES!”.   Raynaud’s hints and tips will be shared throughout February – so follow @raynaudsuk on Twitter.

If you would like to knit some gloves for Raynaud’s Awareness Month, you can find some free patterns here: http://bit.ly/Raynauds-gloves

As a Reflexologist I do not diagnose, prescribe or treat a specific condition; However i can support your aim to better cope with your Raynaud’s.  As well as helping the blood circulation through the movement of the feet and hands, reflexology may also help alleviate some of the symptoms of Raynaud’s.  Even during a Raynaud’s attack, I can still work on your feet using gentle relaxation techniques as well as specific reflexes associated with blood and nerve supply, and pain control.  You will get some well earned R&R too.

So if you are suffering from cold and/or painful hands or feet, why not give me a call on 07912 951763 for a chat or to book an appointment to see how Reflexology can help.  I’m available at: The Sherborne Rooms, 56 Cheap Street, Sherborne; The Rooms, 1 Ringhill Street, Poundbury; or in the comfort of your own home (in and around Dorchester).  If you contact me during February, and mention #loveyourgloves, I will give you £5 off your first treatment.