Raynaud’s Phenomenon affects 10 million people in the UK. In this blog, I will explore what triggers Raynaud’s and its key symptoms. I will then consider what steps you can take to help manage your life with Raynaud’s before considering the positive impact of hypnotherapy upon the condition.
What is Raynaud’s Phenomenon?
Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition that affects your circulation. Typically, when exposed to cold temperatures or stress your fingers or toes may change colour, become painful, numb or experience pins and needles. Movement in that part of your body may become more difficult too.
There are two types of Raynaud’s; primary, where the symptoms are directly caused by the condition, and secondary, where the symptoms arise as a result of a different health condition.
What happens to your body when you experience Raynaud’s Phenomenon?
Raynaud’s causes your body to overreact to cold temperatures or emotional stress. This causes the small blood vessels, called arterioles, to experience unusual spasms, called vasospasms. These vasospasms result in the blood flow becoming constricted. Usually the effects are seen in your fingers although some people also experience the effects in their ears, nose, toes, nose or knees.
A Raynaud’s incident would normally last for about 15 minutes after the trigger (e.g. the cold or emotional stressful situation) has finished.
What are the symptoms of Raynaud’s Phenomenon?
When exposed to cold or stress, you may experience:
Cold fingers or toes.
Skin colour changes within the affected parts, this may be from white to blue and then to red.
As the attack ends you may experience an intense pain, which may pulsate or smart. This is caused by the affected area reacting as sensations of heat and warmth are restored.
What steps can you take to reduce the impact of Raynaud’s Phenomenon upon your life ?
As nicotine constricts your blood vessels, you may find that by stopping smoking the symptoms of Raynaud’s become less severe.
Monitor your caffeine intake.
Caffeine can result in the reoccurrence of Raynaud’s symptoms.
Exercise will help raise your heartbeat and the rate at which blood flows around your body. Always ensure you keep your hands and feet warm when exercising and avoid exercising outside in cold weather.
Avoid cold temperatures where possible.
When you do need to be in a cold environment dress extra warmly. Also ensure you are protected from the cold from head to toe e.g. hat, gloves, scarf and warm, woollen socks.
Battery or chemically based hand or foot warming appliances may be helpful.
If you experience an attack due to cold temperatures, you may be able to reduce its impact by running your hands under warm water or using a thermal warming pack. Both of these actions help to restart the blood flow to your fingers.
Reduce your level of stress.
Planning daily relaxing activities e.g. meditation, exercise, yoga or listening to music can help to limit the impact of stress, which is a major trigger for Raynaud’s.
Hypnotherapy and Raynaud’s Phenomenon
The deep relaxation you experience through hypnotherapy is a powerful way to combat stress, a major trigger for Raynaud’s. In addition, you will learn how to elicit powerful relaxation responses yourself, by using self-hypnosis. During a hypnotherapy session, you will also be able to focus on reducing the severity of your symptoms using guided imagery that will reprogramme your mind to help create a new, more positive reality as you move forward with Raynaud’s.
If you would like to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you with Raynaud’s contact me today to find out more.