February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month
Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK say Raynaud’s affects 1 in six people living in the UK. These are signs that you might be one of them………
· Your fingers are sensitive to cold
· They change colour when the temperature changes or you are stressed
· you get numbness and pain as well as the colour change
· you experience stinging or throbbing as they warm up
If you experience these symptoms it’s a good idea to see your G.P, who can arrange tests for other underlying conditions. The NHS say you should also see your GP if you only have numbness on one side of the body, you also have joint pain, skin rashes or muscle weakness, you have symptoms for the first time when you’re over 30 or a child under 12 years old.
Acupuncture can also help. Chinese medicine sees Raynaud’s as cold in the network of vessels connecting channels. Cold often occurs either because of a deficiency of Qi and Blood in the body; it is not strong enough to circulate warmth to the extremities. Or there is enough heat but it is stuck in the centre of the body, often because of stress which prevents the free flow of energy.
Acupuncture and moxibustion (the application of small amounts of heat to the body using a special herb) can help to improve circulation, as can exercise and stopping smoking. Acupuncture can also help circulation by regulating the widening and narrowing of blood vessels and reducing inflammation.
· Qi = energy, Blood is like the western view of blood, but not quite the same thing, hence the capital letter!