Posted by Charlie S (22.214.171.124) on November 14, 2000 at 03:30:51:
When I was diagnosed, I learned from my neurologist a little trick that was very helpful. He said to treat these as vascular headaches and as nutty as it sounds, I was told to concentrate on forcing blood-flow from behind my eye, down my neck and into my arms and hands. This has the effect of lessening the pressure on the dilated blood vessel in the head that is causing our pain. It takes some concentration and can be exhausting as you have to work through the pain sometimes, but the pay off can be well worth it. I was often able to halve the duration of the attacks from about 40 minutes to no more than 15 or 20, and with less pain. Sometimes, when awake, I could entirely abort the pain of the attack by this concentration on circulation, but I had to keep at it for the duration of the (often shortened) attack.
Dr. Wright said to think of this as filling your hands and extremeties with redirected blood kept away from the head. Anything you do to retard circulation to the head is the idea. This isn't TM or some psychic feat but our very slight ability to alter our circulation. As soon as you feel the beginnings of an attack, start warming your hands and KEEP AT IT or this method is useless. It isn't perfect and there will be times when it works better than others. Even when awakened in the night with a screamer give it a try as there is always the chance it will shorten the episode.
The best thing about this method is that it's great to use while waiting for medication to take effect and if you can get some place to be alone at work, it may be helpful there as well. In any case, it's harmless, the price is right and it's at least something with which to fight back! I wish all of you the best of luck!- - -Charlie S
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