Posted by Charlie S (184.108.40.206) on November 24, 2000 at 05:27:40:
I like to keep one of these on the current board so here goes:
When I was diagnosed, my neurologist told me to treat these awful attacks as a vascular problem. In less than five minutes I learned what everyone here likes to call biofeedback and it was very helpful. I was told to concentrate on forcing blood-flow from behind my eye, down my neck and into my arms and hands. When properly done, your hands will warm with increased circulation. This takes some concentration and can be exhausting but the payoff is often worth the effort. I was often able to shorten my attacks from about 40 minutes to about 15 or 20. Sometimes, when awake, I could entirely abort the pain of the episode IF I concentrated on keeping down the circulation through the entire episode. What this does is relax the vaso-pressure on the dilated blood vessel causing our awful pain.
This takes no special training and what I'm writing here is all I learned of the technique. Dr. Wright said to think of it as "filling your hands" with redirected blood-flow kept away from the head. Anything you do to retard circulation to the head is the idea behind this method. It isn't necessary to sit absolutely still for this but it IS necessary not to let up even through the intense pain as it's the only way this will have a chance to work. Even when you awaken with a screamer, try anyway as it can shorten the attack and sometimes ease the pain. On rare occasions it can work very quickly and that alone is worth the effort.
As soon as you feel the beginnings of an attack, start warming your hands and extremities and you should have some success. I found that it's a good idea to keep at it for four or five minutes longer than you may feel necessary to insure success.
In any case, this is a great tool with which to fight back! It's harmless, has no restrictions, and the price is right. It's also a great thing to use while waiting for medications to kick in or between appointments. It won't always seem to work but it will often enough to give it a try. I wish all the best of luck with this and feel free to email me with any questions.
Stay well.- - -Charlie S
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