Posted by Robin (188.8.131.52) on September 04, 2001 at 19:47:42:
In Reply to: Coping Strategies posted by DT on September 04, 2001 at 16:48:32:
in so much pain. Wow, just when I think I have it bad, I see how much others suffer and it makes me feel really lucky. As far as what I do while my headaches are at 8-9 on the kip scale, it varies. Someone on here, named Charlie, suggested I try this method of circulatory feedback. I don't know how to post a link, so I'll paste his message at the bottom. Anyway, I've been trying this, and it seems to help some. I'm not sure I'm doing it right, but maybe it helps to just take my mind off of the pain and put it to use elsewhere. It's worth a try. I also use O2 during my headaches. If I catch it right away, it helps a lot. If it's one that wakes me up (which, unfortunately most of them do) and it's full blown before I get out of bed, the oxygen doesn't seem to help a whole lot. I've also read on here that some start exercizing in some manner. If I have them at work, which I do at times, I just keep really active. They seem to not get as severe when I keep moving. Either the activity helps, or God is just smiling on me because I'm at work and unable to get away from people to suffer alone. I do tend to get more headaches while I'm sleeping, or even while I'm relaxing at home...so maybe there's something to the activity theory. If you read back through the message archives, you might get some more ideas. Anyway, I wish you luck with the doctors and my heart goes out to you being in so much pain. I wish I could help more.
Wishing you PFDAN,
Dr. Wright's Circulatory Feedback
This is not transcendental meditation, imagery, relaxation, or anything psychic. It's entirely physical and takes a lot of work and concentration. Give this method a good workout. With it, I had a fighting chance.
When I was diagnosed, my neurologist said to treat this as a vascular problem. As odd as it sounds, I was told to concentrate on forcing blood-flow from behind my throbbing eye, down my neck and into my arms and hands. This probably isn’t what happens but it’s useful. When properly done your hands will become warm and redder with increased circulation. I also found it much easier to concentrate on one hand.
What this does is relieve just slightly, the pressure on the affected vessel which causes our pain. We all have this ability but it can be exhausting. I was often able shorten my attacks from about 40 minutes to no more than 15 or 20. Sometimes, when awake, I could entirely abort the attack IF I KEPT AT IT. I would suffer only minor twitches instead of the killer pain. Do not stop just because your hands are warm or redder. Keep this up until you are sure it's subsided.
I learned this from the Doctor in about five minutes. He simply told me to concentrate on keeping blood away from the head and to “redirect” it anywhere else. The easiest is the arms and hands but any place that works for you is fine. He said to think of it as "filling your hands" with redirected blood. Anything one does to retard circulation to the head, will help. It is important to keep at it THROUGH the pain. This will be hard, but it is the only way this technique will work. I like to keep at it a few minutes longer than seems necessary to insure success.
This will not always work but I think it will always have at least some effect on the severity and duration of the attacks. It can be useful between medications or while waiting for some other drug to take effect. All it takes is a little practice. It was fairly easy to learn and what I'm writing here is more than what I got from the Doctor, as I've added some of my own experience.
I used this even when awakened in horrible pain. This is very hard but I think it does shorten them. It takes some intense concentration but it can be worth the effort. This costs nothing but hard work, is harmless, non-invasive, and it gives us a fighting chance.
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