Posted by Charlie (184.108.40.206) on February 07, 2002 at 16:38:06:
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. It’s not a miracle, but it’s been very helpful to many.
When I was diagnosed, my neurologist said to treat this as a vascular problem. I was told to concentrate on “redirecting” blood circulation in order to retard flow to the head. This is done by trying to “send” blood into the arms and hands or other extremities. When properly done, your hands will become warm and redder with increased circulation. I also found it easier to concentrate on one hand.
This relieves just slightly, the pressure on the affected vessel, which indirectly causes our pain. We all have this ability but it can be exhausting. I was often able shorten my attacks from about half an hour to no more than a few minutes. Sometimes, when awake, I could entirely abort the attack IF I KEPT AT IT. I would suffer only minor discomfort instead of excruciating pain. Do not stop just because your hands are warm or redder. Keep this up until you are sure it's subsided. If you let up or lose concentration, it’s very hard to restart this process. It may take some time for this to take hold but when this works, the relief is almost immediate.
I learned this from the doctor in a few minutes. He simply told me to concentrate on keeping blood away from the head. He thought 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. It’s important to keep at it THROUGH the pain. This will be difficult, but it’s 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 I got from the doctor, as I've drawn from my own experience.
When awakened in horrible pain, it’s very hard to focus, but I think it’s always worth a try. This costs nothing but hard work, is harmless, non-invasive, and it gives us a fighting chance.
I wish you the best of luck - Charlie Strand
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