In examining the causes and cures for cold extremities, the author, Cristina Tudino, outlines a technique practiced by Steven Gurgevich, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, using the power of suggestion and visualization as a prescription for warming cold hands and feet. He uses a combination of breath work, biofeedback and meditation, along with imaginary mittens and snowballs. Using this technique, he claims to obtain a dramatic difference in skin temperature between the mitten hand and the one holding the snowball. He says, “They’re using imagination, but the results aren’t imaginary.”
Whether or not this technique will be successful for every patient is to be determined, but the good news is that the doctor is helping to spread the word that cold extremities are not just a result of poor circulation – they can be a sign that the body is under duress (physical or emotional), and is trying to protect the vital organs by shutting down the blood vessels in the periphery in order to send blood and oxygen to the body’s core. If such a situation is left untreated, cold limbs may not thaw no matter how well we dress for warmth (sound familiar?).
The article also has some interesting information comparing males and females on how fast our fingers and toes may chill. Women tend to chill faster because: (1) their core temperatures start higher, (2) their skin temperatures are lower, and (3) women’s skin layers in their extremities are thinner. No wonder women are nine times more likely to suffer from Raynaud’s than men. These facts may come in handy next time a male spouse tells you he’s turning down the heat!
Here’s a link to the full article.