Raynaud's Association
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Topic Title: How I was healed of Raynaud's
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Created On: 02/19/2010 12:30 PM
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 02/19/2010 12:30 PM
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Hello all,

I wanted to share the story of how I was healed of Raynaud's.

About a year after having chemotherapy in 2005 I developed Raynaud's - above all in my hands, and occasionally in my feet. This was very, very unpleasant and irritating for me, even more so being a pianist and worrying about the effect of this on my fingers. In fall, winter, and spring, whenever I was outside I was truly plagued by Raynaud's. A friend of mine who also had the problem (to a lesser degree) showed me that by circling each arm really fast and energetically from 20-30 times, the blood would come back into my fingers. So for the period of about two-and-a-half years when I had Raynaud's, I was certainly quite a sight, desparately doing arm circles in all sorts of public places.

I read quite a lot on the internet about Raynaud's and tried a number of things - to utterly no avail.

One fall I ended up living in a friend's garden house in Germany for about 3 weeks in October-November because I did not have any other place to stay and had to be in that town during that period . The house had no running water; the only water was the icecold rainwater that was collected in a huge metal vat (the rainwater was directed into it from the roof). So every morning I was obliged to fill a basin with this icecold rainwater and go out in the cold every morning to bathe. I had my hands in this icecold water nearly all of the time, since I used my hands to splash the water over my body, wash off the soap, etc. I guess it took between 5 and 10 minutes every morning. My hands were always bright red afterwards (the Raynaud's, curiously, was never triggered by having my hands in cold water).

Relatively soon afterward I noticed a significant decrease in my symptoms. At some point I realized that for the first time in over two years I was able to go outside (it was in winter) without being constantly persecuted by Raynaud's. The types of situations that would, without exception, bring on the attacks no longer triggered them at all. Anyone who has had Raynaud's can imagine how amazing this felt. I made the connection between my experience bathing in the ice cold water every morning when I was living in the garden house, and started using exclusively cold water from the tap when I washed my hands, no longer warm or hot water. During that winter my symptoms decreased by about 90%, I would estimate. It was incredible to finally be able to go outside in the cold without having to constantly worry about having Raynaud's attacks, and having to do the arm circles in public places.

Since then I have continued to wash my hands exclusively with cold (and preferably with ice-cold, when it is possible) water, I almost completely avoid putting my hands in hot water. (Even to the point of washing the dishes with cold water)

For about two years, the Raynaud's has practically disappeared. This past winter, I had practically not a single attack. I even travelled to Siberia in January, where it was between -35 and -40 Celsius during my entire week-long stay, without having a single problem. I consider myself healed.

I am aware that Raynaud's is a problem for which most people are unable to find a solution, and for this reason I wanted to share this experience. I can't know with absolute certainty that the disappearance of the Raynaud's was connected to the bathing in icecold water, but the causal connection seems to me extremely likely. And as far as I know, cold water is considered to be very good for the circulation, and after having my hands in icecold water, they are always bright red. (I repeat that the bathing in the garden house was every morning for about 3 weeks, and I had my hands in the water nearly all of the time).

I hope this experience will be of help to someone.

Best wishes,

 02/20/2010 10:55 AM
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Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your experience with us--it certainly is a different approach!

It has been documented in medical articles that people who have undergone chemotherapy can develop the symptoms of Raynaud's. Sometimes these symptoms disappear after a period of time and sometimes not.

Unless you have an underlying connective-tissue disorder, such as Lupus, Scleroderma, RA, or others on the spectrum, your Raynaud's symptoms would be considered primary and won't be as severe as those who do. If you have any of these disorders, cold and stress are triggers that will bring on an attack and should be avoided, or controlled, if possible.

I'm glad that you are no longer experiencing your symptoms and hope you are no longer in further need of chemo. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story with our forum.


I will persevere & live strong.

Secondary Raynaud's to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
 02/21/2010 04:26 AM
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Thank you for telling your story. I am seeing my consultant this week I will tell him, I,m sure it will amuse him!!!

Raynaud's 12 years
Ileostomy for Familial Adenomatous polyposis. (fap)
 02/21/2010 01:47 PM
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Hi adanepst and welcome to the forum.

I did some research since I remember reading about a similar conditioning treatment and even trying it once.

This treatment was developed by Dr. Murray Hamlet of the Army's Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. I finally located this 1988 article in The New York Times called Simple Method Found to Warm Cold Hands

This was one of the treatments that my rheumatologist wanted me to try 15 years ago when I developed a worsening of Raynaud's symptoms. I have secondary Raynaud's and this method did not help me but as this article points out it may help someone with primary Raynaud's.

Secondary Raynaud's with a connective tissue disease

Edited: 02/21/2010 at 01:54 PM by Sarah
 02/22/2010 08:36 AM
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Dear Sarah,

I was aware of this treatment developed in the army, which involves having one's hands in a tub of hot water all of the time and going back and forth between a warm room and the cold outside, in order to condition the bloodflow in one's hands to the temperature changes.

However, my experience was something quite different: my hands were in cold water all of the time, and icy cold water at that!

With best wishes to you all,

 06/20/2011 10:16 AM
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I have the exact symptoms as you described for raynaud's and from the same source. I will try the cold water treatment. Do you still have to continue the treatments?
I hope it will take effect quickly as I leave for a10 day backpacking trip in the mountains in 2 weeks.
 06/21/2011 07:00 PM
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My Raynaud's is considered primary, but I have a hard time believing that someone could have it worse than I do. I take a blanket everywhere I go and bundle my feet up. I take my blanket to church with me and sit with my feet up beside me wrapped in a blanket. I always wear wool socks, knee high, - 2 pair in the winter and 1 in the summer. I also wear leg warmers quite a bit of the time. I make the leg warmers from sleeves of old sweaters.

I've read that keeping the body parts going to the extremity warm, helps keep the extremity (hands, feet) warm. That way the blood is warm when It arrives at your extremity.
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