Attendees of the first Raynaud’s Education & Support Day, held July 31 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, learned how therapies such as acupuncture, massage, biofeedback and yoga can prevent or minimize Raynaud’s attacks; that “healing foods” such as avocados can boost the body’s defenses against disease; and how to guard against stressors that can trigger spasms.

The full-day program of lectures, workshops and product demonstrations was held in conjunction with the Scleroderma Foundation’s annual patient conference, whose attendees attended many of the Raynaud’s sessions. (Although few people with Raynaud’s have scleroderma, those with systemic scleroderma usually have Raynaud’s as a component of their disease.)

The agenda of Raynaud’s-specific talks included sessions about the medical aspects of the disease, nutrition, alternative therapies, advocacy, products that help to prevent Raynaud’s attacks and/or treat ulcers, and strategies Raynaud’s sufferers can use for coping with situations in the workplace, the marketplace and at home. 

“We’re very pleased with the success of our first event,” said Lynn Wunderman, founder and chair of the Raynaud’s Association, “Feedback from attendees regarding the quality of our session content has been very positive, and that’s the most important measure of the value we’re providing Raynaud’s patients and their families.

The kick-off speaker, Francesco Boin, M.D., discussed the medical aspects of Raynaud’s and treatment options.   Dr. Boin, assistant professor of medicine and staff physician at the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center in Baltimore, is involved in the clinical care of pati