To treat Raynaud’s, Dr. Korngold often prescribes the herbs pseudoginseng root and sage root, and borneol crystals.Apply pressure to relieve pain. In a study conducted in Germany, acupuncture helped 33 people with severe Raynaud’s who received seven acupuncture treatments just as winter arrived.If you prefer a self-care approach, try acupressure. Apply steady, penetrating finger pressure to each of the following points for 3 minutes.Pericardium 6, located in the middle of your inner wrist, 2 1/2 finger-widths above the wrist crease (according to Dr. Korngold, this point is especially effective for Raynaud’s that affects the hands)Liver 3, situated on top of your foot in the webbing between your big toe and second toe (this point is beneficial for Raynaud’s that affects the feet, Dr. Korngold says)Ayurvedic MedicineRebalance your Vata. Practitioners of Ayurveda believe that Raynaud’s is a Vata disorder, says Scott Gerson, M.D., founder of Ayurvedic Medicine of New York. The Vata dosha governs your circulatory system and regulates the constriction and dilation of your blood vessels.To treat Raynaud’s, Dr. Gerson prescribes a daily regimen of walking, hot baths, meditation, and whole-body massages with warm sesame oil (panchakarma). He also advocates a diet that emphasizes certain foods, such as cherries.NaturopathyTurn up the heat. Sitting in a sauna or a tolerably hot bath can help ease your Raynaud’s symptoms by increasing your blood circulation, Dr. Mitchell says. While you’re in the sauna or bath, massage your hands for a few minutes as an additional way to help promote blood circulation.Medical MeasuresIf your Raynaud’s causes such intolerable pain that you consult a doctor, you may receive a prescription for drugs called vasodilators, which can open your blood vessels. About two-thirds of people with Raynaud’s who take vasodilators report improvement in their symptoms. Like most pharmaceuticals, however, vasodilators may produce side effects.Red FlagsMany common medications, including over-the-counter decongestants, can constrict your blood vessels. So if you’re taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it could aggravate your Raynaud’s symptoms. If so, ask your doctor whether you could take a different drug that doesn’t have this effect.
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