My question is for a close friend who has Raynaud’s Syndrome, where blood does not reach body extremities - fingers, toes, and in some cases a general weakening of muscles - including esophagus. [Ed. note: Cold and stress can exacerbate this condition.]

I was wondering if you had any suggestions in dealing with this with regards to guided imagery ?



Dear Madeleine,

We have nothing specific for this, but the General Wellness imagery might be helpful in an overall way.  

On his own, your friend could also imagine warming and softening the blood vessels of his extremities to try and reverse the micro-spasms in the capillaries.  He could imagine, for instance, his hands and toes soaking in warm, comfy water; or standing by a roaring fire in the fireplace.  This is a favorite bit of warm-up imagery that can be surprisingly effective - biofeedback pioneers Elmer and Alyce Green used to have their kids do this during cold New England winters, as an alternative to messing with the thermostat.

If the source of the Raynaud’s is secondary - say, from an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis - then the autoimmune imagery of the R.A./Lupus imagery would be useful and would target the whole body, including the extremities.  

All best wishes,