Icy fingers | Do you get cold hands and feet all year round?


Image: Vanessa Yvonne


Halloween (and dare I say, Christmas) decorations have gone up in stores, and pumpkins are lining the shelves. Brussels sprouts are in stock and soon we’ll all be going to the nearest heath to watch some fireworks. Winter is definitely on its way and it’s time to dig out the scarves and gloves. Or have you already?


“I’ve always had really cold hands.”


A complaint I see a lot is cold hands and feet. Freezing hands and feet. This is perfectly fine if you’re sitting on top of an iceberg, and it’s still normal if you’re on the platform waiting for your morning train. In November. But there are many people (and usually they’re women) who have cold hands and feet all year round. Yes, to their friends in the park during a heatwave, these people must be refreshingly popular.


But jokes aside, it is not pleasant to be so cold you can’t feel your fingers when it’s only 14oC. This could be a sign of:

  • A physical intolerance to cold (you know who you are, the ones wearing layers and layers and still freezing).
  • A stress response. During times of stress, your body conserves energy by taking it away from the extremities and towards the vital organs, like the heart, resulting in an overactive autonomic nervous system. “But I’m not stressed,” you may say. Being stuck in traffic, running late for work, rushing your way through lunch, fighting your way onto the tube, getting ready for a night out can all cause significant overload on our already taxed system.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon. Less common, it’s a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.


Since many don’t consider cold hands and feet a serious medical complaint, many people don’t seek help for it. (Or they do, and they often get the advice to keep warm.) However, for a lot of sufferers, traditional acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms significantly.


Needles can make me feel warm? 

By inserting sterile needles in specific locations, acupuncture can restore and promote the flow of energy and blood around the body. Maintaining this balance of energy in the body is the delicate essence of acupuncture so that your body can operate efficiently and optimally on its own.


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is widely regarded as a safe and reliable therapy and is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective form of treatment. Practitioners only use sterile, disposable needles. Just make sure that your acupuncturist belongs to a professional body like the BAcC or ATCM.


What else can I do?

Acupuncture is just one aspect. Other things you can do that can help relieve those icy fingers:

  • Try ginger. I prefer the actual root to the teabag infusions. Try one or two thin slices in hot water with some honey and lemon.
  • Take gingko biloba. You can get this at good health stores and it can help promote blood circulation. Seek advice first if you have blood pressure issues.
  • Exercise! Get the blood flowing.
  • Don’t smoke. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and prevents blood from reaching your extremities.


Other posts you may be interested in:

Help your body fight against the effects of winter’s dry air

What has the recent snowfall taught us about preparing our bodies?




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