Lending a Hand: A Very Different Approach To Fibromyalgia

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I just found out I was wrong on the price, by the way. It's $1,995 - not $2,995
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I have had CFIDS since 1983. About 6 years ago I began to experience severe pain and weakness in my hands and wrists. My hands became extremely sensitive to cold. The only thing it corolated with was some anti-microbial herbs I was taking to help with horrible stomach pain. Subsequently, somewhere along the way I started taking K2 in an effort to keep calcium in my bones and out of my blood vessels. I guess I've been taking K2 for 1-2 years. A couple of weeks ago I ran out of K2 and had horrible pain in my hands, couldn't sleep and was horribly sensitive to cold. A couple of days later I started on the K2 again. I had no idea that it is needed for microcirculation. Anyway, for now the hand pain is gone. I have no idea if taking K2 will help anyone else, but thought I'd toss it out there. I take a fairly high dose. It's made by Life Extension.
Thanks Michele. Congratulations on finding something that helps. What is K2?
 
This flies in the face of all the anatomy I learned in nursing school and common sense. Their website has no scientific studies listed to suport their claims.

Just how much blood do you think is held in the hands, especially compated to the abdomen or legs? Hands are small and have only small blood vessels. I would think that if impaired blood flow affects fibromyalgia (say due to dysautonomia and blood pooling in the extremities) you would see far more effect from compression stockings, which are far cheaper. I think this is one more scam trying to take our little amount of money.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
This flies in the face of all the anatomy I learned in nursing school and common sense. Their website has no scientific studies listed to suport their claims.

Just how much blood do you think is held in the hands, especially compated to the abdomen or legs? Hands are small and have only small blood vessels. I would think that if impaired blood flow affects fibromyalgia (say due to dysautonomia and blood pooling in the extremities) you would see far more effect from compression stockings, which are far cheaper. I think this is one more scam trying to take our little amount of money.
I know it sounds weird but there is evidence from scientific studies to support the finding that the hands actually are an important reservoir for blood in the body and if blood is not moving in and out of them easily that could be a problem. Please read this blog - Hands Up! A Key to the Fatigue, Sleep and Pain in Fibromyalgia Found?

I imagine that yes, if you have problems with blood pooling in your legs - that there's alot more blood down there than in your hands - but not everyone has blood vessel problems in their legs.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
This comment just came in from Jan on the website - http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2015/12/25/20298/

Like most people with Fibromyalgia and related health problems, I am a BIG SKEPTIC. Most of us lose hope that anything can relieve our symptoms! That’s why I wanted to share my first-hand positive experience with the Avacen 100 which you talked about in your article.

I spent most of my life plagued by vague and seemingly unconnected symptoms like chronic sinusitis, low body temperature, restless legs, and aches and pains all over my body. About 15 years ago, the “fog”, fatigue, and pain debilitated me and resulted in depression. Preferring natural solutions for any health issue, I tried everything — supplements, diet restrictions, heat, cold, massage, electrical stimulation, etc. — nothing worked. When I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I relented and began to take the typical fibro drugs, Effexor, Lyrica, and Savella — I’m not sure whether the condition or the cure made me feel worse.

Then, 5 years ago, a friend suggested I try a heat therapy medical device which was in testing to determine the effects of raised body temperature and increased circulation on arthritis, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. I used the non-invasive AVACEN Medical heat therapy machine for 20 minutes once or twice a day. This is not just an “expensive heating pad” as some of your readers have suggested; it combines heat with a partial vacuum, monitoring for optimum contact, and timing for maximum effect. It couldn’t be easier; I simply put my hand into the small chamber and choose the time and temperature level that I’ve found works for me.

A few weeks after starting the machine, I took a vacation and forgot to bring my fibro meds – I was shocked to find I no longer needed them and in fact, felt better than ever without them. I haven’t used any fibro drugs in the last 5 years! This isn’t a cure, but a treatment that I’ve found I can do easily each day and still get relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The cost of the machine has definitely been more than offset by not having the cost of doctors’ visits, multiple drugs, time lost from work, and the physical and mental limitations of fibro. I recommend the Avacen 100 to all my friends and relatives with pain, and encourage your readers to try it.
 
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Thomas Muehlbauer

New Member
This flies in the face of all the anatomy I learned in nursing school and common sense. Their website has no scientific studies listed to suport their claims.

Just how much blood do you think is held in the hands, especially compated to the abdomen or legs? Hands are small and have only small blood vessels. I would think that if impaired blood flow affects fibromyalgia (say due to dysautonomia and blood pooling in the extremities) you would see far more effect from compression stockings, which are far cheaper. I think this is one more scam trying to take our little amount of money.
I know it sounds weird but there is evidence from scientific studies to support the finding that the hands actually are an important reservoir for blood in the body and if blood is not moving in and out of them easily that could be a problem. Please read this blog - Hands Up! A Key to the Fatigue, Sleep and Pain in Fibromyalgia Found?

I imagine that yes, if you have problems with blood pooling in your legs - that there's alot more blood down there than in your hands - but not everyone has blood vessel problems in their legs.
Hi Camillia,

I am the inventor listed on the 3 U.S. Patents that relate to the AVACEN 100. There is plenty of science behind our device, but I really understand your skepticism as a healthcare professional. Did you have a chance to read this web page which describes our mechanism of action: https://avacen.com/understanding-the-avacen-100/


Scam is a pretty harsh word so it might give you some relief to examine our board. It includes the the innovator behind Savella and the former Medical Director of Stanford University among other exceptional professionals: https://avacen.com/team/board-members/

Cort is correct about the hands. Under thermoneutral conditions, hand blood flow is typically 3-4 times greater than that of the foot and blood flow through the arteriovenous anastomoses in the hand can be 1,000 times more than the smaller capillary. Here's some good research that I refer to occasionally:
http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1201&context=hbspapers

I hope this helps you to better understand why the hand, under negative pressure, is the perfect portal to infuse heat into the circulatory system.

Wishing You a Healthy New Year! Tom
 

Kate

Member
The Bemer also increases microcirculation through electrical pulses. In fact the Bemer pulses are designed specifically to target blood cells. Many of the health benefits of that machine are through increased microcirculation so the Avacen's increases are good news. By the way the price seems to be 2500, on sale for 2000 at the moment.
 

Thomas Muehlbauer

New Member
The Bemer also increases microcirculation through electrical pulses. In fact the Bemer pulses are designed specifically to target blood cells. Many of the health benefits of that machine are through increased microcirculation so the Avacen's increases are good news. By the way the price seems to be 2500, on sale for 2000 at the moment.
Hello Kate,

Thanks for recognizing and sharing the value of microcirculation. Poor microcirculation is one of the single biggest contributing factors to almost all health problems: Diabetes, hypertension, vascular disease, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, early aging and others. It is estimated that 80% of the population over the age of 40 may have moderately to extremely serious microcirculation problems and almost every non-injury related pain can be traced to a compromised microcirculation issue.

You're correct about the price.

Wishing You Good Health in 2016, Tom
 

Katie

Active Member
Of course there will be scepticism about any product costing $2000 (or whatever), scientifically proven or not.
That's a heck of an outlay for most people, not even knowing if it will work for them, and that's the key here, not every treatment works for all.
Yes, you can choose the $300 dollar trial, but again, even though I could afford that amount it's still a large outlay of money. I live in Canada and as you know our dollar is at .72c so...
I do not believe Western medicine has all the answers, some of the "answers" end up making us more sick.
If this device becomes on the market for fibromyalgia and is better known for success then I may try it.
Good article. It's important to know what treatments, conventional or not, that are available and have shown to help some at least.
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
A quick note. I am about to order the trial. A call to the company revealed they will honor the $2000. price for those who get the trial before New Year's. They got a number of calls asking this, most, I suspect from Health Rising readers! That testimonial letter from Jan on the blog was also encouraging to me. Will keep readers informed, hope others will also. I guess readers need to be alert to both blog and forum responses.
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
Rats, another quick note, Avacen site was somewhat unclear to me and I called again. You need to buy and pay the $1995. in full for the machine now, can try for two months, then can return it, minus the $298. restocking and depreciation fee, also minus $25. shipping, if it doesn't work. They used to let you just pay the restocking fee for it but people kept the device for $298. and didn't return it after the trial. You just can't trust chronic pain people LOL. I just ordered.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
A quick note. I am about to order the trial. A call to the company revealed they will honor the $2000. price for those who get the trial before New Year's. They got a number of calls asking this, most, I suspect from Health Rising readers! That testimonial letter from Jan on the blog was also encouraging to me. Will keep readers informed, hope others will also. I guess readers need to be alert to both blog and forum responses.
Good luck Steve! It'll be great having someone do a trial....Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Rats, another quick note, Avacen site was somewhat unclear to me and I called again. You need to buy and pay the $1995. in full for the machine now, can try for two months, then can return it, minus the $298. restocking and depreciation fee, also minus $25. shipping, if it doesn't work. They used to let you just pay the restocking fee for it but people kept the device for $298. and didn't return it after the trial. You just can't trust chronic pain people LOL. I just ordered.
OMG - they kept the machine! :banghead: That would definitely hurt.
 

Luke S

New Member
I’m always interested in esoteric medical devices, but this throws up a few red flags for me. I’d be interested if Tom or anyone else from Avacen could comment.
  • The supposed benefits come from “relaxation” of your body & muscles, and that increased blood flow will provide more nutrients to your body/muscles, reducing pain symptoms.
  • I image this benefit is simply from vasodilation due to the warmer blood being circulated in the body. While the hand warming device is novel, I’m not sure why other forms of warming wouldn’t achieve the same effect. For example, you can buy cheap/goofy FIR sauna tents on eBay which will heat your body up, making you “relax”, and presumably giving you the same benefits (if they exist) that this does.
  • I’m curious about how worthwhile this approach is for people with dysfunctional circulatory systems (POTS, autoimmune, etc). For e.g. I have a lot of problems with thermoregulation (can’t cool down when hot, can’t heat up when cold), and I’m not sure a device relying on a functional circulatory system to do it’s job (i.e. pump blood in response to temperature changes) is a great idea for ME/CFS.
  • I’m not sure why the vacuum is particularly necessary, though I’d be interested in Tom’s thoughts here. A similar product exists called Avacore (http://www.avacore.com) that uses cooling, not heating, to (supposedly) increase athletic performance. The vacuum + cooling makes sense there because they’re trying to defeat vasoconstriction, and cool muscles down so (theoretically) those muscles recover faster to do more reps. I’d be interested to hear why a vacuum + heating is necessary, given the point of Avacen is to promote, not workaround, vasodilation.
  • (As a tangent, people have been making DIY vacuum cooling gloves too: http://instructables.com/id/CoreControl-DIY/ .)
  • Finally, for people following along, be wary of the anecdotes — you may be able to achieve (or at least test) the same effect far more cheaply, and people will write glowing testimonies for all kind of dubious “pain” treatments (see: every “magnetic” health product sold).
  • Their study is junk without controls. This is the sort of study you do for marketing cred, not scientific cred. Caveat emptor!
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Good questions. I hope he comes back on. I think the difference between sauna and this process is the negative pressure that pushes warm blood back into the body. With sauna the body is heating up but heat is being expelled from the body. I would think the capillaries would get more blood as well though. Like I said I hope he comes back on.
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
I get the gadget Tuesday, have to be home to sign. IMO any company that offers a two month trial, even with a restocking/depreciation fee, is demonstrating integrity and awareness of individual response to treatment for poorly understood disorders. Yes, these folks may also be good marketers but so what? I'll even take a placebo effect LOL but they don't last long. I'll report back as soon as I think I have definitive data for me.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I get the gadget Tuesday, have to be home to sign. IMO any company that offers a two month trial, even with a restocking/depreciation fee, is demonstrating integrity and awareness of individual response to treatment for poorly understood disorders. Yes, these folks may also be good marketers but so what? I'll even take a placebo effect LOL but they don't last long. I'll report back as soon as I think I have definitive data for me.
Hey the placebo rate is far lower than what was demonstrated in that little study - which makes me not so worried that there wasn't a placebo controlled arm. Good luck! Enjoy your placebo effect and hopefully the effect the machine brings. :)
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
Another quick note. I'm not a company rep. Their mailing list just notified me of an offer for a refurb demo machine for $2k with a two year, not one year warrantee, and same $300. two month trial ( with the $2k up front). Well, I would have done that one but my machine arrived this AM and I've done one treatment. Like putting your hand in fairly hot water and having someone compress it securely from top to bottom, not unpleasant. Interestingly, my treated hand was MUCH warmer than my untreated hand for half hour or so after the treatment, was in a rush me couldn't note exactly. I did not notice the untreated hand warming up but it is probably a cumulative effect for bodywide changes. Will post in a few weeks after twice daily use.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Another quick note. I'm not a company rep. Their mailing list just notified me of an offer for a refurb demo machine for $2k with a two year, not one year warrantee, and same $300. two month trial ( with the $2k up front). Well, I would have done that one but my machine arrived this AM and I've done one treatment. Like putting your hand in fairly hot water and having someone compress it securely from top to bottom, not unpleasant. Interestingly, my treated hand was MUCH warmer than my untreated hand for half hour or so after the treatment, was in a rush me couldn't note exactly. I did not notice the untreated hand warming up but it is probably a cumulative effect for bodywide changes. Will post in a few weeks after twice daily use.
Thanks for keeping us posted Steve - good luck with the machine and look forward to hearing more.
 

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