Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cool Off Your Palm

Summer is almost here, and in places like Texas, the heat already feels like summer. Many MSers are heat sensitive and experience exaggerated symptoms with heat. What can we do? Suggestions include staying in air conditioned areas, wear specialized cooling products, and drink cool liquid. Sound easy enough, but it may be even easier than it sounds.

Research has found that cooling one hand allows heat-sensitive people to extend their physical activities. Research subjects walked on a treadmill. When symptoms began to exaggerate or the subjects became fatigued, they cooled their "non-hairy skin surfaces" (that's the palm of their hands), and were able to continue.

Simply cooling the palm of one hand can increase endurance. I remember when I was overheated at the beach, I could cool off by walking in the shallow waves. If cooling my feet can actually make me feel cooler, it makes sense that cooling my hands can do the same. Even if it's only the palm on one hand.

And guess what! More research with larger groups is needed. Most of the research results I read indicate that more research is needed. Until we hear more, I think I'll keep my palm cool in the hot Texas summer.

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