Poor Blood Circulation

by Lim Sin Hoe

The blood circulatory system is a vital transport network in the human body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to trillions of cells while at the same time removing metabolic waste and toxins from them. An uninterrupted movement of blood is therefore crucial to maintaining the supply of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, chemicals, water, and heat throughout the body.

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You may very well have poor blood circulation if you have the following :

* pale complexion
* constantly feel cold
* numbness in the hands and feet
* cold hands and feet
* breathlessness
* chronic fatigue
* insomnia
* dizziness
* stiffness in the neck and waist
* haemorrhoids
* varicose veins
* muscles spasms while awake and sleeping
* swollen, achy and tired feet
* skin that easily becomes blue, red, or dry
* poor immunity
* lack of stamina
* sluggish memory
* disorder such as hypertension
* diabetes
* arteriosclerosis

Ignoring these signs and symptoms can lead to serious health conditions including the loss of limbs, heart attack, and stroke.

Although poor blood circulation can be due to genetic disorders, and even pregnancy, its early onset in urbanites have been found to be due to such factors as :

# long hours in poor postures
# unhealthy diets
# obesity
# high blood pressure
# high cholesterol levels
# smoking
# sitting immobile for an extended period of time
# lack of exercise.

Reduce Risk

You can help reduce your risk of poor blood circulation by :

1. Some simple lifestyle changes

Do not sit for long hours without moving. Sitting for long hours decreases blood circulation, causing muscles to stiffen and degenerate. If you are desk-bound, be sure to get up and flex your limbs by walking to the pantry or the toilet every few hours. Doing some simple stretches and exercises while seated also helps improve the qi and blood flow in your body.

Sitting posture

Poor posture while sitting puts direct pressure on the spine, which in the long run can cause back pain, rounded shoulders, a potbelly, and more serious problems once the altered shape of the spine becomes permanent.

Sit with both feet flat on the floor. Align your back with the back of your chair, and make sure your neck, back, and heels are all aligned. If you work on a computer, make sure your arms are at rest on the table without straining your wrist as you work.

Regular exercise

Although an hour of exercise at least 3 times a week is recommended, you should also find ways to stay active every day – jog/walk around your neighborhood every morning or evening; take the stairs instead of the lift; walk a short distance to lunch; walk to your colleague's desk instead of calling. These are all great ways to break the sedentary cycle we are so accustomed to.

Stop smoking (secondhand included)

Smoking damages the body's blood flow system and smoking-related circulatory disease kills far more people than lung cancer. Carbon monoxide from smoking or second-hand smoke damages an important layer of cells in blood vessels, allowing fat and plaque to stick to vessel walls. Nicotine makes the body release substantial amounts of stored fats and these fats stick to vessel walls, hardening and narrowing them.

2. Consume foods that improve blood circulation

There are many herbal remedies that can be used to improve blood circulation. However, the regular food that we eat can also do the same thing. Below are a few examples :

Pumpkin seeds, avocados, nuts

These are good sources of vitamin E, which research has shown can help reduce the stickiness of blood and prevent damage to the lining of blood vessels, lowering the likelihood of blood clots forming. Nuts also contain niacin, or vitamin B3 as it is sometimes referred to, which essentially gives your blood a boost and therefore can improve circulatory problems.

Soybeans, whole grains, linseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, red clover

The phytoestrogens (act like oestrogen) in these foods reduce bad cholesterol in the human body.

Sweet red and green peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, berries

The high levels of vitamin C and bio-flavonoids in these foods help the flow of blood in the body by strengthening blood vessel walls.

Tomatoes, carrots, watermelons, papayas

Rich in lycopene, these foods help reduce arterial hardening and prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, ensuring healthy blood circulation.

Garlic, ginger, cayenne, fennel, beetroot, watercress

Reduce cholesterol levels by preventing the accumulation of plaque, helping improve blood flow.

Ginseng, cinnamon, turmeric

Treating poor blood circulation usually includes enriching the blood and promoting blood circulation. For thousands of years, Chinese herbal remedies have been used to effectively improve blood circulation.

3. Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) treatment

Traditional Chinese medicinal methods of tui na, acupuncture and TCM chiropractic care have long been used to help improve blood circulation. Tui na helps to manually stimulate circulation, while acupuncture and TCM chiropractic care deal more indirectly with flow and alignment in the body.

These alternative techniques can help ensure that you can continue to improve your health naturally without the use of drugs.

More info on BLOOD CIRCULATION here.

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