If you have ever noticed swelling in your legs or feet, experienced painful leg cramps or have felt cold or numb in your fingers or toes, poor circulation might be to blame.

Meet Your Circulatory System

The circulatory system is actually made up of three sub-systems – the heart (cardiovascular), lungs (pulmonary), and the ventricles, arteries and veins (systemic) that act as the delivery system to the body.  It is responsible for the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body. The blood carries nutrients, oxygen and other life-giving nourishment to and from the body’s cells whilst the lymph fluid removes toxins and waste materials as it flows through the body.

One of the most critical jobs the circulatory system performs is maintaining internal environmental balance in the body. Think of it as your inner thermostat and AC system. Circulatory activities regulate body temperature and help keep pH at optimum alkaline levels.

Problems with circulation begin with restrictions in the blood vessels (plaque build-up) that disrupt adequate blood flow to the heart or the extremities (legs, toes, feet, fingers) causing pain, cramping, numbness and swelling.

Surprising Other Symptoms of poor circulation

Constricted blood flow or lymph movement can result in symptoms that might not normally be linked to circulation. Here are some body effects that poor circulation can cause :

  • Brain issues such as fatigue, dizziness, memory loss, frequent headaches
  • The inability to climb stairs without being out of breath, or chest pain caused by an overworked heart.
  • Unexplained weight loss, lack of appetite and skin tone changes can be signs of liver problems
  • The kidneys with Swelling of limbs, elevated heart rate and higher blood pressure can be reflecting problems with kidney function
  • Cramps, numbness and the development of varicose veins in lower limbs can signify circulation dysfunction
  • Frequent colds, flu and lowered resistance to contagious disease can be a sign that your immunity is compromised by poor circulation.

Prolonged circulation issues can result in more serious complications such as heart attack and stroke as well as debilitating diseases such as:

Arteriosclerosis – fatty deposits within the arteries that stiffen artery walls

Hypertension – high blood pressure

Peripheral Arterial Disease – narrowing of arteries that restricts blood flow

Aortic Aneurysm – weakened blood vessels within the heart that bulge and can cause internal bleeding

Raynaud’s disease – sensitivity to cold and heat in extremities

Phlebitis – ruptures in veins in the legs

While Prevention and Support for your circulatory system’s well-being starts with a healthy diet and regular exercise, massage is also a vital part of pro-active steps you can take…

Massage and Circulatory Health

Massage can improve circulation of blood and lymph in your cardiovascular and lymphatic systems through the applied pressure of physical manipulation. It creates a relaxation response in the body’s soft tissue and sparks certain chemical reactions that improve circulation.

  • Leg massage can relieve congestion and upward strokes can move fluid away from ankles toward lymph nodes in the back of the knees and in the groin and can help release fluid trapped in larger leg muscles around thighs.
  • Deep tissue massage can release muscle tension and promote an increase in oxygen flow throughout the body and especially can improve circulation to the feet.
  • Swedish massage improves the flow of blood to the heart and lymph to the extremities, which improves overall removal of toxins such as uric and lactic acid from the body.
  • The rhythmic and gentle strokes and skin stretching involved in manual lymphatic massage helps to improve lymph fluid movement to detoxify the body.

Massage can be a powerful ally in maintaining body health, especially in the area of circulation, which is necessary for well-being and vitality.

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