Healthy blood circulation is a vital component of life for human beings. Without proper blood flow, life would cease to exist. Blood isn’t the only thing that’s important, it’s what the blood is carrying that makes circulation so important. Blood carries fresh oxygen, hormones, and nutrients that we absorb from our food. Without these components, the organs and tissues of the body become depleted, weakened and eventually stop functioning. Any blockages in the veins and arteries can deprive the brain and the rest of the body from the needed oxygen, which can then lead to a plethora of other medical issues.
A Blood Flow Overview
Poor circulation is a problem that affects thousands of people around the world. Symptoms of poor blood flow have a slow onset and many people avoid seeking treatment until irreparable damage has been done. Poor blood flow can cause pain, numbness, tingling, cold hands/feet and even heart rhythm irregularities.
Another complication of poor circulation is the possibility of blood clots. Blood clots can be very dangerous. They can dislodge and travel to the heart, lungs or brain and block major blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
There are many causes of poor circulation including excessive cholesterol buildup in the arteries, obesity, diabetes, poor lifestyle choices, improper diet, smoking, alcoholism, pinched nerves, bacterial and viral infections, and even excessive stress. The symptoms of poor circulation include weakness of the limbs, loss of sensation, extreme sensitivity, tingling, numbness, burning sensation, and pain. If circulation issues are left untreated, it can eventually lead to the death of tissue and ultimately amputation.
Modern medicine treats poor circulation using prescription medications, angioplasty, surgical placement of stents and, as mentioned, amputation. All of these treatments can have serious side effects and surgical interventions can have extensive recovery periods.
Fortunately there are a number of natural, non-invasive alternatives.
Acupuncture’s role in circulation
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system that has been around for thousands of years. TCM uses modalities like acupuncture, acupressure and herbal formulations to treat the effects of poor circulation, while actually addressing the root cause too.
Acupuncture, in particular, is great for increasing blood circulation because the use of acupuncture needles stimulate nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a key regulator of localized circulation. Therefore, the more nitric oxide, the greater the blood flow and circulation to the tissues.
Acupuncture treatments have also been shown to stimulate the release of compounds like leukotrienes and antihistamines that both dilate the blood vessels and reduce swelling of tissues. This leads to increases in blood flow to the areas of the body deprived of oxygenated blood.
Increase Blood Flow with These Foods
When it comes to what is being put into your body, watermelon and oranges are two fruits that are helpful in increasing blood flow and circulation in your body. Watermelon contains high amounts of lycopene, which is commonly taken to improve circulation and prevent heart disease. Oranges are also consumed for similar reasons; they are high in vitamin C and are a natural blood thinner. They also strengthen capillary walls. Both of these fruits can be helpful in aiding fruitful circulation.
Herbal remedies promote blood flow
In addition to acupuncture and diet modification, there are some herbal remedies that you can use to help circulate your blood flow such as garlic, cayenne, Butcher’s Broom, green tea and hawthorn berry. You can use any of these herbs in the form of capsules, tea, or liquid supplements. Keep in mind that liquid tinctures absorb much faster than consuming them as a tea or capsule.
Poor circulation can be painful and can even be deadly in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask us to find out how TCM and acupuncture can help you with your circulation problems.