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, and decreased circulation is frequently referred to as a silent killer. Many people assume that blood circulation issues aren’t a worry that needs to be prioritized until it’s too late and gets overlooked for years. 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 tissues turning black and dying, which is then a case for amputation.
Modern medicine treats poor circulation using prescription medications, angioplasty, surgical placement of stents and even amputation. All of these treatments can have serious side effects and any time surgery is done, there will be down time for recovery that may be extensive. But there are alternatives too.
TCM and 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, while also reducing swelling of tissues. This leads to increases in blood flow to the areas of the body deprived of oxygenated blood.
Another element of TCM is the use of herbs and herbal formulations. Foods, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper can be very beneficial for those suffering from poor circulation. However, we advise that adding these herbs needs to be discussed with a physician if you are already taking blood thinners for a circulatory problem.
Poor circulation can be painful and can even be deadly in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask me to find out how TCM and acupuncture can help you with your circulation problems.