Natural Ways to Improve Circulation

You don't have to pop a pill to improve circulation and overall cardiovascular health. Follow our advice to naturally increase blood flow.


| November/December 2013


How often do you think about your circulation? Unless you’re suffering from cold hands or feet, probably not very often. Even then you may pull on a pair of warm socks or gloves, chalk it up to poor circulation, and think nothing more of it. But there’s more to circulation than keeping our extremities toasty—good circulation is critical to good health.

Why Circulation Matters

“Blood supply allows organs to function properly,” says Carly Stewart, M.D. “If an organ like your heart, kidneys or brain does not get enough blood, some of the cells die and function is impaired.” Heart attacks and strokes are vivid examples of what can happen when organs don’t get enough blood, but lack of blood supply can less dramatically affect our organs over time. For example, poor circulation to the brain can lead to feelings of dizziness, headaches and even loss of cognitive function, and venous insufficiency, a condition in which the leg veins struggle to send enough blood back to the heart, can lead to edema (swelling). High blood pressure can also lead to varicose veins and a decreased sex drive.

Such circulation problems can quickly become a downward spiral, says Christopher Hanifin, chair of the physician assistant program at Seton Hall University who has a background in cardiac surgery and preventive medicine. Hanifin points to the interplay between the heart and kidneys as an example. “If the heart does not pump well, the kidneys are not supplied with enough blood,” he says. “Sensing this, the kidneys release chemicals to raise blood pressure and retain fluid. Doing so puts more stress on the heart.”

Good circulation is also critical in healing damaged tissues and helping fight infection. We need good circulation to bring in fresh nutrients and oxygen to tissues, and to help eliminate toxins from the body, says Christina Major, a naturopathic doctor with Crystal Holistic Health Consulting in Trevorton, Pennsylvania. The circulatory system maintains fluid balance in the body—it helps lymphatic fluids move immune-fighting cells to areas of the body suffering from infection. This is one reason why diabetics often have problems with their feet, Hanifin says—poor circulation prevents blood and nutrients from reaching the tissues efficiently.



Think about circulation like a pond, says Michael Finkelstein, M.D., author of 77 Questions for Skillful Living. “When there is no outflow of water, the pond becomes stagnant. Circulation is the same. It cleans out the garbage. Without it, our bodies would fill with gunk.”

So how can you promote and maintain healthy circulation? Don’t assume you’ll need anticoagulants and blood thinners—which can lead to side effects such as internal bleeding, aggravated ulcers and exacerbated kidney problems. Follow our expert advice to keep your blood pumping naturally.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265