It is surprising how many of us suffer from poor circulation and are not actually aware of it. We take medications or try drastic cure treatments for the symptoms of poor circulation without ever really getting to the root of the problem.
So, what are the signs of poor circulation? cold hands and feet are probably the symptom you recognise the most, but you might not know that numb feet, pins and needles, cramping, skin discolouration, fluid retention, skin that is slow to heal or repair, spontaneous bruising and cellulite are all symptoms of poor circulation also. You have probably seen expensive spa treatments, cosmetic surgery and of course medications that all are designed to help lessen the impact of these symptoms. Maintaining your circulation should one of the first steps you try in helping to improve these before moving onto more drastic measures. Some of these symptoms, however, can be the result of other health issues (which ideally should be discussed wth your health practitioner), like being overweight, using heavy medication or recovering from illness.
Maintaining your circulation is vital for the proper functioning of your skin. It is the largest organ of the body and has several functions including assisting the body in the waste elimination via the sweat glands and the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that move fluid and waste from the cells and tissues to the elmination organs such as the kidneys and the liver. It also plays a vital role in the immune system via the lymph nodes, and the producton of white blood cells. Connective tissue attaches the skin to the vast network of cappillaries which deliver blood all around the body, and is vital for skin strength and health. If blood circulation to the skin is impaired it slows down healing and regeneration, which causes the skin to lose its vibrancy and glow.
There are a few things you can start doing to help improve both your blood and lymph circulation and you will notice a great improvement to all the symptoms listed above.
Healthy Diet: Eating a diet full of fresh fruit and vegetalbes will give your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to maintain a healthy heart. The heart pumps around the blood which provides the oxygen and nutrients to the other vital organs and all body cells, so having a diet full of these nutrients is extremely important.
Exercise: Going for walks is one of the best ways to improve your circulation as moving your legs and arms will help to flush the lymphatic system and assist in removing excess fluid and toxins from the extremeties. Full body movement is important for those with sedentary jobs, especially those that sit at a desk most of the day. Try for 2-3 times a week as a minimum.
Dry Body Brushing: Dry brushing is a quick and easy way to stimulate the circulation to the surface of the skin for cell regeneration and assisting the detoxification process via the lymphatic system. Using a brush specific for your skin type will give the best results, and brushing for a couple of minutes a day (at least 3-4 times a week, if not daily). You can watch our step by step brushing video here. Dry body brushing is also a great way to move the circulation for those that have restrictions on their mobility, and can't exercise for very long, or at all. It is also a great subsitute for those that are time restricted when it comes to exercise for poor circulation. But just like taking vitamins in pill form, they are not a substitute for poor diet, but a supplement to it. Dry Body Brushing should not replace exercise, but be a supplement to improve results in combination with exercise.
Bodecare recommends a medium to firm bristle brush to improve circulation. The firmer the brsitle, the greater the stimulation of blood to the surface of the skin; thereby increasing capillary action. This warms the extremeities, which helps keep our bodies comfortable in winter. If you are new to dry body brushing we recommend starting with a medium bristle brush. If you have brushed before, or have fairly strong skin with no sensitivies, you can opt for starting with a firm bristle brush. We have body brush packages available that are designed for those with poor circulation issues, where you have the choice of a medium or firm brush.
Are there any other symptoms you have noticed from poor circulation? Or results you have achieved by dry skin brushing? I would love to hear it.
Author: Rebecca Gaspert | 8 Jan '19