If you’re looking for ways to improve your blood circulation, here are some tips:
Dry skin brushing: Daily, dry skin brushing, first thing in the morning, is a routine that can be incorporated into your life to help stimulate microcirculation. Choose a natural bristle brush with a long handle. With long, smooth strokes, sweep the brush towards the heart, starting with the soles of your feet and working upwards. Brush arms, legs and buttocks in an upward direction. Then brush your back and torso in a downward direction and finally sweep across the shoulders.
Exercise: Studies have shown that anaerobic or resistance exercise can improve circulation. Both cardio and weight lifting are good for stimulating the blood flow. Start your workout with stretching and small exercise for 2-3 minutes, to warm up muscles and joints. Then get the blood pumping with activities like running, swimming, biking, weight lifting or Pilates.
Ginkgo biloba: This herb is thought to stabilize the blood vessels allowing the blood to flow more smoothly, improving circulation in hands and feet, and increasing blood flow to the brain.
Cayenne pepper: A great way to increase blood circulation and metabolic rate. It will also help strengthen arteries and blood vessels, and can prevent toe numbness and poor circulation in feet.
Fish: Salmon and herring can benefit the heart as they contain omega 3 fats which can help improve circulation.
Ginger: This stimulates the blood flow to all organs, boosts a sluggish immune system and clears congestion.
Garlic: Garlic is a natural blood thinner. It is fantastic for increasing blood circulation in feet/hands, and may also clear up clogged arteries if eaten raw daily, in moderation.
Oranges: These contain high levels of vitamin C and bioflavonoids which help the flow of blood through the body by strengthening the capillary walls.
Pumpkin seeds: A source of vitamin E, which is proven to keep blood flowing freely and preventing blood clots.
Watermelons: These are rich in lycopene which can help prevent a build-up of plaque (the substance that can interfere with blood flow in the arteries) thereby aiding healthy blood circulation.
Massage: Tense, cramped muscles can limit blood flow, leading to symptoms of poor circulation. If you frequently experience muscle soreness – especially in the back or shoulders, get someone to massage these cramped areas with rosemary essential oil mixed in a carrier such as sweet almond or olive oil.
Hydrotherapy: Try taking a hot bath or shower. You can add Epsom salts to your bath which have healing properties and relax for 20 minutes. Hot water helps to relax tense muscles, increases blood circulation and allows oxygen to flow more smoothly throughout the body.
Use hot and cold treatment: This involves alternating between cold and warmth on the affected body part. Apply heat, such as hot packs for 30 seconds or so, and then switch to cold pack.
Put your feet up: Elevating your legs is a great way to increase your circulation and relax at the same time. It also reduces the chance of varicose veins, which are caused by high blood pressure or standing for extended periods of time.
Nuts: Walnuts and almonds contain high levels of antioxidants, healthy plant oils, and energy-boosting protein. They can help to improve circulation and ward off more serious forms of circulatory disease by reducing inflammation and oxidative damage in the arteries.
Parsley: Not only does parsley stimulate the circulatory system, it’s also great for digestion. Parsley boasts one of the richest concentrations of vitamin K of any herb or veggie, provides antioxidant protection, and is one of the best foods for detoxification of the liver and blood.
NOTE – Always consult with your GP before taking any herbal remedies especially if you already take medications for circulatory problems.