Massage therapy and alternative medicine for good circulation

 Every part of the body depends on a continuos flow of blood. The vital body fluid has several essential functions.

Firstly, blood is a transport system picking oxygen from the lungs and delivering it to tissues by means of red cells. Most activities t take place inside the cells are totally dependent upon oxygen, which ensures their survival a continual regeneration.

Secondly, blood transports and delivers white blood cells, which are the vital components of our immune system. This system defends us against invasion by bacteria, parasites and other harmful substances. The blood is also constituted so as to prevent uncontrolled haemorrhage when an injury occurs.

Thirdly, blood picks up from our digestive system the nutrients which are produced by the food we eat, and carries off waste products to the kidneys and liver for removal and neutral-izing. It does the same with certain hormones, which exert control over many of the body's physical and chemical activities. The blood collects the hormones from glands and delivers
them to the cells.

Fourthly, blood distributes heat from the centre to the periphery of the body. This is essential in order to maintain body temperature and a stable internal environment, in which the tissues of the body can function efficiently.

The Lymphatic System

This is best considered as a subsidiary of the circulatory system because, although it has its
separate channels, the lymphatic system. It carries a fluid ( lymph ) containing nutrients, oxygen and white blood cells to body tissues and takes waste matter away from the cells and closely follows the same pathways as the circulatory system.The lymphatic system is widely distributed within the body in numerous lymph nodes, commonly referred to as lymph glands. The tiny transparent lymph vessels, which carry the lymph, resemble veins. They also help to manufacture and store antibodies that are so vital for neutralizing or destroying harmful micro-organisms.
By conveying lymph around the body, the lymphatic system plays a vital part in the maintenance of the immune system, helping to prevent and fight infection.
We usually become aware of the lymphatic system when lymph nodes (glands) become
swollen, particularly in the neck, armpits, groin and behind the knees, due to over-activity or infection.
Because the lymph fluid is not circulated through the action of the heart, exercise and
massage are very useful ways to maintain a healthy flow and enhance well-being.

Common Complaints

Complaints of the circulatory system can range from the uncomfortable, such as chilblains and cramp, to the more serious, such as high blood pressure. Massage is valuable in helping to ease some of the following complaints.

Chilblains
This poor circulation problem is always at its most distressing following exposure to winter cold spells. It is characterized by localized swelling and inflammation of the hands, fingers, feet and toes, accompanied by intense itching and burning sensations.
Massage by warming the body and stimulating circulation helps to avoid or soothe chilblains, but the feet and hand massages are particularly helpful. The essential oils of ginger and rosemary stimulate the circulation; whilst chamomile and lavender help to ease the inflammation.

Cramp
This painful muscular spasm can occur during or after exercise; or following repetitive movements; or even during the night. It is caused by a build-up of lactic acids and other chemicals in the muscles or the loss of sodium salts through sweating or feverish infections.
Cramp is relieved by massage, using gliding and deep kneading strokes, and self-help stretching exercises, which increase circulation to the painful part, often experienced in the calf muscles. Use the essential oil of lavender to improve circulation and relief cramps

High blood pressure
When blood reaches the parts of the body that need it, it has to be at the right pressure. Too much pressure (high blood pressure) can have an adverse effect on a variety of different organs and functions of the body. If this condition is caused mainly by stress and tension, massage certainly helps by relaxing the muscles and allowing the blood to flow more freely.
The main aim when soothing high blood pressure is relaxation. Massage, using gentle, rhythmic strokes, concentrates on the hands and feet , and the neck, head and face Use calming essential oils, such as lavender, neroli, chamomile or orange peel.

Oedema
This problem, more commonly referred to as fluid retention, is often created by poor lymph drainage, and is frequently accompanied by inflammation and swelling. It can also be caused by rheumatic and arthritic conditions; ageing; and injury. Both 'water on the knee', or swollen ankles, for example, are really oedema.
Massage with the diuretic essential oils of lavender, fennel or juniper.

Poor circulation
When this is characterized by excessively hot and red extremities (hands and feet), treat with a massage which particularly concentrates on the hands and feet, using 100 ml (4 tablespoons) of base oil to which you add one drop each of cooling essential oils, such as lavender, vetiver and cypress.

When characterized by cold and pale extremities, particularly common during winter months, treat with a similar massage as above, adding one drop each of rosemary, ginger and cypress to 100 ml (4 tablespoons) of base oil. If you also suffer from high blood pressure, avoid rosemary.
Vitamin supplements, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, bioflavonoid (vitamin P), and rutin (a glycoside obtained from buck-wheat), help to improve poor circulation. Ask your doctor or health shop to advise you on the correct dosages for your condition.

Swollen ankles
This fluid-retention problem is exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle; travelling, especially when legs are confined; premenstrual tension; pregnancy; ageing, particularly among the inactive; or injury, such as insect bites and sprains.
Use a circulatory oil like cypress or lavender and a diuretic like juniper or fennel. Avoid the use of juniper if you are pregnant.

Varicose veins
These enlarged, blue, twisted veins are most commonly seen on the backs of the calves and the insides of the leg. They are made worse by poor circulation and prolonged standing. Aching, swelling of the feet and itchy skin results.
Massage helps to prevent varicose veins by stimulating and encouraging good circulation. If they already exist, do not massage directly over the top of the varicose vein area. Instead, massage the feet and legs using light effleurage (stroking), and avoiding petrissage (squeezing, kneading, wringing and pummelling) strokes. Lavender, vetiver and cypress are perfect oils for this massage.

Acupressure Points

Those that improve circulation and can be used for all the aboveailments are Spleen 6 (SP 6), Spleen 10 (SP 10), and Pericardium 6 (PE 6)

Check the videos on leg and arms massage as those techniques can greatly help circulation