How to Boost Your Circulation
There are lots of things you can do to improve your body's blood circulation. As well as being beneficial for health reasons (for instance, it helps to keep your blood pressure low and maintains a decent flow of blood to all parts of the body, including the extremities), good circulation is great for your skin and complexion. Boosting your circulation will invigorate you in the short-term too. Learning how to improve blood circulation naturally is essential if you are health and/or beauty conscious.
Exercise is the most effective way to boost your blood circulation because it has both immediate and long-term effects. Aerobic exercise, in particular, is good for boosting circulation. It gives the heart and circulatory system a necessary work out while increasing the blood volume and supply of oxygen to all body parts, reaching even the smallest surface capillaries.
Having a cold bath increases your circulation considerably. Within 3 to 5 minutes of immersion the blood circulation is increased fourfold. Lymph flow is boosted equally.
Learn to breathe deeply to improve your circulation. Shallow breathing uses just a 1/3 of our lung capacity. This compromises circulation because cells don't get enough oxygen to reproduce as fast as they should. Retrain yourself to breathe more deeply using twice-daily exercises.
Firstly, lie down on the floor. Place your hands, with the fingertips touching, on your abdomen. Breathe in slowly and deeply through the nose while counting to 5. Feel your lungs and abdomen expand to part your fingertips. Hold the breath while you count another 5, then breathe out through the mouth until your fingertips are touching again (try to expel all the air from your body when exhaling). Repeat 10 times.
Health and Herbal Products:
Health foods, herbs and health products can help to stimulate blood circulation. Herbal products usually come as tablets, or in tincture form, but others may be used in cooking or drunk as a tea. Consult a herbalist or ask a health food store for advice. Ginger and ginkgo biloba are two natural substances, for example, that help to improve blood flow.
Essential oils can be used to help boost circulation. They are especially effective if used during massage. The blood flow to the skin is already increased by stimulation. This improved surface circulation, along with the heat generated by the massage, helps with absorption. Lemon, cypress and geranium essential oils, in particular, are thought to help boost circulation. Consult a trained aromatherapist to ensure safe usage.
Epsom Salts Baths:
Taking an Epsom salts bath before going to bed will increase your blood circulation and also help to remove toxins from your body through sweating. Run a warm, deep bath and tip in 2lb (1 kg) of Epsom salts. Mix the water so that the salts dissolve and disperse. Soak yourself in the bath for at least 5 minutes. You will start to sweat heavily. Take a bath mitt or loofah and massage your body all over using circular motions.
Start with your feet and work up your body (adopt a kneeling position where necessary). Don't go too fast and be gentle around your abdomen. Avoid massaging your breasts, but go over as much of your back as you can reach. After massaging your body relax for another 5 minutes, if possible. Get out of the bath and gently pat your body dry with towels.
Moisturize your skin all over and go to bed taking a large glass of water to keep by your side. Avoid rubbing your skin.
Don't use Epsom salts if you've got psoriasis, eczema or broken skin. Also, avoid taking Epsom salt baths while menstruating. It may make you bleed more heavily.
Brushing yourself all over with a firm body brush (available at drugstores) gives internal and external benefits. Your skin should be dry. Start with your feet and work up the body. Avoid the breast area. Finish by brushing your face. Always brush in the direction of your heart. Not only does this help to boost your circulation, improve lymph flow and remove toxins, but it's great for your skin too, ex-foliating dead skin cells while stimulating sebum production and cell regeneration.
Use 4 or 5 of these techniques regularly and your circulatory system will reap the benefits, paying dividends in the long run. Your skin should also start to glow and your complexion look healthier. Learning how to improve blood circulation is sensible for long-term health, but has the added advantage of keeping your skin looking young and radiant.