For those of you with circulation problems, it’s likely that your symptoms flare up or get worse in cold weather. This is because the blood becomes thicker when the body experiences temperature changes from hot to cold. As a result, it is harder for your circulatory system to pump blood around the body efficiently. At the same time, your blood vessels constrict so that they release less body heat into the air, creating a smaller space for blood to pass through.
People with poor circulation will really feel the cold in their extremities and may experience numbness in the hands and feet. As well as these and other symptoms, poor circulation in cold weather can lead to more serious health conditions, with 53% more heart attacks occurring in winter.
You can do various things to improve your circulation, such as exercising, quitting smoking, and taking hot baths. Massage is also a great treatment for poor circulation, and here are a few ways it helps.
Massage for cold weather circulation problems
We’ve mentioned in many blogs before that massage promotes circulation around your body, especially to the area being massaged. The pressure and movement of the massage therapist’s techniques encourage the flow of blood, allowing it to supply oxygen and other nutrients to your body’s tissues more efficiently. Massage can also help to reduce congestion in your body, again promoting the flow of blood.
The circulation of lymphatic fluid around the body is also promoted, which is the fluid that carries toxins away from the muscles and tissues. This is beneficial for anyone who gets swollen legs and ankles as a result of poor congestion. Self-massaging your feet and hands can help to temporarily increase blood flow to the area and warm up your extremities, while regular professional massage will give you ongoing benefits, as well.
These are some of the main types of massage that can help improve your circulation in cold weather:
- Reflexology – targeting the hands and feet to improve circulation to the extremities
- Deep tissue massage or Swedish massage – the deep pressure is effective at relieving congestion and tension
- Hot stone massage – the heat from the stones is a great aid for circulation
- Lymphatic drainage – This type of massage is designed to improve circulation of lymphatic fluid
If you’re suffering from the cold this winter, book an appointment with us to see how regular massage can make you feel better both physically and mentally. Or get in touch to find out about the range of massage therapies we offer.