Circulatory and Heart Conditions
Disorders with blood circulation can present in many different ways. These can include cold hands and feet, varicose veins or piles; through to the more serious such as heart disease, stroke or severe leg pain.
For some the early indicator may be hypertension (high blood pressure) or it may be erectile dysfunction (impotence). However, there are a wide range of disorders which can relate either directly or indirectly to circulatory health. These can include restless legs syndrome, chilblains, Raynaud’s disease and phlebitis.
Raised cholesterol levels are another important factor in circulatory or heart disease. The formation of fatty plaques can narrow arteries and reduce or block blood flow resulting in a heart attack (the coronary arteries), a stroke or mini-stroke (the carotid arteries) or intermittent claudication (the arteries of the leg). Blockages can also occur if the blood clots too easily; hence the travel advice given to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
An early indicator of a blood disorder may be anaemia. There are several causes of this including bleeding – due to the menstrual cycle, piles or hidden blood loss, perhaps due to a cancer; or a failure of the body to make the right balance of blood cells.
Although serious conditions may require a doctor’s input, many problems can be avoided or managed by taking steps to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Traditional Treatments for Circulatory and Heart Conditions
Herbalists use a variety of herbs to affect the circulation and can help with many circulatory and heart problems, either alone or in conjunction with treatment you are receiving from your doctor. Herbs may be dispensed in liquid form as tinctures or teas, or in capsules, or as creams or lotions.
Diet and exercise are key ingredients of a successful therapeutic regime and your herbalist will help you to make the necessary changes.
During a consultation the herbalist will take a detailed case history, which includes your past medical history, your diet and your current health status in order to ensure that any advice or prescribed herbs are appropriate for you as an individual and safe to take alongside any medication which you may have been prescribed by your doctor.
Chinese Medicine (of which acupuncture is a part) considers the healthy flow of Qi and Blood to be fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the human being. Signs and symptoms are seen as a sign of energetic as well as physical disharmony, and Chinese Medicine has its own diagnostic system through which to understand an individual’s imbalance.
This additional perspective is a valuable part of the Acupuncture process, and together with a western understanding of health and disease enables the Acupuncturist to provide a truly individual treatment. Acupuncture treatments are directed both at reducing symptoms and also resolving the underlying imbalance for a more lasting effect.
Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medicine and is suitable for people of all ages including women in pregnancy.
It has been found that Reflexology may help to improve circulation. Patients have reported that they no longer have cold feet or chilblains. This may be because of its relaxation effect.
Some women have blood disorders like anaemia because of heavy periods. Reflexology may help to regulate the periods and to reduce the heaviness.
Dr. Bach Flower Remedies
Cold hands and feet may be caused by tension. The flower remedies may help to reduce this tension by giving emotional healing and support.