Remedy - Question: I have poor circulation, is there anything I can do?
Poor circulation can be addressed in many ways at spas. Most spas now offer exfoliating/body scrub treatments that often incorporate dry brushing. Ask the therapist who is performing the service to demonstrate the most effective way to do this and then buy a brush from the spa or a health food store and commit to dry brushing your body ten minutes every day. Aromatherapy massages that incorporate such oils as cypress, clary sage, oregano, peppermint, and helichrysum are excellent and typically the oils can be purchased for home use. In addition, I recommend trying Lymphatic Massage, Thai Massage, Reflexology, Chi Nei Tsang, acupuncture, passive yoga, and stretching. Commit to having a treatment once a week until the symptoms are reduced and/or seek medical guidance.Amy McDonald is the Spa and Programs Director at EL Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, in Taos, New Mexico. Amy has been in the spa industry for twenty years and is an industry expert in integrating both spa and educational programs into transformational experiences for guests.
Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R. D.
You could be iron deficient. To check your iron status, request a serum ferritin test. A serum ferritin value below 20 micrograms/L means your iron is low. Your physician may prescribe iron supplements, but you also can boost your intake of iron-rich foods, including extra-lean red meat, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and prunes. You can also try one of these suggestions:
Add a vitamin C-rich food such as orange juice, a tossed salad, broccoli, or most fruits with every meal. Vitamin C improves the absorption of nonheme iron in plant foods.
Consume small amounts of red meat with large amounts of iron-rich vegetables or beans, such as chili with beans, pork in a vegetable stir-fry, or spaghetti with meatballs.
Cook in a cast iron skillet. The iron leeches out of the pot and into the food, boosting the iron content.
Select iron-fortified foods.
Drink tea and coffee between meals. These beverages contain tannins that inhibit iron absorption.
Besides iron, exercise is one of the best cures for poor circulation. If you are sedentary, get off the couch and start walking!Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is author of several books, including Food & Mood (Owl Books, 1999) and Nutrition for Women (Owl Books, 2003).
This is a common symptom of an underactive thyroid, so my first line of advice is to check with your healthcare provider. There are many things that I have found that can help. First, include some seaweed in your diet. Dried seaweeds, commonly available at your local health food store, are tasty and can be sprinkled on any food that you would normally salt. Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine and many other minerals and micronutrients useful for proper metabolic function. Including the herbs ginger, cayenne, black pepper, and mustard in your diet can also help to increase circulation throughout the body. A number of scientific studies also suggest that gingko can increase peripheral circulation. Follow the manufacturer's dosing advice on the ginkgo supplement you purchase. And my favorite way of increasing circulation and re-regulating thyroid function is by alternating hot and cold full body immersions. Many spas have both hot and cold tubs. Always start with hot and end with cold. Generally, I suggest three or four cycles of hot and cold. Let your heat tolerance determine how long you 'cook' When you get uncomfortably warm, it's time to move to the cold water. If you have a heart condition or history of stroke do not do this without the consent of your doctor. An alternative way of doing this at home is to end your hot shower with a cold splash of water every morning.Dr. Nancy Welliver has been a practicing naturopathic physician for the last eleven years and is currently a faculty member at Bastyr University.