Improving Your Blood Circulation: Part 1 – An Eastern Perspective

A strong blood circulatory system, in both Western and Eastern Medicine, is vital to maintaining our good health.

Blood Deficiency” is a concept unique to Traditional Chinese Medicine and can be thought of as a decreased ability of the Blood to provide the proper nourishment to the rest of the body.

Although somewhat similar in idea to anemia, Blood Deficiency encompasses a much broader range of symptoms, and Eastern Medicine relies on its own methods of diagnosis rather than blood tests to evaluate and treat this condition.

Some of the more common symptoms associated with Blood Deficiency include:

  • fatigue & chronic tiredness
  • pale complexion
  • dry hair & skin
  • brittle nails
  • blurred vision & “floaters” in the eyes
  • poor memory
  • depression
  • insomnia, especially difficulty in falling asleep

Other cases sometimes include symptoms such as:

  • muscle spasms & cramps
  • numbness in the limbs
  • dizziness & vertigo

In addition, women may experience:

  • scanty or irregular menstrual periods
  • infertility or miscarriage

In Traditional Chinese Medicine physiology, the digestive system (often referred to as the Spleen-Pancreas system) is responsible for manufacturing the Blood, while the Liver system is the one that stores, distributes, and regulates the Blood flow throughout the entire body, so treatment of Blood Deficiency usually focuses on supporting both of these systems.

There are many different factors that can contribute to a Blood Deficient condition.

Improper diet is one common cause. Vegetarians are especially susceptible to this, and should make sure to add adequate amounts of Blood-nourishing foods to their diet.

Because of their connection to the Liver according to TCM theory, overuse of the tendons and the eyes is another common cause, and is frequently seen in athletes who over train their bodies or students who do a lot of computer work or reading.

Prolonged bleeding, especially menstrual or gastrointestinal bleeding disorders, may also lead to a Blood Deficient condition, but of course the underlying cause of the bleeding needs to be addressed first.

Tips for Nourishing the Blood

  1. Add some berries – Gou Qi Zi, better known as the Goji berry, is one of the more famous Chinese herbs used for nourishing the Blood. However, other dark berries are also beneficial, including blueberries and blackberries.
  2. Blackstrap molasses – rich in iron and other minerals, taking about 1 tablespoon a day on a regular basis can help to give the blood a boost.
  3. Green protein – especially good for vegetarians and people who engage in a lot of physical activity, foods such as spirulina and chlorella can be important additions to the diet when dealing with Blood Deficiency. Chlorophyll, the substance that gives these foods their green colour, has often been referred to as “plant hemoglobin” for its close resemblance in composition to blood. In addition, the protein provides the building blocks necessary for helping to rebuild and strengthen the blood.

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One Response to “Improving Your Blood Circulation: Part 1 – An Eastern Perspective”

  1. luc says:

    great advice! i will try some of that. i also have a chinese cleansing herb for liver i can take. one step at a time..
    much gratitude

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