Saturday, 25 October 2014

How yoga can help boost circulation of blood and lymph

If blood circulation is less than optimal, the effects are felt as fatigue, pain, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, muscle cramps, swollen ankles, heavy legs etc.  If lymph circulation is less that optimal the effect is susceptibility to infections.  Also since the lymph removes toxins from the body, there may be a build up of toxins if lymphatic flow is poor. Here we will look at how yoga can help with circulation and on 40plusandalliswell we will look at how lifestyle can help improve circulation.    

•Yoga encourages deep breathing.  This involves the diaphragm (the sheet  of muscle under the lungs) moving in such a way as to massage the blood vessels in the abdomen,enhancing blood flow.  It also stimulates the spleen, the largest lymphatic organ in the body which contains a large number of infection fighting white cells.
•Yoga reduces stress which can affect blood flow because it causes us to hold tension in our bodies, which restricts blood flow.
•Sun salutations get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.  Sun salutations also include downward facing dog which is a half inversion and so encourages the flow of lymph by reversing gravity in the body.  Unlike blood circulation which relies on a ‘pump’, the heart, lymph moves by peristalsis (alternate contraction and relaxation) in the lymphatic vessels and movement of lymph is also helped by gravity.
•Standing poses such as the Warrior poses and the Fierce Pose that we did in the video, contract the leg muscles which in turn squeeze the blood vessels in the legs encouraging blood flow back to the heart.  
•Inversions such as the Supported Half Shoulder Stand in the video, encourage blood flow to heart and brain as well as flow of lymph.  Standing forward bends also have this effect.
•Stimulating the lymph nodes also encourages the flow of lymph and encourages the lymph nodes to produce more infection fighting immune cells.  In Humble Warrior we stimulated the lymph nodes in the chest and armpits.  In the Warriors and Pigeon Pose we stimulated the lymph nodes in the groin.  In Pigeon and Cat/Cow we stimulated the lymph nodes near the kidneys and in Supported Half Shoulder Stand we stimulated the lymph nodes near the thyroid gland.
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be peaceful and at ease

YouTube video link-'How yoga can help boost circulation of blood and lymph'

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