3 Effective Ways to Improve Your Blood Circulation
By Denise John, PhD
When blood flows freely in our bodies, it allows each of our cells to get the nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive and to keep us feeling our best. When our blood circulation isn’t optimal, it significantly affects our health—with effects ranging from momentary light-headedness to long-term cardiovascular complications.
Improving blood circulation starts with a balanced diet and regular exercise, as they support a healthy inflammatory response in our blood vessels. When you want extra help, there are a few categories of tools that can be effective companions.
Infrared heat therapy is a noninvasive tool that has been studied for decades. Infrared, an invisible heat-producing electromagnetic energy that radiates at specific wavelengths, supports healthy blood flow and healthy endothelial cells—the innermost layer of our blood vessels—which are critical to how well our cardiovascular system functions. Emerging research shows that infrared heat can significantly benefit the cardiovascular system, supporting healthy local blood circulation by maintaining a healthy inflammatory response.
Whether you’re looking for full-body exposure or a targeted session for a specific body part, these infrared mats provide localized heating to support muscle relaxation.
There are three types of infrared heat, defined by their wavelength: near infrared (0.8 to 1.5 micrometers), middle infrared (1.5 to 5.6 micrometers), and far infrared (5.6 to 1,000 micrometers). All these mats use the well-researched far-infrared heat.
Larger infrared mats can be used to support your entire body at once.
For targeted support for a specific body part (and great portability), smaller infrared mats are the way to go.
It’s the parts of the body that are farthest away from the heart—feet and legs, hands and wrists—that are often most impacted by poor circulation. It can show up as coldness in the area. Increasing circulation in our extremities helps the blood flow better throughout our entire body and may help relieve fluid buildup in our legs or hands.
These compression garments were created with sweat-wicking, breathable fabric and woven with copper to help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an emerging therapy that has been shown to improve local blood circulation. As its name implies, it uses electrical pulses to stimulate nerves through electrodes attached to the skin. Scientists are still determining exactly how the nerves communicate with blood vessels, but it’s clear that electrically stimulating nerves allows their neighboring blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow.
The PowerDot 2.0 uses TENS technology (and small electrical signals called NMES, or neuromuscular electrical stimulation) to stimulate muscles for healthy local blood circulation and to temporarily relieve sore and aching muscles. Its compact design includes small units that sit next to the electrodes on your body, making it great for travel. And its well-designed app guides you through electrode placement and wellness and recovery routines.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.