It’s a sunny, pleasant day. Nearly everybody is walking around town in a t-shirt and shorts. But your hands feel like icicles. You bump into a colleague you haven’t seen in a long time. Self-conscious about your cold hands, you clench your fingers and instead of extending a “good-to-see-you” handshake, you offer a fist bump.
Cold hands and feet aren’t the only symptoms of poor blood circulation plaguing you. When you sit for long periods of time, your lower extremities swell or you experience numbness or tingling sensations. And from time to time, your hamstrings or toes cramp up. You often feel shortness of breath or have a tight, heavy feeling in your chest.
What Causes Poor Blood Circulation According to Chinese Medicine?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, feeling cold and other symptoms of poor blood circulation are caused by several factors: Qi deficiency in general, and more specifically, Yang Qi deficiency, as well as blood stasis and blood deficiency.
Cold hands and feet aren’t the only symptoms of poor blood circulation plaguing you.
Of these four root causes of poor blood circulation, let’s take a look at Blood stasis, because it is a major underlying pathology of disease in Chinese medicine. Blood stasis can be compared to western medicine’s concept of blood coagulation. In more serious cases, blood stasis can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots, hemorrhage, as well as anemia.
When you think of circulation, what organ comes to mind? Probably the heart, right? Well, in TCM theory, blood stasis is caused by lack of Qi (energy) in the Heart (in Chinese medicine, organs are capitalized). This lack of Qi is called “Qi deficiency.”
Whereas “blood stasis” is a pooling of the blood, “blood deficiency” is when your blood isn’t doing an adequate job of providing nutrients to the rest of the organs and tissues in the body.
What Are Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation?
In addition to having cold hands and feet, blood stasis can lead to chronic fatigue, dizziness, pale complexion, dry skin, brittle hair, weak nails, numbness in the extremities, muscle spasms and cramps, and in women, scant or irregular menstrual cycles.
Because blood in TCM theory also nourishes the mind, having blood stasis or deficiency can lead to mood imbalances as well as difficulty sleeping and cognition problems.
Using TCM to Support Blood Circulation
Certain Chinese herbs work to resolve blood stasis. For example, Dan Shen promotes blood flow while the herbs San Qi and Hong Hua invigorate the blood (move the flow of Qi). Meanwhile, Dang Gui has been shown in lab studies to help support vascular endothelial function.
3 TCM Formulas That Support Blood Circulation
But taking several individual herbs isn’t the most convenient way to invigorate blood flow. Instead, try taking one of our 3 formulas to support your circulation.
Our strongest formula is Blood StasisClearBlood StasisClear. Based on a renown centuries-old formula, Blood StasisClear invigorates the Blood and supports a healthy blood flow.
CircuFineCircuFine is ideal for everyday usage to improve circulation, especially if you have less severe symptoms such as cold hands and feet and/or have a bluish tint to your nails, lips, or limbs.
If you experience symptoms of poor blood circulation, try our formula CardiovigorCardiovigor. Cardiovigor encourages fresh blood flow through the Heart and is one of the best-known TCM heart-health-support formulas.