Are your hands and feet always “frozen” in winter? One of the obvious causes for this is the cold season, which slows down circulation. To get the blood flowing better, here are some easy tricks to try:
- Try acupuncture. An extensive Japanese study concludes that acupuncture can improve blood flow, increasing circulation. “Five to six treatments spaced one or two weeks apart should do the trick,” advises Dr. Brenda Hood, associate professor at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
- Get a blood test done to check for iron deficiency, which lowers the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood vessels. This is often a sneaky causes of cold digits. Vitamin B complex can help vessels dilate, thus increasing circulation and warming you up. For more serious deficiency, or anemia, get advice from your physician.
- Try a mind-body technique, such as imagining something warm — a hot shower, lying on a beach, for example. The relaxation response thus triggered dilates blood vessels.
- Add Epsom salts to your bath. A warm foot soak before bedtime is a great sleep aid. Add freshly grated ginger for a lovely warming sensation.
- Eat the hot stuff! Warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cayenne help the process of digestion, which tends to be sluggish on cold days.
While all these tips are effective if your extremities are cold due to the weather, it is important to check for possible underlying causes, too. Deeper issues such as stress, migraines and even irritable bowel syndrome could be at play, say physicians. Listen to your body!