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Cold Extremities

May 22, 2018

Ever suffer from cold hands and feet? According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the common causes of cold extremities are body constitution, emotional stress, and a sedentary lifestyle resulting in poor peripheral circulation. Contrary to belief, not all cold extremities are due to "deficiency type” body constitution. There are many other reasons for frigid extremities. In general, cold hands and feet are considered to be a "rebellion" that leads to a constraint in the Qi mechanism, disabling the smooth flow of Qi. The characteristics of "rebellion" are divided into cold,heat, phlegm,Qiand blood.

 

Often times, frigid extremities are caused by deficient cold body constitution. It is caused by a lack of righteous Qi and deficiency of Qi and blood. Pathogenic cold will affect blood circulation making it difficult for blood to reach the periphery of the extremities. Ginseng or Dang Shen (Codonopsis Rx.), Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis), Gui Zhi (Cinnamomi), Chuan Xiong (Chuanxiong) are suitable warming herbs to supplement the body for deficient cold body constitution. Decoct equal parts and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and drink daily as a tea. This formula will augment qi, propel blood circulation, and unblock yang energy and channels to warm up your extremities. You can add these herbs while making stews or soups. These herbs compliment hearty and delicious bone broth soups very well with added nutrients and health benefits.  

Although heat constraint will also exhibit cold extremities, it can be accompanied by a feeling of heat, thirst, and constipation. The pathogenic heat accumulates in the body and affects the Qi mechanism, the smooth flowing of Qi. If warm foods are supplemented at this time, it can easily lead to headaches, dry mouth and cracked lips. Phlegm constraint is the accumulation of dampness that becomes phlegm or caused by stress, bad mood, or depression that affects the Qi mechanism leading to constraint with cold hands and feet. Blood rebellion is caused by blood deficiency with cold stagnation resulting in cold extremities and numbness.

 

A simple method to warm up your extremities is to practice swinging your arms. Simply swing your arms from front to back, side to side. This motion activates peripheral blood circulation and sends oxygenated blood to your limbs. It’s easy. Take 5-10 minutes to do this daily and you’ll see the difference! 

 

A healthy diet and exercise will help ward off disease and benefit micro and macro circulation. Blood circulation is the most important function in your body. It supplies oxygen and nutrients to the brain and organs ensuring that your body functions properly. 

 

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