What Are Varicose Veins?
From a cosmetic nuisance to a painful, heavy feeling in the legs, swelling and fatigue, varicose veins are not fun and tend to become worse rather then better over the years. If left unaddressed they do have the potential of becoming dangerous, leading to inflammation of the veins and an increased risk of blood clots.
Generally caused by a defect in a vein wall, which leads to dilation and damage to a valve, varicose veins are most common in women who have been pregnant, have been overweight or simply who have spent huge spans of time standing up. Other factors which inhibit blood flow such as poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to the formation and progression of varicose veins.
There are many natural remedies for this condition, including diet, exercise, hydrotherapy, herbs and massage. Using massage for varicose veins, while also taking other measures to improve the health of your veins, can help to relieve this condition. Be sure to also talk to your doctor about your condition.
Tips for Self-Massage
Simply massaging your feet and legs each morning has a very positive effect on blood flow, stimulating circulation. Poor circulation contributes to the formation of varicose veins. Improved blood flow means a greater flow of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to damaged tissue, facilitating healing.
To do a massage yourself, apply gentle pressure with palms or fingertips. Move your hands in an upward motion, always moving the blood flow towards the heart. Use a combination of short strokes, about three inches long, to encourage blood flow between valves, and long strokes, to increase circulation throughout the veins. Keep the legs elevated at a 45 degree angle while massaging, if possible.
Homemade Massage Oil for Relieving Varicose Veins
Using a massage oil is beneficial as it will add lubrication, thus reducing friction and improving the therapeutic effects of the massage. You can simply use olive oil, sweet almond, grape seed or jojoba oil. You can also add essential oils to help stimulate circulation and improve the healing process. Use 25 drops of essential oil for every 2 ounces of a carrier oil. You will only need a small amount for each massage. Store your homemade massage oil in a small, sealable glass bottle, away from heat, light and moisture for up to two weeks.
The following essential oils are beneficial in a massage oil for treating varicose veins:
Treating Varicose Veins Naturally
Using massage for varicose veins is a great, natural way to reduce unsightly veins, improve associated symptoms and prevent more serious problems. The appearance of dark, bulging veins is a sign that circulation is poor and/or vascular health is not up to par. Massage is a
wonderful natural therapy for circulation and improving overall well-being. Give yourself regular, gentle massages and see a trained therapist if possible. It is also important to eat a healthy diet, rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids from fresh citrus fruits and berries, as well as fiber. Also, particularly if your veins are causing eczema-like symptoms, pain and swelling, be sure to see your doctor.
Jordan, Kate, NCTMB. “What about Varicose Veins?” (Massage Today) https://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=10245
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
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