In the clinic I see many women with sluggish, poor circulation. They either tell me this themselves or more often it is evident during a massage. Areas of the body such as the hands, feet, lower legs, lower back or abdomen may feel cold or small pockets may be cool to the touch.
Blood circulation is the key to getting nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the body and removing toxic waste products that are not needed. If it is lacking to a certain area, the health and functioning of those cells will not be optimum.
With regard to fertility and menstrual health, good blood circulation to the lower back, abdomen and reproductive organs is vital. There are lots of ways you can learn how to keep your womb warm.
On the whole, men are always much warmer than women. They aren’t the ones to ask for an extra blanket or to get chilly feet by the end of a treatment! From a Chinese Medicine perspective, we each fluctuate between yin and yang, with men tending to be more yang and women displaying more yin tendencies.
While women are predominantly yin by nature, the balance alters over the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase (post-ovulation to menstruation) is the yang phase; characterised by warmth, promoting the movement of blood and energy and stimulating ovulation and implantation. It is during this time that progesterone is highest, which increases the body temperature in preparation for nurturing a fertilised embryo.
If energy and circulation to the womb is weak, it will not be benefiting from adequate nutrient supply and your follicles may not be able to ripen to their fullest. You may experience conditions of congestion within the uterus, cramps and pain, sluggish blood flow, ovulation problems and hormonal imbalance.
Areas that are cold to the touch, such as abdomen, hips or lower back
Low BBT temperatures
Frequent dilute urination, especially at night
1. Eat Warming Foods
It is important to avoid cold food or drinks or raw foods to increase reproductive health, when trying to conceive and during pregnancy. Warm foods and drinks are the most beneficial for enhancing digestive fire and building energy and circulation around the abdomen and reproductive organs. Nourishing soups and stews are ideal, as are herbal teas. Instead of salads, enjoy steamed vegetables, especially during the cooler months. Add warm chicken or vegetables to an otherwise cold meal and choose porridge over cold cereals for breakfast. Equally, warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamon and chilli are often abundant at this time of year, for a very good reason!
2. Always Wear Socks and Slippers
Always keep your feet warm, especially around the house and never go barefoot on cold floors. In Chinese Medicine, the energy channels – meridians – that reach your reproductive organs begin in your feet so ensuring good circulation here is crucial (one of the reasons that reflexology is so effective).
3. Move More
Circulation is boosted by movement. Frequent low levels of activity can lead to stagnation. Walk more briskly, to increase your heart rate; Bound up the stairs with more vigour and energy rather than sluggishly climbing them!; take a regular exercise class you enjoy; get up and move from your desk every 30 minutes; do a set of star jumps or jog on the spot.
3. Do Castor Oil Packs
Castor Oil has long been used to aid the breakdown of congestion, particularly in the abdominal and reproductive organs. Combined with a hot water bottle, this is a fantastic remedy to enhance blood and energy to your womb and ovaries.
The changes that come about as a consequence of this treatment are incredible. Massage to the lower back, hips, spine and abdomen help to increase blood and lymph circulation and nerve transmission to the vital organs. Specific reflexology and acupressure also work to further enhance circulation and energy, thereby benefiting hormonal balance. Enhanced blood flow to the womb creates a more fertile environment for a developing embryo and the ovaries will receive more nutrients and oxygen for developing eggs. Daily self-fertility massage as taught by a qualified practitioner, increases these benefits considerably. Learn more about Fertility Massage.