Varicose Veins in Tradicional Chinese Medicine

Good Morning Readers!  
Today the text will be about the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine regarding varicose veins.

Varicose veins are dilated and deformed, purple-blue veins that appear along the legs and can cause pain and swelling. Its occurrence is more common in people who need to stand for long periods.

The veins in the legs, which bring blood back to the heart after irrigating the lower limbs, have valves whose purpose is to prevent blood from returning to the feet by the action of gravity. Sometimes, these valves do not work efficiently and blood pools in the veins causing deformation, swelling and changes in skin sensitivity.

For Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are two organs responsible for maintaining blood circulation: the Spleen and the Heart.

The Spleen has the function of keeping the blood vessels strong, preventing blood leaks and bruising. The force of the venous return valves is Spleen responsibility.

When the Spleen is weakened, there is an inability of the valves to propel the blood upwards, thus, it will stagnate in the veins, giving rise to varicose veins.

Factors that weaken the Spleen are:

  • Excess milk, dairy products, white sugar and flour products
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Excessive worry and anxiety.

The Heart, on the other hand, has the function of maintaining the blood flow of the vessels, and when it is weakened, it ends up decreasing the circulation causing the blood to stop inside them. This stagnation of blood is a cause of varicose veins.

Factors that weaken the Heart are:

  • Excess of cold food such as melon and watermelon.
  • Excessive mental agitation / anxiety
  • Emotional shocks
  • Large blood losses (such as accidents or surgeries).

In addition to the aforementioned organs related to varicose veins, there is also a genetic factor, which Chinese Medicine associates with an imbalance in the Kidney’s Yin energy.

Knowing the causes of varicose veins in Chinese Medicine, it is possible to suggest treatments that will improve blood circulation and mitigate varicose veins, however, large ones will not be cured by acupuncture.

To strengthen the Spleen, the following points are recommended: SP-2, SP-3, SP-8 and SP-10.

To strengthen the Heart, points are recommended: HT-9, HT-7 and HT-5.

As already known from other texts, roots and dark green vegetables help to strengthen the Spleen and blood circulation. Bitter foods help in strengthening the Heart.

It is recommended that the patient take walks of at least 30 minutes to stimulate blood circulation. Patients who remain standing for many hours should stretch at least 30 seconds 3x a day to relax their muscles and promote a more harmonious flow of blood. In contrast, patients who remain seated for a long time should get up for 5 minutes every 1 or 2 hours to reactivate blood flow.

Massages performed on feet soles and calves also help to improve blood circulation. It is said that in the calf is our “second heart” and that it helps to propel the blood in its venous return. Thus, keeping the calf elongated and at the same time strong, without points of muscle tension, will help in the prevention and improvement of varicose veins.

So that’s it folks. Keeping the Spleen and Heart strong, varicose veins will be softened and prevented from new formations.

A big hug to everyone!

Profa. Fernanda Mara