HOW TO CHECK IF YOU’RE IMPROVING BLOOD CIRCULATION?
One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.
Why is blood circulation important to TCM?
Blood is a vital substance that circulates the in the vessels and carries nutrition throughout the body. It is important in maintaining vital activities in the body, including nourishing and moisturizing it.
The circulation of blood relies on the pushing function of the qi. This is why it’s equally important to have strong qi. Blood and qi are like interconnected and interdependent. Qi is the motivating source for the circulation of blood.
The better your blood circulates:
- The more moisture and nourishments that travels to your organs, tissues, body, limbs, and mind continuously.
- The more distributed our qi is because blood is the carrier of qi. If our blood becomes collapsed and stagnant, so will our qi.
- The more vigorous and lively we are because blood also carries oxygen.
- The easier it is to stay warm (as body energy and warmth is generated from qi) and maintain good body function.
How to do a foot soak
The most basic is to simply soak your feet in warm water. What my own Chinese doctor has suggested is to soak it until you break a sweat from your forehead. At this point, you’ll know that the warm blood has worked it’s way up throughout your body enough to literally – break a sweat!
I was curious about testing time, so I’ve structured my foot soaks quite scientifically, but you don’t have to. You can just soak until you feel that sweat and finish up.
What you’ll need:
- A consistent source of hot (or warm) water
- A bucket or foot bag to soak in (I’m using this product that my mom got for me!)
- A comfortable place to sit
- Some water (or drinks) to stay hydrated
- A book or something to occupy your time
- A towel (to dry off with afterwards)
- A change of clothes or sweater (as you’re sweating, you’ll want to cool off gently)
If you’re testing time, add in:
- A timer
Click on the video below to hear about how I turned this concept into more of a science experiment (for myself) and how I knew I was improving my blood circulation. A highly fascinating thing to try!
To improve blood circulation, there are a few soups or teas you can consider making to help you with this. Keep in mind, the key principles and things to note are:
- We want to encourage a more yang state in the body, which means more active and flowing
- To generate yang states, this is generally associated with consumption of warmer soups and teas (see below for the ones I was consuming)
- If you’re feeling too heaty (excess yang), you can hold off on the warming ingredients and go with the neutral ones for improve circulation (or reducing stagnant blood)