The circulatory system

Reflexology and Circulation:

Reflexology can help increase the circulation, thereby preventing a sluggish blood flow that could result in clotting. The relaxation aspect of reflexology treatment can help to prevent high blood pressure, angina, heart attacks and strokes.

The circulatory system is responsible for transporting materials throughout the body. It conveys nutrients, water and oxygen to billions of body cells, and carries away waste such as carbon dioxide. Blood is the body’s fuel and is delivered b the circulatory system – it is like a postal system throughout the body, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to power the cells while taking away debris.


The circulatory system is made up of muscle and vessels that help control the flow of blood around the body. The main parts of this system are the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries.

The heart is really a special muscle and is the circulatory system’s engine, pumping blood around the body. It is usually located a little to the left of the middle of your chest, and is about the size of a fist. The right side of the heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs, a process known as pulmonary circulation. The left side does exactly the opposite; it receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body, a process known as systematic circulation.

Arteries and veins are the circulatory system’s pipes, transporting blood around around the body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, while veins carry blood back towards the heart. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels, thinner than human hairs, that connect arteries to veins. Oxygen, nutrients and waste products pass in and out of the blood through the capillary walls.

Heartbeat and Pulse:

When we are young, our heartbeat is faster, but as we get older it gradually slows down. How does blood come back up your legs to the heart to become reoxygenated-this occurs through muscular action, the action of your calf muscles as you move keeps the blood flowing. So exercise can keep the blood circulating around the body, from the fingers or toes to your heart and back again.

Feel your pulse by placing two fingers at pulse points on your neck or wrists. The pulse you feel is blood stopping  and starting as it moves through your arteries. As a child, your resting pulse might have ranged from 90 to 120 beats per minute; as a healthy adult, it slows to an average of 72 beats per minute. Your body has about 5.6 litres (10 pints) of blood circulating through it three times every minute. In one day, the blood travels a total of 19,300 (12,000 miles).

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