What Is the Circulatory System & What Does It Do?
The heart and blood vessels make up the circulatory system - also known as the cardiovascular system (“cardio” means heart and “vascular” refers to blood vessels). This vital system keeps our organs and tissues alive by bringing them essential nutrients - such as oxygen, fluid, hormones, and electrolytes. It also helps your body remove waste from your cells and organs.
The circulatory system has its own pump - the heart. It pumps blood to every area of our body via our arteries, veins, and capillaries (blood vessels). Unlike other muscles, the heart never tires or stops pumping - unless there’s disruption or disease. The heart is actually a double pump with blood flowing in from one direction, and blood pumping out from the opposite direction.
Blood Vessels: Arteries, Veins & Capillaries
Blood vessels originate at the heart and run all throughout your body. These one-way roadways transport vital nutrients and oxygen to every organ and tissue, and purify your cells.
Blood vessels can be various sizes and shapes, depending on their role in the body.
Arteries run from your heart to your extremities, carrying oxygenated blood to every limb and fingertip. Arteries divide like tiny tree branches to reach every extremity.
The smallest blood vessels - capillaries - are the intricate connective system that link the arteries to the veins and allow for the exchange of blood cells.
Veins have one-way valves that transport blood from all over the body back to the heart. There, the blood can be filtered, oxygenated, purified, and then redistributed throughout your body.
How Does The Circulatory System Work?
Your circulatory system acts as your body’s purification system, and your heart is the central pump that keeps it all moving.
Oxygen is absorbed by the lungs, where it enters the bloodstream and goes to the heart, which pumps oxygen into the arteries.
Arteries take the oxygenated nutrients to organs and tissues.
Nutrients are merged into capillaries so they can be delivered to the cells. The capillaries also collect waste materials, such as carbon dioxide.
The waste is delivered to the veins, which transport the waste to the heart, which pumps it back to the lungs where it can be purified (oxygenated).
The circulatory system is a continuous loop that starts and ends with the heart. It’s an enclosed system that allows blood and fluid to stay within the blood vessels during the circulatory and purification journey throughout the body.
What Causes Circulatory Issues?
If you’re dehydrated, don’t have proper nutrition, don’t exercise regularly, or if you have tense, tight myofascial tissue, your circulatory system will be unable to work at its best. That means, your body isn’t able to transport nutrients to your cells and carry out toxins. It also means your muscles, connective tissues, organs, and cells aren’t getting the nutrients they need to work properly.
What Are Common Symptoms of an Unhealthy Circulatory System?
When your organs and systems aren’t getting the oxygen and nutrients they need, their performance is affected.
Decreased Brain Performance
Your brain requires adequate blood flow for proper function, and even the slightest decrease in circulation can impact your brain energy and cognitive function.
Decreased Muscle Performance
Proper circulation is imperative for muscle contraction, conditioning, performance, and recovery. Remember: your heart is also a muscle!
Poor Skin Health
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients and helps improve collagen and elastin production – all of which are crucial for healthy, glowing skin and anti-aging.
A Sluggish Metabolism
If your cardiovascular and lymphatic systems are sluggish and/or under-stimulated, the flow of nutrients will slow down and the fluid can become stagnant. This can result in a slow metabolic rate, so you’ll have a harder time burning calories and fat for energy.
Spider & Varicose Veins
In some cases, trapped blood flow can cause the veins to surge and swell. Like a kinked garden hose, if there is compression in any area of your blood vessels, it can cause other areas to surge and swell.
- If you have spider veins or circulatory issues, please use the KOAPRO Massage Tools at your own risk. After getting clearance from your health specialist, we recommend starting with a small test area, using light pressure to see how your body reacts.
- DO NOT use the KOAPRO Massage Tools over raised veins, or if you have recently, are currently, or will be taking blood thinners, or if you have a history of or may have blood clots or DVT.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is caused by a blood clot that forms due to poor circulation. Symptoms may include swelling, redness, or an area that’s hot-to-the-touch. DVTs are most commonly formed in the legs of overweight individuals, and will usually dissolve without becoming harmful. In rare cases if the clot is dislodged, it can become fatal.
- DO NOT USE the KOAPRO Massage Tools if you have a history of or may have blood clots (DVT).
What Can I Do to Improve My Circulation?
Whether it’s a few minutes of walking, stretching, swimming, or other cardiovascular activities, daily movement is imperative for keeping your “pump” in working order. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week of moderate exercise to improve overall cardiovascular health.
Myofascial Release & Restoration
By loosening the tense, tight myofascial tissue and releasing adhesions with the KOAPRO Massage Tools, you can help decompress the blood and lymph vessels, muscles, nerves, joints, and tissues for optimal function. Your myofascial tissue will be better able to protect and support your blood vessels as they carry nutrients and oxygen all throughout your body without impediment.
Hydration & Nutrition
A healthy diet that promotes cellular health, brain energy, hydration, and increased performance is essential for a healthy circulatory system.
Proper sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and regular myofascial treatments support a healthy circulatory system and your holistic health and performance.
Poor circulation impacts your health, performance, and daily function. Regularly using the KOAPRO Massage Tools and making simple lifestyle upgrades can help improve your circulatory system health and overall wellness.