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Friday, February 13th, 2009

It’s All About Blood Flow – By Olympian Jeff Galloway

Our circulation system is a very efficient yet complex series of tubes that brings life-giving blood to every part of our body, 24/7. One system brings nutrients and oxygen to the muscles for rebuilding, repair, energy and continual use. Another system returns blood that has been depleted of nutrients and oxygen back to the heart, lungs and digestive system for an infusion. These processes are going on right now, inside of you.

Gentle exercise (no huffing and puffing) for at least 30 minutes a day does an adequate job of increasing blood flow to the key areas: legs, trunk, head, back. But due to a variety of factors, including overuse, damage, diet and stress, the quantity needed in a few areas can be inadequate. When blood flow is restricted due to stress or damage, the muscle, leg, foot, etc. doesn’t work as well as it usually does. Top athletes notice this more than others because they need to push themselves to the limits in workouts and competition, every day or two.

Athletes and their trainers know that there will be aches and pains produced by exercise. If these areas are massaged, blood flow can increase, moving the damaged cells out, as circulation of enriched blood is increased: rebuilding can occur. When I was training at the world class level, I found that most of the sore spots could be restored to top capacity after one massage session.

Today, I’m like most recreational exercisers. There are fewer exercise aches and pains because I’m not pushing myself to the limits. But I’m also getting older and every week there are a few. The Human Touch massage chair almost always brings these around.

Once the area is massaged, in as little as 5 minutes, the increased blood flow brings vitality, recovery and a rebound to the spirit. A physical rebound often inspires a psychological rebound.

Next month: how massage can increase blood flow to areas blocked by stress.

Note: Over a million exercisers have attended Jeff Galloway clinics, running schools, wonderful retreats, training programs or read his books. To subscribe to his free newsletter and/or blog, visit

Jeff Galloway is a member of the Human Touch Wellness Council and enjoys relaxing and rejuvenating in Human Touch massage chairs.