ZocdocAnswersWhat types of massage are best at increasing blood flow to my muscles?

Question

What types of massage are best at increasing blood flow to my muscles?

Should I do Shiatsu or acupuncture or what? I have very bad circulation and am a 23 year old female.

Answer

My initial response is to question what symptoms you are having. When patients come to me with report of bad circulation to their muscles, usually this means that they are experiencing pain, tension, or just plain "stress" that seems to manifest as discomfort in the muscle area. This usually does not mean per se that you have bad blood flow to your muscles. People that live stressful lives and have physical pain from this stress often benefit from different types of massage. However, no well designed clinical trials on the effectiveness of Shiatsu massage or acupuncture have been done. Thus, there is no way for myself or any other health care professional to recommend either of those as a means to relieve your symptoms. I have met patients that have searched for relief of their symptoms by using these methods. However, this may simply be because massage feels good and lowers their tension levels. The treatment for specific conditions is another matter. The best thing for you to do is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to a detailed account of your symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. Perhaps something will be found that is treatable. Some primary care physicians have complimentary or alternative medicine health care workers that they trust and can give you a referral if you desire.

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